Episode 4094 (07/24/08)

“Count your blessings, America. *points to self* One. This is The Colbert Report!”

Homo-Sect-ual: “Tonight, the Anglican Church is split over gay priests. It’s the biggest religious controversy since Scientology decided to admit gay Thetans.”

  • Desk guest: New York Times Journalist Laurie Goodstein

Foul Balkan: “Then, Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic is finally captured. His fatal mistake? Disguising himself as Slobodan Milosevich.”

  • The ThreatDown:
    • #4: New Age Healers
    • #3: Greek Courts
    • #2: Granite Countertops

The Eagle’s Guest Has Landed: “And after 95 days in space, astronaut Garrett Reisman is here to answer my questions – along with the alien that will burst out of his chest.”

  • Guest: NASA Astronaut Garrett Reisman

In closing: “That’s it for the Report. Before we go, everybody, I have a special message for my viewers with Colbert Report decoder rings: There are no Colbert Report decoder rings. You got ripped off; I’m sorry. Goodnight!”

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!


  • *Toss: Stephen breaks character after two very white men rap at each other. Haha!*
  • Nation, the big story is still Barack Obama’s world tour. I got to give him credit. Once again today, he made history by being the first man to travel around the world in a plane propelled only by the power of the media’s flash photography.
  • Senator, if you’re going to lie about being on a committee, at least choose a cool one. Like the Senate Committee on Lion-Fighting. Or the Jet-Pack Caucus.
  • And through my connections I managed to get ahold of Obama’s prayer. It reads, ‘Dear God, please protect my nuts from Jesse Jackson.’ Gotta make sure this gets back in that wall. Note to self, put back in wall.
  • You know, I liked that policy the first time I heard it – from the Kool Aid man. OH YEAH!
  • Unfortunately, not many supporters showed up. Possibly due to his advertising flyers: ‘Come to John McCain’s sausage party.’
  • Senator, excellent job matching Obama step for step. But he has been to a lot of countries, so to just cover your bases, you might want to hit an IHOP.
  • Internecine doctrinal debate within the Anglican church! I know! I’m talking, of course, about the Anglican global summit called the Lambeth Conference, which is being held as I speak in Lambeth, England. The Lambeth Conference only happens once every ten years; evidently they have to wait a decade to recover from the excitement of the previous Lambeth Conference.
  • But this year’s conference has been steeped in controversy, folks, and unlike the good old days, it can’t be settled by beheading your wife.
  • Now, the belief that gays shouldn’t be allowed in the priesthood is held by many influential religious figures. For instance, God. He has got a strict ‘don’t ask, go to hell’ policy. And many Anglican bishops agree. Which is why 300 of them boycotted the conference and held a rival and completely hetero meeting in Jerusalem. Where one assumes they discussed traditional church doctrines on football, Mustang convertibles, and taking communion at Hooters.
  • Perhaps the most unexpected combination since Reese’s mayo butter cups.
  • They are demanding that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, put his foot down on gays in the priesthood – which will be awkward considering that his cousin Dumbledore just came out of the closet.
  • You know does have the power is Benedict the Sixteenth, and I’m sure he’d be happy to weigh in on this. I can predict his answer.
    • Goodstein: Which is?
    • Stephen: Hell NO you can’t have gay priests! Why don’t the Anglicans just do what the Catholics do, which is just ordain all the gay priests you want, and then just not talk about it? Nothing could possibly wrong.
  • Some people look at a glass and say it’s half empty. I look at that same glass and say we’re all gonna drown! This is the ThreatDown!
  • Threat #4: New Age Healers. I’ve never trusted these herb-huffers, that’s why I do all my own acupuncture. You would be surprised at what you can cure if you just keep stabbing.
  • I think that makes it best to assume that all New Age healers are war criminals. Sorry, Andrew Weil, the jig’s up!
  • Threat #3: Greek Courts. Earlier this week, an Athens judge ruled that the citizens of the island Lesbos do not have an exclusive right to the word ‘lesbian.’ Meaning homosexual women worldwide can now use the term. That’s right folks, now lesbians can be from anywhere. We all know that being gay is a choice. But being lesbian was something you were born with. By being born on the island of Lesbos. Or by going to Smith College.
  • That is both a threat to our values and a threat to the availability of Subaru Outbacks. I have been on the waiting list for months.
  • Threat #2: Granite Countertops. With more and more homeowners demanding granite countertops, more types of granite are being mined. Unfortunately, some of these types of granite contain high levels of radioactive uranium. Great. Now I’m going to have to buy an Oxo Good Grips Geiger counter.
  • Don’t make your salad angry – you wouldn’t like it when it’s angry. On the bright side, the countertop now doubles as a microwave.
  • *Commercial break: the X-Files movie comes out tomorrow. No matter what the reviews say, I CAN’T WAIT.*
  • You said you were an inch taller in space. How long did that last you?
    • Reisman: You know, I hate to say it, but it went away almost immediately.
  • NASA’s budget has been slashed since I was a kid. What is it up there in space they don’t want us to see?
  • *Trippy screensaver-esque background*
  • What’s the objective of having guys float around for 95 days? *Reisman laughs* That wasn’t in any way reductive of your efforts, was it?
  • When you were up there 95 days, were you ever alone at any time? Cause it’s such a small area.
    • Reisman: It’s bigger than you think. The space station now has got about the volume inside of a 747 airliner. It’s so big now that actually there was a couple of times that I was looking for somebody and I went from one tip of the space station to the other, and I couldn’t find them. I actually had to double back and look again.
    • Stephen: That must have freaked you out.
  • I’ve never learned a new language; English is just fine for me. Thank you very much.
  • Was it ever awkward when you and the other astronauts were in the space station and it would fly by with the chimps we sent up in the fifties? Did you like have a moment of silence, you know, go like ‘Sorry, we had to. . . gotta do what we gotta do.’
  • Reisman: This obviously is a Wriststrong bracelet and I took this with me up to space. It came in handy ’cause it kept my wrist strong so I could do my space walk and operate the robot arm. Also I wrote in here the secret codes to the self-destruct mechanism on the space station.
    • Stephen: Oh, that’s handy in case your robots become self-aware.
    • Reisman: I think I’ve got that all rubbed out, so I know you’re supposed to give it to somebody more famous than you. So I’d like to give this one to you.
    • Stephen: Well, I actually think astronauts are more famous than me, so why don’t we trade.
    • *They perform the WristStrong Bracelet Transfer*
    • Stephen: WOO! Garrett Reisman, thank you sir! Truly one of the heroes!

