Episode 4155 (12/3/2008)

Portions of this show may have been prerecorded. I’ve done so many it’s hard to remember. This is The Colbert Report!”

Cabinet Installation: “Tonight, the media reacts to Obama’s cabinet picks. There’s a debate over whether to shower him with praise or adulation.”

  • NASA Spider Escapes

The Wørd: Barack-Handed Compliment

Check Point Churlish: “Then, I profile another border security success story. I believe that makes two.”

  • Nailed ‘Em – Radical Knitting

Tear Down That Walters: “And Barbara Walters is here to promote her special, the ‘Ten Most Fascinating People of 2008’. Funny, I don’t remember her interviewing me ten times.”

  • Barbara Walters – Broadcaster; Author, “Audition”


Barbara WaltersAudition

In closing: “Tonight! I’m just kidding, it’s not really the beginning of the show, it’s the end. But wasn’t it a nice feeling while it lasted? Good night, everybody.”

Video Highlight:

NASA Spider Escapes
If the escaped spider successfully combines itself with Stephen’s DNA in space, it’ll be unstoppable.

The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

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


  • “It is so good to have you with us… But for how long?”
  • “Sorry, I don’t mean to alarm you… Your last moments on Earth should be peaceful ones.”
  • “Let me explain… The Earth is about to be overrun with giant space spiders!
  • “Recently, an orb-weaver spider on the international space station escaped its cage. It was there as part of an experiment to see if spiders could spin their webs in zero gravity. This of course was just the latest in a long series of NASA’s animal torture studies, answering the questions: ‘can a monkey peel a banana underwater?’ ‘can horses parachute?’ and ‘can you make Tang from dehydrated flamingos?’ [mouths: “Yes you can.
  • “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to send spiders into space.”
  • “Don’t they know that sending insects into space makes them grow fifty feet tall?! That is basic drive-in movie science!”
  • “Richard Garriot took an important new payload up to the space station: my DNA, or, Me-NA! Oh, you just know the spider’s gonna go for my DNA. I can barely contain myself when I’m around that stuff.”
  • “That spider is eight legs deep in my space-jam.”
  • “If that spider can successfully combine itself with my DNA, he will be unstoppable. Just think, eight legs means eight balls! I’ve only got two, and i can barely keep them from destroying the world.”
  • “But what really terrifies me is that this hybrid man-spider could look almost exactly like me. If it came to Earth, it could trap me in its sticky web, learn my mannerisms, then secretly replace me and no one would be the wiser! Thank God that did not happen.” [As Stephen picks up his papers, two more hands come from under his desk.]
  • “Of course, a 50-foot long, 8-balled space spider with Stephen Colbert’s cunning and taste for human flesh is not America’s only challenge.
  • “I believe the noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin put it best when she said, ‘It’s the end of the republic, bitches! Better learn ya some f@#king Chinese!'”
  • “Of course I want [President-elect Barack Obama] to fall flat on his face. But only after he’s fixed my 401(k).”
  • “In times like these, you must root for the commander-in-chief. And if you’re smart, you must also zombie-proof your house.”
  • [After a video montage of various politicians applauding Obama, which ended with a clip of the “In Your Eyes” scene from Say Anything…]”I believe that was George Stephanopoulos there at the end.”
  • “Isn’t there a way to say something nice to someone and be a douchebag at the same time?”
  • As always, folks, I turn to the master, Rush Limbaugh, a man so wired to destroy civil discourse, that many believe he was sent from the future to do so.”
  • “Rush is praising Obama not for trying to help the country, but for being so conniving, he makes Lex Luthor look like a candy-striper.”
  • “And then, Obama’s so shrewd, when Hillary sleeps over in the Lincoln bedroom, he’ll put her hand in warm water so she wet’s the bed! Classic Obama.”
  • “You know how Obama invited his mother-in-law to
    live in the White House to help take care of his daughters? What a brilliant way to assure that his mother-in-law doesn’t run against him in 2012!”
  • “And how about the shrewd, shrewd political foresight of choosing to be black? I mean, to have known over 47 years ago how historic that would make his presidency, can only be explained by a remarkable grasp of long-range tactics.”
  • “By trying to save an industry that employs millions, he could get free tune-ups at his local Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealer. I’m not making this stuff up. I’m imagining it.”
  • “The more we praise Obama for cynical old-school political maneuvering, the more we can make it seem that nothing he does will feel like change. And that’s the Wørd.”
  • Nation, our ever-vigilant Border Control not only keeps foreigners out, they prevent traveling Americans from coming back in.”
