Episode 5052 (4/20/2009)

epguideiconEPISODE NUMBER: 5052 (April 20, 2009)
GUEST: Ken Quinn, Sheriff Joe Arpaio
SEGMENTS: Pirates, Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger
VIDEOS: Monday, April 20, 2009

Did everyone notice there’s a new intro phrase on the show? And does anyone want to take a gander as to what “Purple-Mounted” means? I love shows when Stephen Colbert is so giddy about life that he can barely contain his joy. I loved the picture of his little boat, but I liked the one he talked about on Letterman better.

Listening to Stephen talk about Texas reminded me of a joke I heard once. How can you tell a person is from Texas? They’ll tell you. I assume that’s a joke, anyway – being from Texas, my initial response to the statement is, “And?” That being said, as a born-and-bred lifelong Texan, I would like to apologize for our idiot of a governor and let you know that I voted for Kinky Friedman. Also, as a recently unemployed Texan, and as a friend of many who have been recently laid off, I want to slap rick Perry across the face for not wanting to accept the stimulus money. If nothing else, I wish that they would have taken a few thousand to put in the Texas Workforce Commission offices to answer the phones – it’s virtually impossible to get to a live person. And when you’re upset about being laid off and stressed about money, the last thing you want to do is to struggle for hours to get through to a live person in the unemployment office. Okay, done with my soapbox rant now. Back to the funny!

I love the subtle nailings that Stephen gave Sheriff Joe Arpaio about racial profiling and illegal immigration. I thought Arpaio rolled with the criticism rather well. Apparently Arpaio’s views are a bit controversial, so it should be interesting to see what the media’s reaction is to the interview. Also, according to Vigwig, one of the completists from over at our sister site, Colbert University, there really were lots of loud and rowdy protesters outside of the ‘Colbert Report’ studios last night.

So what was your favorite part of the show?

  • New intro line – Purple-Mounted
  • And that has opened the mouthgates of American pundits, especially on this week’s This Week with George Stephanopolous this week.
  • Wait wait wait wait …
  • Oh my God, that was the Grassy Knoll!
  • But now they’re terrorizing us with more than just their puffy snacks.
  • I assume it doesn’t hurt when you’re shot in the head by a sniper.
  • To deal with this crisis, the Obama administration has a two-pronged plan. First, tax the top 2% of pirates.
  • I assume their is an anti-piracy iPhone app. The iArrrrgh.
  • They were all the rage in the war of 1812. The good old days where the federal government actually tried to defend New Orleans.
  • I’m tempted to do it, I’m ripped, and I already have my own boat. Imagine … Privateer Colbert, riding the waves with my shirt open to the navel, storming pirate ships, saving beautiful lady hostages, commanding a crew of ghostly skeletons, all while my crab confidant plays me a song on seashells.
  • That was a good musical.
  • So we should be putting the guys from West Marine in jail.
  • After 10 hours in there, were you guys beginning to size each other up as to who you’re going to eat first in case this. Cause even a long elevator ride, and I’m checking out the marbling on the guy next to me.
  • It was part of Rasmussen’s ongoing series, Polls that would have made sense in 1836. The next question was Does Dr. Hiram J. Fixem’s Methylated Elixer truly cure horse lung?
  • What’s a matter, Texas? Are ya yellow?
  • If I wanted to ingest something a hippie picked, I would eat an autoharp.
  • Why do I have picketers in front of my studio tonight. They were chanting things about you. There are a lot of things that rhyme with Arpaio that I was not sure of.
  • How do you determine that someone might be Hispanic without using their eyeballs?
  • I’d like to see some ID please.


  1. Fantastic episode. Love when Stephen is just giddy and smiling the whole time. Also I laughed so hard at Stephen running his fingers through his hair and the whole “Wait, wait,wait,wait”- thing. And 2 great interviews, Stephen really did a great job tonight.

  2. ken quinn was in such a rush to get out of there! pirates can’t prepare you to match wits w stephen! :)

    seriously, he was cool under pressure. good on ya mate!

  3. Stephen was in an exceptionally silly mood last night. I love it. And now I will start the day with the image of “Privateer Colbert” in my head.

    Stupid nerdy librarian question: Stephen had a copy of Joe Arpaio’s book right there, so why did the graphic for it show the audiobook?

  4. My first thought on purple-mounted was ‘purple mountain majesties’ – I dunno if that’s what it is, but it made me laugh.

