Episode 4119 (9/23/2008)

“Hey, autumnal equinox! If the nights are getting longer, why is my show still only a half-hour? This is The Colbert Report!”

Bailing Wall: “Tonight, the government wants to spend $700 Billion to bail out Wall Street. What’s the quickest way to set-up a massive failing firm?”

The Wørd: OhMyGodSocietyIsCollapsingAndWeWillSoonBeDevouringEachOtherIn

What Can Browne Do For My Show?: “And my guest Jackson Browne is suing John McCain for using one of his songs. But McCain has a very good lawyer: Sarah Palin’s shotgun.”

Jackson BrowneTime the Conquerer

In closing: “Noooooo! Goodnight everybody!”

Video Highlight:

The Word – OhMyGodSocietyIsCollapsing…:
We have to give unchecked financial power to the president and his appointees so they can implement a plan that no one understands.

R.A.P.S. – Click here to talk about the episode!

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!

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


  • Nation, this weekend Senator John McCain and his Vice Presidential running mate [interrupting self] Who am I kidding, WE WON AN EMMY!! WOO!!
  • I got this baby, along with my writers, for outstanding writing for a variety, music, or comedy series. That’s like three Emmys!
  • You know what? I take it all back. Hollywood is not a soulless den of sin and sodomy. It is a soulless den of sin and sodomy with excellent taste.
  • Of course, on this fateful Emmy night, with victory…[turns to close-up on camera three]…came tragedy. For when it was time for me to get my Emmy, the one I don’t have to share with stupid writers, the Academy gave my award to someone else.
  • RICKLES!!! It’s not fair. Last year they gave my Emmy to Tony Bennett. BENNETT!!! The year before they gave it to Barry Manilow. MANILOW!!!
  • [Flashing graphics] BENNETT! RICKLES! BENNETT-MANILOW!! BENNETT!! RICKLES!! BENNETT!!….Vigoda?…MANILOW!! I am exhausted just from being angry.
  • Reprimanding Writer Peter Grosz
    • Stephen: Peter, did you go see Don Rickles show in Las Vegas?
    • Peter: Oh, no no…
    • Stephen: Liar!! Look at this [shows screen grab from Rickles Special]
    • Peter: That’s not me, Stephen
    • Stephen: Then who is it?
    • Peter: That’s the guy from those Sonic ads
    • Stephen: You look nothing like the guy from the Sonic ads! Peter, you helped Rickles steal my Emmy by enjoying his show. Now pay me back. You are gonna SIT down in that audience tonight.
    • Peter: Awww!
    • Stephen: And you are going to enjoy my show so much, that the Emmy voters will know they made a mistake.
    • Peter: I don’t know why I’m being punished for something that Sonic guy did.
    • Stephen: Sit down and start smiling.
    • Peter: Fine. [sits down and forces a smile]
    • Stephen: Nation, I’ve stopped listening to all the negative news about the financial collapse, mostly because the walls of my panic room.
    • Peter: [laughing hysterically]
    • Stephen: Hey Peter, it sound like you’re really enjoying the show.
    • Peter: [reading Don Rickles’ book] Oh man, he knew Clark Gable!
  • We are headed for disaster unless we listen to the President and Treasury Secretary Paulson and cushion the Wall Street crash [With A Fluffy Pile Of Foreclosed Homes]
  • It could cost a trillion dollars. To put that into terms a layman could understand, you can’t. [Think Of It As One Euro]
  • Now we don’t know this plan will work, how the debt transfer will operate, when liquidity will be restored, or which CEOs get to dip themselves in glue and run naked through the Treasury Department money pit. [Finders Keepers]
  • But faced with the most complicated financial problem in modern history, the answer is obvious [Invade Iran?]
  • The administration wants Congress to pass legislation in a week. I say “Why so long”? [Rubber Stamp Out Of Ink?]
  • Sure, it maybe it took 10 years to raise the minimum wage $1.40 but a complete overhaul of our financial system is one blank check. They’ll write in what they need [Like Mad Libs, But With Numbers!]
  • Now sure, in this case the firefighters like Paulson who spent over 30 years at Goldman Sachs may also technically be the arsenists. But that just means he knows a lot about firies [And Blowing Smoke Up Our Ass]
  • And yes the smoke alarms are proposed additions to the bill like capping CEO pay so maybe the analogy would be more accurate if he had said “When there’s a fire in your kitchen you don’t want someone stopping the firefighters from stealing your stereo”
  • But speaking of firefighters, this meltdown is the worst crisis to confront America since 9/11. And like 9/11, no one could have seen this coming. Although that memo titled “Banking Industry Determined to Strike Within U.S.”
  • And like after that terrible emergency we now need to give the powers that be more powers that will be. Well mission accomplished. Just look at Section 8 of the Treasury Bill which states “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this act are non-reviewable” That is the kind of efficiency Alberto Gonzales brought to the Justice Department. [Now Just Called “The Department”]
