TIME names ‘Colbert Report’ episode to its “Top 10 TV Episodes” list

Kudos to TIME for recognizing this wonderful, wonderful episode of The Colbert Report from that dark period earlier this year during the writers’ strike. This January 22nd episode was one of the most touching moments I can recall seeing on television in recent years, and I’m so very glad that the folks at TIME agreed.

7. The Colbert Report, Jan. 22 episode
By James Poniewozik

Conan O’Brien, David Letterman and Craig Ferguson all did yeoman’s work keeping the lights on while their writers were on strike. But the most brilliant bit of strike-era late-night was this Colbert episode, which was really an essay in late-night-comedy form. Colbert brought out civil-rights legend Andrew Young to discuss the lessons of a 1969 strike by black hospital workers, which was resolved in negotiations between Young and — wait for it — Colbert’s father, a medical-university administrator. In one stroke, Colbert rolled up African American history, a tribute to his striking writers, a tribute to his own father (who died in a plane crash when Colbert was a boy) and his own comic self-aggrandizement — after which he joined Young, author Malcolm Gladwell and the Harlem Gospel Choir in singing “Let My People Go.” An only-on-Colbert moment of surreal solidarity.

See the original post here
Get the full list here


Looks like Time is doing all kinds of honoring of Stephen today:



  1. *Applause* Yes! It truly was one of his greatest TCR moments, made all the more impressive since he put it together without his writers. Well recognized Time!

  2. Time is definitely an “it” getter! Stephen’s contributions are listed twice under “Top 10 Late Night Gags” #3 & 4. I’ve included them below!



    • Ms Interpreted says:

      Yes, DB added those to the post not long after I blogged the original story … you must be reading on a feed. :)

      It’s great that TIME saw fit to honor Stephen so many times!

  3. YES!!! I was a brand new fan when I watched this, but I remember going up to bed being like “anyone really expects me to fall asleep right now?” it was very special.

    everything about this was just perfect for addressing the strike. I would generally feel uncomfortable giving so much praise to a strike show, but just look at the themes here.

  4. wow…this is by far my fav episode of TCR…Stephen is gonna be sooo happy!

  5. wildlymissingthemark says:

    this was my favorite episode of tcr, because it was so nuanced with so many levels of meaning.
    it was layers of awesomeness, and deeply sincere and earnest.

  6. ColbertGirl27 says:

    I knew this episode was special when it aired and I’m so glad it’s receiving the recognition it deserves. I could tell that Stephen really poured his heart into this episode and I have no doubt that his dad would be proud.

  7. Ok, slightly off topuc, but i’ve posted my Conan taping report on colboard…

    And bout this Jan 22 episode, I also vividly remember crying……!

  8. I actually remember the myriad of emotions I had during the strike – growing up in a rabidly pro-union household, I have to admit I was appalled when the shows when back on the air. For many days, I refused to watch.

    This episode made me weep. It also made me realize that sometimes, protests from within are as powerful as taking a stand. It was a fantastic episode.

  9. Kinaesthesia says:

    That’s one of my favorite episodes too. It was such a bright moment of hope in an otherwise bleak season, and we all sorely needed it during the strike.

  10. I think Time is (not so) secretly in love with Stephen Colbert. This was a fantastic episode and its inclusion on the Top Ten list is well-deserved. The only problem with reading the list was that I ended reading almost all of the other Top Ten lists. Hope the boss doesn’t mind. Thanks, MsI!

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