  5. I think Purple Mounted is a reference to America the Beautiful. The line “For purple mountains majesties”.

  6. Jenny with a Y says:

    Did y’all notice that “@StephenAtHome” was twittering again yesterday? Unfortunately, due to illness, I slept through last night’s show. However, I did manage to read the tweets when I finally woke-up and logged into Twitter. I would love to see this twittering trend continue. It’s a lot of fun and makes the show even more interactive. Now, I need to go watch the episode online so that I will know why there were tweets about pink underwear and Texas toast…

  7. I love it when Stephen is giddy as well. I will have to watch the episode again later to catch everything–like why did he forward the prompter? All smiles and giggles, arms waving! “Let’s move on…” but what potential goldmine did we miss? Hopefully nothing–I think his brilliant improv matches the written word!!

    It made for a very pleasant end to my very crummy Monday!

    • Jenny with a Y says:

      I might be wrong but I thought Stephen asked them to keep the cameras going because he broke character but didn’t want to stop and redo the segment.

      I very much enjoyed this episode. It provided me with some much needed laughs. There were a lot of good jokes, I loved the energy between Stephen and the audience, and I thought both interviews were interesting and fun to watch.

      This quote reminded me of the times Stephen has discussed “The USA Today” and used the word today several times in the same sentence: “And that has opened the mouthgates of American pundits, especially on this week’s This Week with George Stephanopolous this week.” Redundancy always makes me laugh.

      • Oh! Thanks Jenny with a Y! I am sure you are right! I really need to see it again! [I will use any excuse!] I just love those character breaks! They make me smile–add in singing from “The Little Mermaid” and I am just as giddy!

        You are right! Great energy between and among the audience tonight! Wish I had been there!

      • Oh! Good observation! I think you are right! Thanks Jenny with a Y!

        I just love the character breaks– add in singing from “The Little Mermaid” and I become just as giddy!

        I agree, the energy last night in the studio among the audience and between Stephen was great! Wish I could have been there!

        • Not sure why I got the “error” message–it posted anyway! So–here are two messages with the same ideas!

          I hope my Tuesday is not going to be like my Monday!!! lol!!!

    • He had already called a 5 minute cut when he had a flub/ character break at Floodgate pundits, so he wanted to keep going.

      • So, tell us more about the protesters…curious minds want to know. : )

        • I got a leaflet from them. Basically they complained he was ignoring “real” prosecutions, treating prisoners terribly and breaking the local budget with nonsense arrests.

  8. Anonymous Coward says:

    Another very weak Monday show.

    I would have liked to hear Ken Quinn actually describe the events on Maersk Alabama, but Colbert was so intent on throwing jokes in there and budgeted so little time for him that Quinn only got as far as the pirates boarding the ship in his tale.

    It’s easy to criticize agricultural firms for their use of pesticides, but, if there were no pesticides, there would be widespread famine in Third World countries right now. Organic foods are too expensive to be eaten regularly by the poor, and organic food boosters don’t seem to realize that.

    I didn’t particularly like any segment of last nights show, and I can’t remember the last time that was true.

  9. mrtigger001 says:

    I thought the Ken Quinn interview wasn’t as interesting as it could’ve been. I don’t think the guy was very comfortable with interviews in the first place. And the Sheriff guy wasn’t all that intriguing either.

    That being said, I actually thought the Cuba/Stephanopoulous segment was the funniest. Not only were there quite a few good jokes, but Stephen was totally going in and out of character. You could tell that what we saw was like a 2nd or 3rd take.

    • mrtigger001 says:

      actually i take some of that back. I think the pirate segment was where a lot of the giddiness and out-of-character stuff was happening. it started in the cuba segment but definitely reached its peak in the pirate segment right before the interview

  10. Just the fact that Second Mate Quinn was even on the show last night I think was awesome. The poor guy’s probably been bombarded by the media since he returned home and also probably isn’t used to dealing with the media in this way, much less make a TV appearance. Not to mention he’s probably still mentally anguished over everything that happened at sea. All things considered, I was very glad he was on the show and even moreso that he and the rest of the crew did such an amazing job and arrived home safely. He is definitely one of the Heroes.