  • By the way, and most importantly, is the bill passed yet?? [No] How ’bout now? [Nope?] What’s taking so long? [Rome Wasn’t Bankrupted In A Day]
  • Now sure, maybe this plan doesn’t address the root causes of this crisis, but Secretary Paulson has an answer for this [Paulson: This is a critical debate for another day”] Right! We have to give unchecked power to the President and his appointees now to implement a plan that no one understands. [Especially The President And His Appointees]
  • Then later, much later, when the crisis is either over or far far worse, there will be plenty of time to decide if this plan was a good idea, if we could review the actions of the Secretary, which we can’t. [Hindsight Is $2020 Billion]
  • The point is this is one of the most important, irrevocable, economic. Let’s make it in a state of panic.
  • [Insults Peter Grosz wrote about Peter Grosz] Here’s a good one…If Peter Grosz were any stupider, he’d host the Colbert Report. That’s gotta sting, Pete.
  • How about this zinger right here? Peter Grosz’s resume is on Monster.com. He is tired of working for this a-hole. I don’t get that one but I’m sure it burns.
  • One more, Stephen Colbert is so clueless he will read anything I write on an index card without even realizing what he’s saying. Watch: I’m Stephen Colbert and I’m the king of Poop-Town. Harsh words, Pete. You had it coming.
  • Nation, every Presidential campaign needs a theme song. In the old days there was “Tippe Canoe and Tyler Too”, “I Like Ike”, and “Vote For Taft, He’s A Human Raft”.
  • Recently the rock band Heart told McCain to stop using the song Barracuda after it was played at the GOP Convention as a nod to Sarah Palin who famously fishes for Barracuda by shooting them from a helicopter.
  • When we return I will be joined by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne who is suing McCain for using his song “Running On Empty” in an anti-Obama ad. Well I say if Jackson Browne didn’t want McCain to use his song, then why did he write it about Barack Obama?
  • Interview with Jackson Browne
    • Stephen: How dare you deny John McCain anything. Need I remind you who else denied him the use of their song rights? The Viet Cong! Okay? The man gets anything he wants now!
    • Browne: Yeah, evidently.
    • Stephen: What are your concerns he doesn’t share?
    • Browne: Well, besides copyright? Besides honoring artists’ right to their property?
    • Stephen: Oh it’s free everything. Free love, free speech, but not free songs.
    • Browne: That’s right.
    • Stephen: That’s very selective with your freedom there, Jack.
    • Stephen: You didn’t endorse me when I ran for President. And I didn’t even use one of your songs. I used Devo’s Whip It. And I got in some trouble for that. They were pretty mad at me but I think it was a perfectly valid use of a song because as you know the lyrics say when a problem mcomes along, you must whip it.
    • Stephen: You’re no fan of nuclear energy, are you? What are your problems with nuclear energy, other than the fact that there might be an accident or a meltdown or fallout from a terrorist attack? Other than those three things, I’ve named them, what else?
    • Browne: Problem is that they still don’t know what to do with the waste. They still act as if they’re gonna work all that out in the next little while but it’s been 50, 60 years now.
    • Stephen: Why don’t we just spread the waste evenly, from state to state, or do you have something against mutants now? Yeah, everyone should be accepted, except for people with psychic power.
    • Stephen: You have a new album out called Time The Conquerer. Is that safe to assume that it is about a time-traveling conquistador?
    • Browne Sorta. Yeah, no, it’s about the fact that time is the one thing that’ll conquer all of us.
    • Stephen: That’s why we should stay in Iraq for 100 years because that’s the best way to conquer it. Just throw as much time as we possibly can at it.
    • Browne: We should be out of Iraq as fast as we can.
    • Stephen: Whose side are you on in this war?
    • Browne: Ah, that’s a good question.
    • Stephen: That’s an EXCELLENT question!
    • Browne: I ask that on my new album on a song called “The Drums of War”. Who is the enemy?
    • Stephen: The blame America first crowd.
    • Browne:Who is the enemy trying to crush us? Who is the enemy of truth and justice? Who is the enemy of peace and freedom? Where are the courts, now when we need them?
    • Stephen: Oh just because it rhymes doesn’t make it true, Jackson! That’s not fair! I don’t have a rhyming dictonary back here.
    • Browne: We better stop them while we are able.
    • Stephen: Will you come back and rhyme with a guitar?
  • During Jackson Browne’s song
    • Stephen: So what’d you think?
    • Peter:: Wow Stephen. I think next year Jackson Browne really deserves an Emmy.
    • Stephen: Noooooo! Goodnight everybody!

Manfan Suit Report: He was wearing a suit and a tie and a WRISTstrong bracelet. I don’t know. I’m a man!

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