Episode 4095 (07/28/2008)

“Do not store me near an open flame; my contents are under pressure. This is The Colbert Report!”

The Prodigal Senator: “Tonight! Barack Obama returns from his trip overseas. I hope he brought back the present I asked for: a concession speech.”

  • Press coverage of Barack Obama, John McCain
  • Stephen does NOT talk about Robert Novak’s car accident

Number 2 with a Bullet: “Plus, my new feature celebrating the Second Amendment. Sorry, Third Amendment fans, my feature on quartering soldiers is next week.”

  • Stephen Colbert’s “Trigger Happy”: DC v. Heller

Toby! Tobi! Tobé!: “And my guest Toby Keith is here to talk about his new movie, Beer for My Horses. It’s just like Brideshead Revisited, but with drunk horses.”

  • Main Guest: Toby Keith (country singer, Beer for My Horses)


Beer for My Horses

In closing: [Toby Keith performs “Beer for My Horses“] “Thank you, Toby, that was beautiful. That you so much. Whiskey for my friends, beer for my horses. Toby Keith! Thank you, friends, good night.”

Video Highlight:

Trigger Happy — DC v. Heller — Allowing former convicts to have guns will give them the confidence to go out and make new friends and/or hostages.

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!

More Video Highlights, courtesy of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report website

  • Full Episode Video
  • Intro – 7/28/08: Barack Obama returns from his trip overseas. Stephen hopes he brought back the present he asked for: a concession speech.
  • Obama Returns: John McCain warns the media that Barack Obama is not the man he appears to be, because he appears to be president.
  • Heroic Refusal to Discuss Robert Novak: Stephen takes some calls to hear what his viewers think about his difficult decision to not talk about Robert Novak.
  • Toby Keith: With “Beer for My Horses,” Stephen worries that Toby Keith will start hanging out with Sean Penn and chaining himself to whales.
  • [Editor’s note: The video of Toby Keith’s performance will be linked when/if it becomes available.]


