Episode 5002 (01/06/2009)

[This episode has no Intro segment]

Ponzi Schemes & Hiding Gold

  • Desk guest: New York Times economic reporter David Leonhardt
  • 1-888-OOPS-JEWEL

Better Know a District: Utah’s 3rd

  • Leg wrestling with Jason Chaffetz
  • Special appearance by Sweetness

Matt Miller: author, Fortune columnist


Matt Miller – The Tyranny of Dead Ideas

In closing: “Well folks, that’s it for the Report.  Before we go, I’d like to thank all the people who make this show possible.  Thank you, Stephen Colbert.  You’re welcome.  Goodnight!”

Video Highlight:

Better Know a District – Utah’s 3rd – Jason Chaffetz
Stephen beats Jason Chaffetz in leg wrestling.

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


  • I gotta tell you folks, that kind of ovation I just got is really the sort of thing that turns me on.
  • Nation, the economy has me terrified. It doesn’t seem to get any better no matter how much money we give to the people who screwed it up.
  • Plenty of businesses are lies.  Take Legos.  What am I supposed to do with these?  This makes no sense.
  • Ponzi schemes get a bad rap.  Too often, they’re confused with the far more devious Fonzie schemes, where you defraud a jukebox out of thousands of dollars in nickels, and avoid tax liability by using a bathroom as an office.
  • It’s foolproof unless anyone asks for their money back.  Then you get the dreaded Ponzcano.
  • Applause for the Ponzcano.  No no, that’s alright.  It’s just the graphic worked so hard.
  • I don’t see what the big deal is.  Bernie only lost $50 million dollars.  That’s less money than AIG, and Bernie throws way better parties.
  • Like many charitable organizations, our entire endowment was invested with Bernie.  And I’ll tell you, before this scandal broke, my non-profit was making huge profits.
  • But now the Stephen & Melinda Gates Foundation is flat broke.  The worst part?  We were just weeks away from finding a cause.  World hunger?  I guess we’ll never know now.
  • From the desk interview with David Leonhardt:
    • Here to tell us how we victims can get our money back, or better yet, start our own Ponzi schemes, is NY Times economic reporter David Leonhardt.
    • Stephen: The mortgage people took crap, called it gold, and then sold it.  Bernie just took nothing, called it gold, and then sold it.  I’d rather find out that my gold is nothing than a steaming pile of crap.
    • Leonhardt: That’s understandable.
    • Leonhardt: What the mortgage people did was they invest your money in things that they insisted would be fine, but in fact had no chance of being fine.
    • Stephen: We agreed that it was working, and it worked until some snot-nosed kid came along and says the emperor has no clothes.
    • Leonhardt: Well, the snot was Bernie Madoff.
    • Stephen: Isn’t the real hero here Bernie Madoff?
    • Stephen: Regulation doesn’t help anything.  Regulation is like taxes – there is no possible benefit.
    • Stephen: I’ve got a new business:  Hiding Gold!  Gold!  Dubloons!  Diamonds as big as a baby’s head!  Are you a hedge fund manager or a flim flam artist who got illegally rich off the stock market and are now facing investigation?  You need somewhere to stash those valuables!  Your reputation may be tarnished, but your precious metals don’t have to be.  Call our asset stashing hotline at 1-888-OOPS-JEWEL.
    • Stephen: And we are now endorsed by David Leonhardt of the New York Times.  It’s cool that I said that, right?
    • Leonhardt: Absolutely.  Can I get like 10% of the profits?
    • Stephen: You’re in.
  • You may recall the last Congress started with majority leader Rahm Emmanuel warning freshmen Congressmen not to come on my show.  Well guess what?  Emmanuel isn’t in Congress anymore, and I’ve spent the last two years working Nancy Pelosi like a speed bag.
  • From the BKAD segment:
    • The 3rd is home to craggy weathered landmarks, like the Wasatch mountains, Provo canyon, and Robert Redford.
    • Provo is also home to Brigham Young Uiversity, named for Mormon leader Brigham Young, who had 56 wives and fathered 57 children –  a feat made all the more amazing by the fact that he didn’t drink.
    • And who has the hefty tabernacles to represent such a district?