Fangirl Suit Report: Dark grey suit, white shirt with French cuffs, lavender tie with diamond pattern, WristStrong bracelet. . . from SPACE.


  1. Jenny with a Y says:

    I was confused by the Threatdown last night. What happened to #5 and #1?

    I appreciated the segment about the Lambeth Conference. I am a member of the Anglican community and I needed some comic relief from the struggle that has been going on in my Church. This was my favorite part of the segment: “Why don’t the Anglicans just do what the Catholics do, which is just ordain all the gay priests you want, and then just not talk about it? Nothing could possibly go wrong.”

    It was great to see Garrett Reisman on the show. LOVED the WristStrong bracelet transfer!!!

    • wildlymissingthemark says:

      well, i thought there was a bit of misinformation going on. the problem is not with gay clergy, it is just that the anglican bishop is in an openly gay relationship, right?

      in roman catholicism, if a man has “gay tendencies,” he can still be a priest, assuming the “behavior” has eclipsed a certain period of time and he assumes the vow of celibacy.

    • Ms Interpreted says:

      Regarding the Lambeth Conference and Bishop Gene Robinson, I think I mentioned here before that I read his memoir, In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God. I am not a Christian, but I will state once again that I think he is a remarkable figure, very compassionate and devout, and I cannot recommend his book highly enough. It does not delve deeply into scholarly questions of Bibilical interpretation or particularly erudite theological issues, but it is a very accessible window on a type of Christianity that has been all but drowned out by the shouts of the Religious Right in recent years; the short chapters actually prompted me to consider their content more thoroughly than otherwise.

      I recognize that people’s viewpoints on homosexuality vary, but I found that Bishop Robinson’s very humanity made him the sort of spokesperson for his Church that any religion should be proud to have.

      (If you are interested, NPR has interviewed Bishop Robinson several times. I can’t find the segment I first heard him featured on, but there’s a Fresh Air episode with him here.)

      • Jenny with a Y says:

        Ms I, thank you for this information. I still need to read Bishop Robinson’s book. I will definitely listen to the NPR interview as well.

        Bishop Gene Robinson was ordained at a time when there was already a widening division within the church over issues about the authority of the Bible, whether or not the Bible should be interpreted literally, whether or not the church should sanction same sex unions, etc. The ordination of a man living in an openly gay relationship brought everything to a breaking point. The last few years have been painful and confusing for so many people within the Anglican Communion.

        Wildlymissingthemark, last night’s segment may not have been completely accurate but it provided me with some much needed comic relief. I read several blogs and e-mails today which indicated the same thing. The segment was funny and made people laugh.

  2. Caitlin says:

    OMG Garrett Reisman! My mom and I squeed so hard. We are such astronaut groupies. I’m so glad we live in Florida so we can watch the shuttle launches all the time.

  3. Is anyone else getting annoyed by people clapping instead of laughing at the jokes? This audience was especially bad.

    • Flatpoint Grief Counselor says:

      I agree. They kinda crossed the line into “clapter”, just like Tina Fey says — an over-developed sense of applause in an audience doesn’t add to the show, it distracts. They must have had too much Starbucks before the show. No offense.

  4. I have a pretty serious geekcrush on Garrett Reisman, so of course I’m completely objective when I say what a great interview that was. I had a feeling the WristStrong bracelet he wore at the space station would wind up on Stephen’s wrist.

  5. AmandaIvy says:

    The nerd in me was so overwhelmed when they did the double WristStrong exchange that I started clapping at my tv. Lol. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

    • Jenny with a Y says:

      I understand about the clapping. I did the same thing when Stephen interviewed Garrett Reisman the first time.

  6. Fangirl Suit Report: Dark grey suit, white shirt with French cuffs, lavender tie with diamond pattern, WristStrong bracelet. . . from SPACE.

    I LOVED the wriststrong bracelet transfer … that was so cool. and love the recap in the Fangirl suit report :-)

  7. Hutchwilco says:

    Anyone notice when Stephen was asking Reisman about the frozen chimps in space, that he totally did a Jon Stewart jewish mannerism? The “we gotta do what we gotta do…” bit – that was really Jon Stewart shining through there.

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