Episode 4123 (09/30/2008)

“The days of atonement are upon us. I apologize for being perfect. This is The Colbert Report!”

Pass/Bail: “Tonight! Congress rejects the bailout plan and protects American jobs: their own.”

  • The financial disaster proves that the U.S. is still # 1!
  • Republicans blame Nancy Pelosi’s speech for the failure of the bailout plan
  • Oil companies — and Prescott Oil! — love the Earth

Run from the Border: “And: there’s a new solution to the illegal immigration problem; please say it’s man-sized glue traps.”

  • Tip/Wag — Wall Street Jagoffs
    • Wag: The New York Times
    • Tip: Bette Midler
    • Tip: Wall Street jagoffs

Fire and Pain: “Then, my guest James Taylor has a new album of cover songs. I can’t wait to hear him sing ‘Fergalicious‘.”

  • Singer songwriter James Taylor talks about his Covers album


James Taylor, Covers

In closing: “Thank you very much, everybody. I had hoped we would have time for James to do a song; unfortunately, the interview went a little longer than I had wanted … the album is ‘James Taylor: Covers’. That’s it for the Report, everybody, good night!”

Video Highlight: Tip/Wag – Wall Street Jagoffs — Thanks to the Wall Street jagoffs, illegal immigrants are leaving the US and returning home.

R.A.P.S. – Vote on your favorite segment of the show here!

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!

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

  • Intro — 9/30/08: Congress rejects the bailout plan and protects American jobs — their own.
  • Partisanship Kills the Bailout: Nancy Pelosi’s partisan speech makes Republicans vote against what they think is in the best interest of the country.
  • Prescott Oil Loves the Earth: Every gallon of Prescott gas you buy goes towards researching alternative fuel.
  • James Taylor: James Taylor performs “(I’m A) Road Runner” from his new album “Covers.”
  • Out of Time: There isn’t enough time for another James Taylor song.


