Episode 5011 (01/21/2009)

I, Stephen Colbert, promise faithfully to, I mean faithfully prom– F#!k it! Colbert Report!”

O Say Can O See: “Tonight: It’s Obama’s first day, and the economy is still in the toilet. Some change!”

  • President Yo-Yo Ma
  • Election 2012: Change’s Revenge
  • Guest via satellite: NBC Political Director Chuck Todd

Trademarked for Death: “And I talk about copyright infringement. Incidentally, I’ve trademarked the phrase ‘copyright infringement.'”

  • Stephen’s Remix Challenge

Who’s on Verse?: “And, my guest Elizabeth Alexander was the poet at yesterday’s inauguration. I’m gonna give her an Ezra Pounding.”

  • Interview with Elizabeth Alexander


Chuck ToddHow Barack Obama Won: A State-by-State Guide to the Historic 2008 Presidential Election

Elizabeth AlexanderPraise Song for the Day: A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration

In closing: “Well, that’s it for the show everybody. Good night.”

Video Highlight:

Stephen’s Remix Challenge
Stephen does not — not — want you to take his interview with Lawrence Lessig and remix it with a pumping k-hole groove.

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


  • Someone was just goosed with an icepick.
  • There is nothing worse than showing emotions that you haven’t planned in advance.
  • Turns out, Barack Obama’s first act as Commander-in-Chief was to bungle Chief Justice Roberts’ perfectly reasonable attempt to rewrite the oath of office. [Clip of Chief Justice Roberts and Barack Obama bobbling the words to the oath] Just say it the way he said it! He is Justice Chief of the Court Supreme!
  • We all know what sticklers conservatives are for obeying the Constitution to the letter. With the exception of these letters. [H-A-B-E-A-S-C-O-R-P-U-S]
  • This past Novemeber, friend of the show Mike Huckabee visited both Cedar Rapids, IA and Des Moines, IA to promote his new book, Do the Right Thing, which is already a major motion picture [clip of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Radio Raheem teaches Mookie about Love and Hate]. That is Huckabee and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, back when DeLay still had his fade.
  • The Iowa caucuses, folks, are just 1,076 days away so let’s check our leader board [insert: Jeb Bush 0%, Sarah Palin 0%, Huckabee 0%, Romney 0%] it is all tied up! This race is too close to call!
  • From the Chuck Todd interview:
    • Stephen: Gun to your head: Mitt Romney, yes or no?
      Chuck Todd: About his looks?
      Stephen: Come on… gun to your head?
      Chuck Todd: […] History says, Mitt Romney will be the nominee in 2012.
      Stephen: So I’ll take that as a yes.
    • Stephen: If you’re a Republican and you’re not in the race by now, haven’t you missed the boat?
      Chuck Todd: You–you… I know that’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but —
      Stephen: It’s not, it’s not. The tongue is someplace else.
    • Stephen: Should some people just start running for 2016 or 2020? We could have campaigns stacked up like airplanes over LaGuardia.
    • Stephen: That’s pretty racist! You’re saying that the Republicans are gonna get clobbered by African Americans? Doesn’t that just feed into that “we should be afraid of black people”? I can’t believe that you just said that!
      Chuck Todd: Oh, great. So this is my last day at NBC news. My first and last day, I will turn in my pass. Thank you very much. G’night.
      Stephen: We’re gonna let you go, we know it’s about 8 degrees there, and we don’t want that goatee to snap off your face like a graham cracker.
  • By the way, if anyone’s interested, I have an airplane hangar full of Miami Sound Machine. The rhythm is gonna getcha.
  • I don’t know what makes me angrier here. The copyright infringment, or the fact that those beats were so jaw-droppin’, ear-poppin’ fresh!
  • Now let me be very clear here! I do not not want you to take my interview with Lawrence Lessig, and remix it with a pumpin’ k-hole groove! Nor do I want you to remix excerpts from my book. Particularly Chapter 7 entitled “Homosexuals.” Which is full of sound bites that would set fire to any disco dance floor.
  • I’m warning you! My lawyers sue by the s-s-s-syllable.
  • My guest tonight read her poem at yesterday’s inauguration. I’ll ask her how many of her poems can be sung by cats.
  • From the Elizabeth Alexander interview:
    • Stephen: I have a general question about poetry, something that worries me. Poems aren’t true, are they? They’re made up, right? Because I just, I recently read this thing called “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which is about a guy who’s like in his mid-forties like I am, and he’s facing his mortality, and he’s got a sense that no matter what he’s achieved in his life, he’s never really gonna be great. That’s um — that’s not true, right? That’s not true.
      Elizabeth Alexander: It’s not true in the sense that the newspaper is true —
      Stephen: Well, the newspaper is never true. Have you read the New York Times?
    • Stephen: He says “I’ve heard the mermaids singing each to each; I do not think they sing to me.” They’re still singing to me though, aren’t they?
      Elizabeth Alexander: They are if you want them to be.
      Stephen: Desperately!
      Elizabeth Alexander: (Comfortingly) I know. I know.
    • Stephen: What’s the difference between a metaphor and a lie?
    • Stephen: Why don’t you just go, go — say what you mean, instead of dressing things up in all this flowery language, like the great Romantic poets, you know, uh… “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Why not just say “You’re hot, let’s do it!”
    • Stephen: I got a mountain in my pants, and that is not a metaphor! That is not a lie!
      Elizabeth Alexander: But that’s a metaphor!
      Stephen: No, it’s not! It’s not, lady. It is not at all.
      Elizabeth Alexander: Hoooooooo! (fans self)
    • Stephen: And you call it an occasional poem. What is an occasional poem? A sometimes poem?
    • Stephen: If poetry is in some way about economy of language, could I suggest a poem that might have gotten to the heart of it a little quicker?
      Elizabeth Alexander: Please do, please.
      Stephen: Hickory dickory dock, we elected a guy named Barack.

Fangirl Suit Report: Black suit, crisp white shirt with barrel cuffs, light blue tie with black polka-dots, WristStrong bracelet.


  1. wildlymissingthemark says:

    I just want Stephen to know, I think a lot of mermaids would happily be singing to him..especially after his remix…they would fill up the Hudson (next to discarded airplane parts:)

    • Oh, I wanted to give him a little hug when he asked for reassurance that the mermaids were still singing to him. Of course they are, Stephen. Of course they are.

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