  11. I was at the taping, the rain outside was coming down in buckets and everyone was in a silly mood. There was a lot of audience interaction, all during the pirate segments people were going “ARRGH” and making Stephen laugh. Ken Quinn was so nervous he could barely talk and Stephen made the best of it. The Sheriff sat at the table during the break and looked VERY grumpy and uncomfortable so it was clear that Stephen had his work cut out for him there as well. When he came out for the preshow Q&A Stephen seemed especially happy and giddy and in high spirits and the audience picked up on that and mirrored it back. He made a point of thanking us afterward for being a great audience with “great energy.” I had a blast.

    • Thanks, vigwig! You confirmed what I was intuitively feeling about the sitation with both of the guests. It seemed apparent to me that Stephen was working with somewhat challenging circumstances — and he did a great job.

      Thanks again!

    • That’s kind of what I was thinking about both interviews. Quinn seemed nervous and uncomfortable and I thought maybe he just doesn’t like the attention. Arpaio seemed like a grumpy old coot. I have a lot of issues with Arpaio’s practices. I was glad to see Stephen get a couple of nailings in and mention those reporters winning a Pulitzer for their series on Arpaio. That satisfying to me.

  12. All the pirate talk reminded me of Stephen’s pirate themed romance novel.

  13. Oh wow! I just check my messages and I got a phone call from Mark from TCR thanking me for my biscotti (I delivered some homemade chocolate walnut biscotti for Stephen and crew) YAY!

    • ColbertGirl27 says:

      OK. How often would a staff member of such a big television show be so thoughtful as to thank you in such a personal way? Another reason to love the staff there…and Mark especially. By the way, that was a very sweet gesture vigwig:)

    • You prepared biscotti for Stephen and the staff??? How cool are you! Tell us the details…what did Mark say when u gave it to him?

    • That is amazing and so cool! (I can attest that vigwig’s biscotti are good … but it is still incredible that Mark would take time to call! What a gem…)

  14. dodgerblu says:

    Being hispanic and living in Sheriff Joe’s jurisdiction, I wish they would have showed some footage of the protesters, and I love the fact that Stephen mentioned them. He didn’t nail Arpaio as much as he could have, but it was great that he continually asked him for ID. My sister was arrested and taken to jail for not having ID on her (in our own home) even though we were born and raised in the US and don’t even speak spanish. I wonder if the Sheriff had any idea of what he was getting himself into when he accepted the invitation to be on the Report?

    • Wait. She was arrested for not having ID on her in her own home? I don’t carry my ID on my person when I’m in my own home. WTF?

    • ColbertGirl27 says:

      Why were they invading your home?! So sad. Did your sister have to stay in jail overnight? I’m so sorry.

      • dodgerblu says:

        “excessive noise” was the reason they gave for coming to our house. Because of Arizona’s obsession with illegal immigration, you are legally required to have ID on you at all times, and she didn’t have it with her at the time, so off to jail she went. We had to put up our car to be able to bail her out so she wouldn’t have to spend the night in a jail cell. She was only 20 at the time, and terrified.
        A lot of Sheriff Joe’s “posse” conducts raids on places where they’ve been tipped off about the presence of illegals. Sometimes this might be a place of employment, and sometimes it’s just a family gathering. There’s advertisements all over town about being part of the Sheriff’s posse and reporting any suspected illegals, so everyone gets to join in on the fun…
        Thanks, Sheriff Joe!

        • IDs in the shower too? That just sucks!Sounds like some kind of racism to me. Have there been any reports of them confiscating people IDs and saying they didn’t have any?

        • ColbertGirl27 says:

          That is so upsetting! You had to put up your car to bail her out?! I’d like to hear Sheriff Joe try to defend this story!

    • God, I’m sorry that happened to your family. Arpaio and his “posse” are abusive, power-tripping vigilantes. He belongs in prison himself.

  15. forsakinghalfloves says:

    Do you guys think Sheriff Joe regretted ditching a meeting with John McCain for Stephen after that nailing? He did look and sound incredibly grumpy that night. Ken Quinn was uncomfortable but I think he was helped along by the audience cheering for him. I think he was a good sport for coming to the show, and I’m glad he and the other members of the crew are home safe.

    I love that Stephen was so giddy and happy that night, and the audience was so loud and hyper! Very cool. :)

  16. Suburbiana says:

    The interview with the sheriff seemed to be awkward. I wonder if Stephen has regrets about how it went.

  17. Spot on regarding Arizona immigration! Thank you.

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