  • I hope everybody had a great weekend. I — I certainly needed the break after suffering through the Obama-thon last week. It was just like a real marathon: at the end, I threw up and my nipples were bleeding.
  • And what gets me is that the press said the trip revealed Obama as a “statesman”. No, it revealed him as a “weenie”. Look at the photos the Germans were holding up and getting all excited about: Obama on a bicycle.
  • Senator, a real President doesn’t even wear a helmet. He doesn’t even have brakes! He makes Congress stop him.
  • And I’m not the only one who’s noticed the press’ bias against John McCain, so has John McCain. Last week, his campaign sent an e-mail to reporters saying, “It’s pretty obvious that the media has a bizarre fascination with Barack Obama. Some may even say it’s a love affair …”
  • This has got to be hard on McCain. It is tough seeing your old flame with someone new.
  • John McCain and the media had a very hot fling back in the summer of 2000. They even had cute little nicknames for each other. The press called McCain “Maverick”, and McCain called the press any time he wanted favorable coverage.
  • But John McCain isn’t holding a grudge here, no! He’s just trying to protect the press! Warning them that the new man in their life is not what he appears to be — because what he appears to be is the President.
  • You see, Obama is giving speeches behind a sorta Presidential seal, his new airplane has been nicknamed “‘O’ Force One” — he’s even talking like the President. [Clip of Obama saying, “Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s …”] Needless to say, that statement enraged the Palestinians, who are a strong friend of the Palestinians.
  • This guy is so presumptuous! Hey, Obama, this election isn’t over until the Supreme Court says it is!
  • And no one has pointed this out more clearly than John McCain. [Clip of McCain saying, “I’d love to give a speech in Germany, but I’d much prefer to do it as President of the United States rather than as a candidate for the Office of Presidency.”] Exactly. When you’re just a candidate, it is wrong to act like you’re the President. Something McCain never does. Just look at this ad. [Rolls McCain ad showing McCain walking toward the camera, the words “President McCain” written up the left hand side of the screen] See?! He’s not acting like he’s President; he’s just saying he’s the President. Big difference!
  • By the way, if you’re wondering why “President McCain” is written vertically, it’s so it can be read by his supporters … who are mostly bed-ridden.
  • Now, Nation, you’ve all heard by now about last week’s story involving columnist Robert Novak. Mr. Novak was driving through D.C. when he hit a male pedestrian in his sixties who was later hospitalized with minor injuries. It’s a pretty big story, and I had planned to dedicate the next five minutes to cover it.
  • But sadly, Mr. Novak announced that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. In light of that, we are not going to talk about this story tonight, even though I was going to defend Bob. Fact of the matter is, it’s just not a subject I think it’s appropriate to bring up. Mr. Novak, I’m sure all Americans, regardless of whether they agree with you or not, wish you well, as do all of us here at The Report. I consider this subject closed.
  • Wow. [Choked up] Does everybody see what’s happening here? I’m not doing something I planned on doing just because of how it might affect someone else. [Brightening] I’m pretty impressed with myself right now!
  • And you know, folks, it’s even more impressive when you consider that I have nothing to talk about now! We have, like, three minutes left before ’til the commercial, and I’m up on a high wire with my junk flappin’ in the breeze!
  • You know, it’s moments like this that really show my understanding of what is or is not appropriate. I — I am deeply moved by me. Jimmy, do we have a shot of me right now?
  • *Contemplative Stephen. It’s … Rodin-esque!*
  • Let’s take some calls. I’d like to hear what you viewers think of the difficult decision I just made.
    • ‘Teresa P.’: Frankly Stephen, I think this is the least you can do. [Stephen: Excuse me?] You’re just dropping your coverage of a minor traffic accident; this guy has a life-threatening disease! Come on! I think talking about something else is the least you can do.
    • Stephen: No, ma’am, the least I could do is the show exactly as I planned. I had a great guest; I had the guy who rode his bike in front of Novak’s car! You see him on any other talk shows? No! And you’re not going to see him here, either, because I’m not talking about it! Next caller …
    • ‘Greg M.’: Yeah, Stephen, I think this is great. This is you all the way: Classic Colbert. [Stephen: Thank you, sir.] You bet. I think it’s just great that you would do this. I’m sure you wouldn’t talk about Ted Kennedy’s diagnosis either.
    • Stephen: That is completely different. I will talk about Ted Kennedy, if that’s what it takes to protect you from his socialized medicine. Let the Canadians not talk about him on their talk shows. Next caller!
    • ‘Brent L.’: Stop talking about this! Stop it! If you’re not gonna talk about Robert Novak, then stop talking about him!
    • Stephen: I’m not talking about Robert Novak, sir, you’re talking about Robert Novak. All I’m talking about is me, not talking about Robert Novak. Get your facts straight …
    • ‘Stephen C.’: Hi, Stephen! This is you, Stephen. You recorded this phone call about forty-five minutes ago, before you decided whether or not you were gonna cover the Novak story.
      • Stephen: Hi, Stephen. Well, uh, what’s your question?
      • ‘Stephen C.’: Well, I was just wondering what you decided. Are you doing the story?
      • Stephen: No, I decided not to. It’s just not right.
      • ‘Stephen C.’: Wow! That means you’ve got nothing to talk about! It’s like you’re up on a high wire with your junk flappin’ in the breeze!
      • Stephen: I just said that!
      • ‘Stephen C.’: I cannot imagine the kind of courage that must have taken!
  • You can find out more about my decision in my upcoming Colbert Report Special Report, “Silent Night: Stephen Colbert’s Heroic Refusal to Discuss Robert Novak”.
  • Nation, everybody knows that I am something of a gun-thusiast. I have a firearm for every occasion: weddings, bar mitzvahs, even funerals. If I’m going to give up a Sunday morning, I wanna make sure that person is dead.
  • That is why I am proud to introduce my new segment bringing you the good news about guns, “Stephen Colbert’s ‘Trigger Happy’ “.
  • Now the NRA asked to sponsor this segment, but I said, no! They are too soft on gun rights. They actually invite people to pry their guns from their cold, dead hands. When I die, my guns will be hot-glued to my palms.
  • As always, joining me for “Trigger Happy” is my lovely co-host, Sweetness! What? What’s that? What’s that, Sweetness? No, of course that’s not another gun in my pocket. I just really love this segment.
  • Last month, the Supreme Court decided the case DC v. Heller, overturning Washington, DC’s longstanding ban on handguns. It is the first time the Supreme Court ruled a gun law unconstitutional on Second Amendment grounds. It was a 5-4 decision, or 6-4, if you count Scalia’s “little friend“.
  • This is the kind of handgun freedom our Founding Fathers wanted! Except maybe Alexander Hamilton.
  • And it is already having impact, folks. For instance, convicted felons now say laws keeping them from owning guns are also unconstitutional. Sweetness and I agree. Allowing former convicts to have guns will give them the confidence to go out and make new friends and/or new hostages.
  • The Supreme Court ruling is sure to have an effect on other gun cases, as well. For example, the Department of the Interior has proposed repealing the ban on guns in National Parks. This would be another big win for gun owners. There is no better way to enjoy the majesty of Old Faithful than through your ‘scope. Oh — oh, it will erupt on time!
  • Another case involves a new Florida law that lets people bring guns to work. Disney World is fighting this law, but is there a better place for a gun? There’s plenty of big game. Plus — what’s that? Oh, that’s right, Sweetness. She and I never have to wait in those long lines.
  • All this thanks to DC v. Heller. If only there was some way to commemorate this landmark decis — What’s that, Sweetness? Oh, that’s right. In honor of the ruling, gunmaker Smith & Wesson has announced a commemorative revolver with engraved with the words “DC v. Heller” on a scale of justice tipped toward Heller. That is the way our Founding Fathers intended for you to be held up at a liquor store.
  • Of course, this is not the first ruling Smith & Wesson has honored with a special edition gun. To mark the “Scopes Monkey Trial“, they released this commemorative derringer, “Monkey See, Monkey Die!”
  • Well, that’s all for “Trigger Happy”. Before we go, it’s time for “Things We’d Like To Shoot”. Okay, Sweetness, your turn what would you like to shoot this week? What’s that? Fictional mobster Sonny Corleone? Really? All right
  • My guest tonight is here to talk about his new movie, Beer for My Horses. It’s the sequel to Willie Nelson’s, Pot for My Ponies. Please welcome Toby Keith!
  • Now, have you ever tried to give beer to a horse?
    • Keith: They actually do … when we did the song, you’d be surprised how many people come up, in the race horse business, and say, “Hey, when we retire our horses, we take ’em back as pets, they love beer right out of the bottle.” So you’d be surprised.
    • Stephen: Really? Wow.
    • Keith: Don’t ask a question —
    • Stephen: I imagine if you gave your beer too much — your horse too much beer, it could be an awkward morning.
    • Keith: It could be.
    • Stephen: Don’t remember what happened last night!
    • Keith: Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to, Steve.
  • … This movie is based on a song and a video that you had already made previously —
    • Keith: Me and Willie Nelson made it back in — it was a six week number one back in, ah, three or four years ago. And the whole theme of the “whiskey for my men, beer for my horses” is a toast that this old man used to do when I was a kid on the rodeo circuit. And at the end of the night, he would say “whiskey for my men, beer for my horses, stocks bedded down,” and so I just carried that forward with me and made a song out of it. Now we’ve made it into a Southern comedy, which is usually a Southern tragedy, and … you laugh —
    • Stephen: Well, some people see the entire South as a tragedy and some people see the entire South as a comedy. It depends on whether you were raised there, or whether you just visit.
    • Keith: Well, we in the South like to laugh at ourself as much as anybody, then that allows us to laugh at everybody else twice as much.
    • Stephen: Exactly.
  • Was it different, like, writing a — a movie script than writing a song, for you?
    • Keith: Yeah, ’cause nothing has to rhyme. You can go do anything you wanna do …
    • Stephen: [laughing] I was hoping this whole movie was in rhyming couplets!
  • Anybody who does not go see the movie Beer for My Horses does not love America.