    • Stephen: Here’s how I appeal to my younger viewers.  [In baby talk voice] Ashooba-shoobabashooba.  Who’s watching my show?  Who’s watching my show? [/babytalk] That’s like 18 to 24 year old viewers, they respond to that.  I speak their language.
    • Stephen: According to my research, Utah’s 3rd is one of the most diverse districts in the state.  Tell me about your black person.  Is he nice?  Cause there’s some very nice ones.
    • Stephen: I understand your district contains both Republicans and staunch Republicans.
    • Stephen: What percentage of your district is made up of Osmonds?
    • Chaffetz: We’ve got a lot of Osmonds, yeah.  I was pumping gas, at the local Maverick, and Marie Osmond was pumping gas right behind.  It was one of my big celebrity sightings.
    • Stephen: And the Maverick is a gay bar?
    • Chaffetz: No, it’s a gas station.
    • Stephen: I didn’t know if pumping gas was a metaphor.
    • Stephen: Skiing is a big business in Utah – do you ski?
    • Chaffetz: Yeah, absolutely.
    • Stephen: I don’t actually care.  I just, you know what, let’s cut that.  Legally I have to ask that of everyone in Utah.
    • Stephen: I’ve spent a lot of time in Congress in the last three years, I think I know more than you.  Let me give you some tips.  The minute you get to the floor of the Congress on the first day, pick somebody big, like Stenny Hoyer, somebody with some juice, and just jack them into next week.  That’ll show everybody in the room that you can’t be made their beeyatch.
    • Stephen: Let’s try that.  I’ll be Nancy Pelosi.
    • Chaffetz: You’re not the boss of me, Nancy Pelosi.
    • Stephen: When did rounding up people you don’t like in your country and putting them in camps get a bad name?
    • Stephen: Here’s my plan.  Dip Mexicans in fluorescent paint so we can see them crossing the border at night.  I don’t even have to think of these, I just open my mouth and they come out.  Fill the Rio Grande with acid.  There.  There’s another free one.
    • Chaffetz: That’s a creative idea.
    • Stephen: Thank you.  Poison pinatas.  There you have it.
    • Stephen: You have a concealed weapons permit.  Are you carrying?
    • Chaffetz: Maybe.
    • Stephen: You wanna compare?  I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.
    • Stephen: You wanna keep your A rating in the NRA?  Say “Hello, Sweetness.”
    • Chaffetz: Hello, Sweetness.
    • Stephen: See, that wasn’t so hard.
    • Stephen: Shifting gears, do you work out?  Do you bench?  What do you lift?
    • Chaffetz: I think I can beat you.
    • Stephen: Oh, you think you can out lift me?
    • Chaffetz: Leg wrestle?
  • From the Matt Miller interview:
    • My guest tonight thinks that we should get rid of old ideas.  That’s easy.  I get up every morning and huff Clorox.
    • Stephen: What should schools be?  Should Barack Obama be grading my kids’ science tests tomorrow morning?  Is that what you want?
    • Stephen: That’s your dead idea, that the federal government has money to impose their will on states.
    • Miller: That’s one way of looking at it.
    • Stephen: It’s the only way we’re looking at it tonight.
    • Miller: But what happens, we’re in a global economy now, if Viacom found some low cost, high quality Stephen Colbert imitator in India, and ended up laying you off?
    • Stephen: Who should be taking care of me?  Once again, Barack Obama’s gonna check me for a hernia?
    • Stephen: History of capitalism, government involvement, they don’t go together.  That’s matter and antimatter, just ask Commander Scott, they come together, they explode.
    • Stephen: Your dead idea is dead.  Next dead idea.  Come on, man!  [holds up Miller’s book] These pages are blank!
    • Stephen: What are the new ideas that you’ve got?  What’s gonna replace these dead ideas?  Because so far, a bit of a downer.  Does this book come with a sharp object and a warm bath?
    • Stephen: How’s business going to help liberalism?  By giving them loans to open up head shops?
    • Stephen: A radical centrist?  Isn’t that like being a take no prisoners pussy?
    • Miller: I don’t think so.
    • Stephen: You don’t think so?  Well, that’s my new idea.

Fangirl Suit Report: Charcoal grey suit with pinstripes, Pale blue shirt with french cuffs, Burgandy tie with medium white dot pattern.

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