  • “I’ve always said there’s only one legitimate way to visit another country: riding a bomb.”
    • Zempel:[on crocheting an SUV] I did it because it was a little shocking. I wanted people to look at it and say, “What? What is this?”
    • Stephen voiceover:What? What is this?!
  • Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting
    • David McFadden, curator of the Museum of Art and Design:If some people want to refer to it as a radical web of terror, so be it.
  • “Thanks to our vigilant Border guards, who charged her with conspiracy to commit mur..oh..copywright infringement?”
  • “My guest tonight is here to talk about her new TV special, ‘The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008.’ She will be the second most fascinating person in this interview.”
    • Stephen: I feel like we’ve met before. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.
      Barbara Walters: My pleasure. I would like to just say. I was watching last night and you begged people to buy A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All?
      Stephen: Encouraged is the word we use around here. Yes.
      Barbara: So I went out and bought it, this is the actual price, it’s $16.99. It’s a month away from Christmas, it’s already reduced from $19.99.
      Stephen: These are tough economic times, Madam. We’re trying to make it easy for the kids.
      Walters: Yeah, but if I waited another week…?
      Stephen: It would be free. I’m giving back.
      Walters: Would you sign it for me?
      Stephen: I would be happy to! You seemed to claw into it like a rabid wolverine! So I take this cover off? I think I’ve actually damaged it! To Babs… You are hot!
    • Stephen: In case I get hungry, I can eat this plant behind me.
    • Stephen: Your new special coming up is “The Ten Most Fascinating people of 2008.
      Walters: Of whatever the year is.
      Stephen: But this year it’s 2008. So we’ll say 2008, okay?
      Walters: Let’s do that.
      Stephen: Now I’ll say, “…Of 2009.” And then we can just rerun this episode next year and rerun the new words.
    • Stephen: Who are some of the most fascinating people? I understand you had Rush Limbaugh, who we talked about earlier on the show.
      Walters: We have Will Smith, we have Tom Cruise, we have Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin, we have Michael Phelps…
      Stephen: He can breathe underwater.
      Walters: He can do lots of things underwater.
      Stephen: Yes he can. Now, lemme ask you something. What makes someone fascinating to you? What’s the fascinating aspect of a person?
      Walters: They have to have accomplished something in the past year that is important or risky…
      Stephen: I would love to be on your show, but I don’t like accomplishing things.
      Walters: Well, that’s true. You were number eleven.
      Stephen: I was the eleventh? Well, I was also the eleventh child in my family. That’s the position I like.
      Walters: By the way, we have often asked you to come on The View. We’ve had people this week with their Christmas albums; we had Tony Bennett on with us..
      Stephen: Tony’s a friend.
      Walters: We had Harry Connick Jr., We have asked you again and again and you have never come on the View.
      Stephen: Because I am terrified of you. I am terrified of you women. You look like some ancient cult where women tear men to pieces and then feast on his body.
      Walters: Take a chance with us!
      Stephen: Take a chance with you? I would happily take a chance with you. Says he on his own show.
    • Stephen: Now is someone only fascinating for one year? Because last year, say, Tom Cruise wasn’t one of your fascinating people. This year he’s one of your most fascinating people. Is it possible next year Tom Cruise will be dullsville next year? Does fascination only last for one year?
      Walters: 1993, James Freed. Anybody know?
      Stephen: No. I don’t know. He was a mobster.
      Walters: Here’s another one. 1997, Dr. Ian Wilmut.
      Stephen: He was a cannibal. He cannibalized a man on a mountain expedition.
      Walters: He was the one [who cloned Dolly, the sheep]. Geri Halliwell?
      Stephen: She was Ginger Spice, wasn’t she?
      Walters: It’s hard to remember. That was 1998.
      Stephen: So fascination just goes [blows on hand] in the wind. Fascinating today, nobody tomorrow.
    • Stephen: You also have a book called Audition. It’s your own memoir. Why did you call it ‘Audition?’ Is your life an audition?
      Walters: Yes.
      Stephen: Oh, then I stole your answer then. I’m sorry.
      Walters: You see, you don’t have this problem, because you have about you a kind of confidence.
      Stephen: I just assume I know everything.
      Walters: Well, I didn’t feel that way. My whole life, leading up to tonight, has been a constant audition.
      Stephen: Well, Madam, you got the part.

Fangirl Suit Report: Black suit, Cream colored shirt with barrel cuffs, Cornflower blue tie.

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