Fangirl Suit Report: Charcoal suit, silver shirt with two-button barrel cuffs. Navy tie with silver diamond pattern. WristSTRONG bracelet.


  1. prazzledazzle says:

    Hooray for the return of Sweetness! It’s complete gold when Toby Keith calls Stephen, “Steve”. Heehee, it makes me so giddy.

    • Jenny with a Y says:

      I love Sweetness! I hope we see more Sweetness related segments in the future.

  2. ColbertGirl27 says:

    I love it when Stephen talks to his gun. Um, yeah. That gun graphic was hilarious!

    Though not a big Toby Keith fan, loved his ad libbed “pot for my ponies” at the end of his song. Haha.

  3. ColbertGirl27 says:

    P.S. I would like to clarify that my posts are made only at 12:22 west coast time:)

  4. Jenny with a Y says:

    The Robert Novak segment was well done. When Stephen first began to talk about Novak, I had this fear that news of his brain tumor hadn’t reached TCR before the show was taped. I was so relieved when I realized where the segment was going. Only “Stephen” could take a story about someone else’s brain tumor and make it about himself. I was proud of his “heroic refusal to discuss Robert Novak”. :-)

    I enjoyed the Toby Keith interview much more than I thought I would. The first time I saw him on the show, he seemed confused about what was going on. That wasn’t the case last night.

    I still wonder what happened to #5 and #1 of Thursday night’s Threatdown. I thought that maybe something was being set-up for this week. I was hoping Stephen would mention them on the show last night.

    • Agreed, on all points =]

    • Totally loved how he turned that Robert Novak bit around and made it so Stephen-centric. The whole bit was just genius.

      Ahh, the wonder of The Joy Machine…

      I’m so with you on the missing Threat Downs…what’s up with that?

  5. zonkbert says:

    Was one of the callers a regular of nofactzone? I believe I heard he mentioned Stephen did a “Klassik Kolbert.” ;)

  6. looped linear says:

    “Is that *another* gun in your pocket…?” =D

    *Loved* Toby Keith’s 60’s era, white leather go-go girl cap, with shades at-the-ready….he’s a brave man. I wonder how he’d dress if he decided to go Hollywood?

    The song/film were boring, but on the up-side, Keith has really cute dimples.

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