Episode 5109 (8/11/2009)

epguideiconEPISODE NUMBER: 5109 (August 11, 2009)
GUEST: James Carville, Jonathan Cohn
SEGMENTS: @StephensDrivingTips; Afghan Elections; Alpha Dog of the Week
VIDEOS: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stephen and his team were really firing on all cylinders tonight. Some of us were disappointed to not find StephensDrivingTips on Twitter, but I loved this whole segment and its host of websites, twitter accounts and magazines. (Is Read Me While Driving available on line?) I’m a sucker for the alternative universe of Stephen Colbert. And we got a new bike lane in New York straight to the Eagle’s Nest! And seeing the lead in to Carville’s interview, I now have a better understanding of Afghanistan and, to quote Stephen: “I had no idea Afghanistan was that f###ed-up!”

Should Betty Lichtenstein be Alpha Dog of the Year? I really enjoyed watching that one unfold… layer by layer. I guess that was Betty’s alternative universe.

I liked the interview with Jonathan Cohn – I wish the proponents of health care reform in the House and Senate would present such clear explanations of what it is they are trying to do. And Stephen is having way too much fun playing opposition to these guys. Thank you, Stephen, for reassuring the Nation that this show does not get canceled, but I’m a little worried about your one man death panel.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite segment below and tell us about your favorite quotes in the comments.


  1. YOKOOOOO!!!!! LOL.

    Loved the bicycle lane on the studio floor, and all those Twitter accounts. I would just like to go on the record here and say that men’s bicycle shorts are one of the greatest inventions ever. *cough*

    Two interesting interviews tonight. James Carville looks like a scary reptile, but he didn’t creep me out quite so much this time. Also, LOL that Stephen didn’t seem to know what was in his own health insurance.

  2. Ms Interpreted says:

    I was torn on which segment to go with today; the Alpha Dog segment was so incredible, but the Jonathan Cohn interview was really good, too. I thought it was fantastic that Cohn came prepared with a copy of The Report‘s health plan, and — after a moment or two when I thought he’d ceded the interview to Stephen — Cohn really acquitted himself well.

    Oddly enough, the Carville segment was really “meh” for me. I find Carville just as creepy as most, but I am actually interested in what’s going on in Afghanistan, etc., so I was surprised by how indifferent I felt about what he was saying. That said, Come to Poppy cracked me right up.

  3. ColbertGirl27 says:

    I believe the biker on the show was new TCR writer Max Werner (http://www.nofactzone.net/?p=15722). I love that they’re giving the newbie airtime!

    Although I loved Alpha Dog of the Week, I voted for the interview because I loved it when Cohn caught Stephen off-guard and presented him with his own health plan. I love it when guests turn things around and make Stephen look at his own show. I remember awhile back someone asked how much Stephen paid his security guards…though this was a bit more awkward!

  4. “Come to Poppy”

    I’m still laughing over that one!

  5. I enjoyed the interview. I thought Cohn held his own against Stephen, and having a (humongous) copy of TCR’s insurance plan was brilliant.

    reCaptcha: HERSHEY magic (now I want chocolate!)

  6. Cohn was ready to tangle! Love how prepared he was and how quick Stephen’s brain worked to imply that he is a one man death panel. If only mine brain worked that fast. I guess something can be said for year-round schooling–but teachers need a break, too!

    If the bike lane stays…will we get to see Stephen in bike shorts?! ;)

  7. weelittleelf says:

    God, it was such a relief to hear someone talk about health care reform without devolving into incoherence, idiocy, or bile-filled rage and lies. I actually avoided the news last night because I knew it was going to be more crap about those ridiculous “town meetings” and pundits pushing bulls***.

    Thank God Colbert and Stewart are around to make me laugh about it. So yeah, that’s why I voted for the Cohn interview. Plus, Stephen’s “But I’m on TV” made me laugh.

  8. Was Stephen wearing a new watch? I know Karl Marx got it off his wrist a few episodes ago, though he replaced it with an identical one.

    Alpha Dog of the week was incredible. Stuff like these also happen all the time here.

    Interview was great. Love the banter between the two. I loved how Jonathan Cohn was seriously calm and cool, totally the complete opposite of blustery Stephen. I also loved that Stephen was so confident and so sure of himself, he kept insisting that he’s immune to all the stuff that’s going on because he’s on television!

    • Forgot to add, didn’t Stephen write in his Glamour article that he also wanted Yoko Ono to break up the Dixie Chicks? :) Remembered it just now when I looked at the poll title.

  9. The Perfectly, Perfectly, Perfectly Perfect Interview

    What a good interview again. It seems that, for the past couple of weeks, every time I think I’ve seen the best interview yet I see another that’s even better. The interviewer and interviewee here were both so, so good.

    Jonathan Cohn’s treatment of Stephen’s character in this interview was perfect. He projected the air of a person who knows better than the person he’s talking to, but desires to impart the correct information patiently to that person. Even Cohn’s tone of voice and the continuous mild smile on his face mimicked the “adult” explaining to the “child” in a kind way about something the child should know or learn.

    Since I believe the real Stephen has often described his Stephen character as a high status, well intentioned idiot, it seems to me that either Jonathan Cohn watches The Report often or listened well to what the real Stephen explained to him about the impending interview before the show, judging by the good grasp he seemed to have on the concept of the character. Either one of these two or Cohn was just very quick to pick up on the character being projected across from him. Because Cohn was so good at his part, I think Stephen’s character’s responses and reactions were absolutely on the mark – perfect for the character he plays on the show.

    For instance, to Cohn’s saying that many people don’t have health insurance, Stephen’s response, “They should get some,” seems exactly what the character should say; to Stephen’s suggesting that he, Stephen, can’t have health insurance problems, the reaction “I’m on TV,” is on the mark; to Cohn’s saying that TV shows get canceled, Stephen’s response, “Not this one,” is perfect; and to Cohn’s saying that in front of him was The Report’s health insurance plan which “provides for counseling and end of life issues,” Stephen’s reaction of “Then actually I could have my staff put to death? … Legally, I am a one man death panel,” are all such good fits for how Cohn was treating the Stephen character and made for some great and entertaining fun.

    Stephen was truly excellent and Cohn was too, so clear and concise about his subject. And, by the way, this interview also had a perfect ending. At the very end, Stephen points out that if people don’t have health insurance, their lives are one big emergency, a kind of clincher statement to sum up and accent Cohn’s position in his book. It’s a perfect way to end a fantastic interview, effectively highlighting a very important issue.

    • I agree, O’Reilly. This was really a perfect example of what a TCR interview could do to be both entertaining and informative. And the past couple of weeks have had some very strong guests and Stephen’s been brilliant.

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