  • Let me begin tonight’s show by saying to my Jewish viewers out there, Happy New Year! Now, for the Chinese I believe it is the Year of the Rat, and for my Jewish brethren, I believe it is the Year of the Brisket.
  • Now, I know for some people out there, this isn’t that happy of a New Year; some people are on edge about this little economic “apocalypse”, but do not worry. Yesterday just proved that America is still a world leader. The Dow Jones dropped 777 points and, of course, we were followed by Japan, Britain, France, Mexico; even Malawi’s stock market took a hit! Which is particularly significant because, until yesterday, they did not even have a stock market. They started one just so it could plummet.
  • These copycat catastrophes prove that we still lead the world. WHOO!! We’re # 1! We’re # 1! We’re # 1!
  • I think this unprecedented financial crisis is great news for George Bush. Now, THIS will be the President’s legacy. It will cover up all the other things that were going to be his legacy.
  • I mean, just think of Iraq, torture, wiretapping, Katrina, as little paint drips on the floor of his presidency. This financial disaster is like painting the whole floor: now I don’t see any mistakes. Really freshens the place up. Now sure, people in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward still don’t have houses but, soon, neither will anyone else.
  • It knocks every other scandal off the front page. I’ll prove it; yesterday, the Justice Department announced that they were appointing a special prosecutor investigating the U.S. Attorney firing scandal. The New York Times reported it on page A16! A16 — slightly less prominently than “Urban Deer Culled in Montana Capital”.
  • Now who can the President thank for making the last seven years look so good, in retrospect? House Republican Eric Cantor fingers the culprit: [clip of Cantor criticizing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “partisan speech” that “frankly, struck a tone that was inappropriate in this discussion”].
  • That’s right: Nancy Pelosi did it. Her partisan speech yesterday made Republicans vote against what they thought was in the best interests of the country. I cannot even imagine how bad that speech must have been! Jim — Jimmy, give me a little taste. [Clip of Pelosi saying, “Seven hundred billion dollars. A staggering number, but only a part of the cost of the failed Bush economic policies.”] How dare you! Oh! I’m sorry, I just — I have no choice. [Takes out laptop, begins typing] “Dear Iran, Nancy Pelosi made me so angry. Here are our nuclear launch codes.” And — send! Blood’s on your hands, Nancy.
  • Of course, many Republicans opposed this bailout bill on ideological grounds, like California Republican Darrell Issa [clip of Issa, “Today we are ending the Reagan era if we vote for this … we will have permanently put a coffin on top of the coffin of Ronald Reagan.”] Think of it! A coffin, on top of a coffin. That is twice as dead. Wait a second — who’s in the top coffin? Is it Hoover? Is it Nixon? I know it’s not Lincoln, ’cause I’ve got him at home. Shh.
  • Now, folks out there are calling those against the bailout cowards, saying they only voted “no” because they were worried about their re-election. Well, I have gotten to “Better Know” a lot of these congressmen who voted against the bailout, like Georgia’s Phil Gingrey, Kentucky’s John Yarmuth and California’s Brad Sherman, and these men clearly do not care about being re-elected. [Montage of “Better Know a District” clips] And yet they are re-elected.
  • Last week the Democrat Congress voted to lift the twenty-six year ban on offshore drilling, thereby ending our dependence on foreign oil by one percent, ten to twenty years from now.
  • It is about time these oil companies caught a break! It has not been easy for them. Every time their profits go up, so do gas prices; they cannot win.
  • And as for the environmental impact of drilling, folks, no one cares more about the environment than oil companies. Don’t believe me? Just ask them. [Montage of commercials showing the oil companies’ scientists talking about alternate energy sources, etc.] A lot of people talk about loving the Earth, but how many of them actually penetrate it?
  • Now there is one company out there that loves the planet more than any of the others: Prescott Oil. At a recent golf retreat, the good folks at Prescott explained to me how we can all do more for the planet.
  • Prescott infomercial follows
    • [Voiceover] Prescott Oil asks, “What do you want from your oil company?”
    • [Man on the street] Look for the alternative energy of the future. [Voiceover: “We are.”]
    • [Woman with her family] As a mom, I want an oil company that cares about my kids. [Voiceover: “Oh, we do! Christopher and Amanda, right?”] Yeah!
    • [Voiceover, to biker on the street] “And what do you want from your oil company? [Biker: “Oil?”] Besides oil. [Biker: “Uh, to care about the Earth.”] We do!
    • At Prescott Oil, we love the Earth. We’re passionate about its canyons. We’re obsessed with its meadows. And we have a thing for baby animals. [Montage of majestic vistas and adorable baby animals]
    • That’s why Prescott Oil is committed to exploring the alternative energies and breakthrough technologies with the potential to be near-term solutions for an enhanced future.
    • Take a look at this chart [pie chart saying “Intentions – Aims – Goals”]. Now this one [graph plotting “Enhanced Future” and “Solutions”]. See, we at Prescott are more committed to finding alternative fuels than you could imagine [bar graph shows a high amount of “Prescott Commitment” vs. a low level of “Your Imagination”].
    • But we can’t save the Earth without you. [Montage of high fuel consumption activities] Every gallon of Prescott gas you buy goes toward researching alternative fuels.
    • [Woman with her family] So the more I drive, the better it is for the Earth? [Voiceover: “Madame, you’re as intelligent as you are beautiful.”] Thank you.
    • [Biker] Wait, so you’re saying that when I ride my bike to work, it’s like I don’t care about the environment. [Voiceover: “Because you don’t.”] I’m not sure I understand. [Voiceover: “You don’t have to. Just be confident that we’re working on the problem. So confident, you can forget there is a problem.”] But … [Voiceover: “It’s simple. The more gas you buy, the more solved the problem is.”] Okay. [Voiceover: “Great!”]
    • One day, led by Prescott Oil, we’ll live in harmony with nature, and all our energy needs will be renewable. As long as we all work together. [Montage of hamsters on their wheels, slaves rowing in a galley, etc.] But we’re not there yet, so keep buying gas, and get off our case. Prescott Oil: Leave us alone. We’re on it!
  • You know, folks, there is an old old saying here at The Report: if you want the weather to change, wait five minutes; if you want my opinion to change, you can go f*#k yourself. This is Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger!
  • First, a vigorous wag of my finger at The New York Times, whose crossword puzzles repeatedly feature the word “Obama” as an answer, whereas “McCain” has not appeared once. And it’s not just the crossword that’s in the tank for Obama; just look at this game from the Chess column: Black wins!
  • Sure, apologists for the Old Gray Lady say “Obama” is simply easier to place in a crossword because it contains more vowels than McCain, but that just means vowels are elitist. Think about it: there are only six of them, and one of them’s a flip-flopper. Pick a side, Y, we’re at war!
  • Next, tip of the hat to singer, actress and bathhouse icon Bette Midler, who announced that she will stop touring and set up shop at Caesar’s Palace because of the environmental impact of her fourteen tour trucks. First of all, since when is Bette Midler an environmentalist? She has single-handedly tried to drive ostriches into extinction.
  • But at least the “Divine Miss M” is helping the environment in a way I approve: by moving her show to a town that would not exist without diverting millions of gallons of fresh water every day for pools, toilets and dancing fountains in the middle of a desert. And which, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, is lit and air-conditioned like Redi Kilowatt’s wet dream. Though I’m guessing it’s not a great idea for Redi to get wet, ever.
  • Although I believe Vegas now gets thirty percent of its energy from the heat generated by crushed souls. [Audience “Awws”] Really!? “Aww” for Vegas — “aww” for Vegas! Really. That’s where your sympathies lie now. God help us.
  • Finally, a tip of the hat to all the Wall Street jagoffs who got us into this mess. Thanks to them flushing the economy down the ol’ dumper, illegal immigrants are leaving the U.S. and returning home.
  • Clearly, this was the jagoffs’ master plan: drive the economy into the ground until Guatemala is the land of opportunity.
  • Of course, we will need someone to take over the illegal immigrants’ jobs. Luckily, we’ve got all these unemployed Wall Street jagoffs lying around. Instead of picking stocks, now they can pick strawberries, and hedge fund managers can finally live up to their name trimming hedges.
  • My guest tonight just released a new album of cover songs. In that spirit, I will be asking him questions by Wolf Blitzer. Please welcome James Taylor!
  • Can I just say how refreshing it is to see a musicians in a coat and tie? Mostly, my musical guests come on in unitards … You almost look respectable. If I didn’t know what you did, I’d think you had a job.
  • Now, you, sir, you and I have something in common.
    • Taylor: Yes, that’s true; we both come from North Carolina?
    • Stephen: South Carolina … we come from Carolinas. We actually have something even more important in common. We both lost an Emmy this year to Don Rickles. You were nominated for a best “Outstanding Music/Variety Show” against Rickles, and he won that, and then he beat me for “Outstanding Performance”. But, now, we can’t — we can’t, you know.
    • Taylor: We must bow to greatness.
    • Stephen: Exactly. I — you know, he’s eighty-two, and he’s a legend, and I say we jump him in an alley and beat him with pipes.
    • Taylor: Yep.
    • Stephen: Agree with that? [Taylor nods, shakes hands on it] Fantastic. Now, you have a new album; it’s called Covers … you’ve got your Glen Campbell on here, you’ve got your Leonard Cohen. Why no Wu-Tang Clan?
    • Taylor: Well, you know, we — we’re working on that.
    • Stephen: [laughing] You’re building up to it? Maybe “Covers 2”?
  • This album was first available for sale on QVC. How is it selling compared to a three-piece set of lightweight rolling luggage?
  • Talk about — your personality is considered, by outsiders, very mellow. Is it an act, or is that real? Are you as mellow as your own music would — would play you to be?
    • Taylor: I’m pretty mellow, yeah.
    • Stephen: Yeah? How about your stage show? Are there any pyrotechnics or anything like that? Like, when you do “Fire and Rain“, are there, like, flash pots and a rain machine?
    • Taylor: [nodding, somewhat sheepishly]
    • Stephen: [laughing] Yeah?
    • Taylor: We have gone for that.
    • Stephen: You have gone for that? By the way, is that song about alternative fuel, like, ah, fire and … hydraulic power, something like that?
    • Taylor: Possibly. It’s a mystery to me, but I think maybe so.
    • Stephen: People, people interpret so much of your words … they know your words, they know your music, they read so much into you, but — but as a bottom line, who are you? Do you have your own philosophy? Are there words that you live by, James Taylor?
    • Taylor: Stephen, I think that Junior Walker probably said it best when he said: [breaks into Junior Walker’s “(I’m a) Road Runner”]
      • Money, who needs it?
        Just to live my life free and easy
        Put the toothbrush in my hand
        And let me be a travelin’ man
        I’m a roadrunner …
  • Well, I, um — I see what you mean. Um, I tell you, we gotta go; could you stick around and do a song? … That would be great. James Taylor, everybody!

Fangirl Suit Report: Black suit, ivory shirt with French cuffs. Gold tie with subtle geometric pattern. WristSTRONG bracelet.

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