The Top 10 Best ‘Colbert Report’ episodes EVER! – #9

I’ve had a blast sifting through old episodes of the ‘Colbert Report’ to hand-pick the best of the absolute best of over 500 episodes. The first few on the list, as you’ll see in a few days, are fairly obvious to the hard-core viewers who tend to frequent this site. But once we started getting towards the end of the list, it started turning into Sophie’s Choice. The struggle to find #9 was the hardest struggle of any other on the list. I had a short list of 7-8 episodes in the running to fill those last 3-4 slots, and most made the list, but trying to cut some while leaving the others was much more difficult than one might think. After watching the musical clip from this episode again, however, I knew it absolutely had to be on here. So I bring to you #9 on the No Fact Zone Top 10 Best ‘Colbert Report’ episodes ever:


In the fall of 2006, the blatant theft of the Emmy award from Stephen by Barry Manilow was the talk of the town. The whole feud started on the Emmy awards themselves, in an absolutely hysterical performance by Stephen and Jon Stewart.

Stephen continued to build his anger towards Barry, until the entire issue came to a head with Barry Manilow actually appearing on the show. The resolution of joint custody seemed amicable, and the jovial tone of both men made the interview a pleasure to watch. I also think one of the reasons I included this on our list was because of the wonderful duet between Stephen and Barry. And, cheesiness be damned, I love that song. And I love Barry.

So enjoy the episode this evening, and share your thoughts about the feud in the comments.

Videos behind the cut!

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Intro – 10/30/07
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Get Ready for Barry
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stay the Course
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – Shameless
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
ThreatDown – GreatDown
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Barry Manilow
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Manilow – “I Write the Songs” Duet
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests


  1. This was one of the very first clips of a singing Stephen that I saw when I was still new to NFZ and found my way to the official TCR site. :)

  2. nerdygirl says:

    Great duet, or greatest duet?

  3. Oh, hey, DB, don’t apologize for cheesiness. Not only do I love that song, I was a “fanilow” before that term was invented! A co-worker and I once broke out into “Daybreak” in front of our 5th grade students, and the “are-you-crazy?/we don’t know you” looks on the kids’ faces were priceless.

  4. “Shameless” is one of my favorite Words. Talk about “didn’t take his medication”! I didn’t realize it was on the Maniloooooooow! episode.

  5. MaryLovesColbert says:

    I love their duet!! This was one of the first things I was exposed to through the “Best of the Colbert Report” DVD, though I totally didn’t understand the backstory of Stephen losing to Manilow and being angry at him, lolz. Great pick, guys!

  6. nerdygirl says:

    I should add, though, that my favorite Emmy moment was the time Jon and Stephen decided to give Ricky Gervais’s award to Steve Carell instead:

    • Agreed. That was a beautifully hilarious moment, but “I LOST TO BARRY MANILOW!” runs a close second.

    • Gaia Faye says:

      The awkwardly hilarious follow-up the next year when Gervais walked right up to Steve and demanded it back was great too. :)

      • Ms Interpreted says:

        Yeah, that was fun. I loved how straight Steve played it, even as his lovely wife was cracking up next to him.

        (Slightly edited video here, for people who haven’t seen it yet.)

        • I hadn’t seen that! Thanks for posting it. That was hilarious!

          I’m enjoying this top 10 list. I’m relatively new to the fandom so there are a lot of clips and shows I’ve never seen. This is a fun way to catch up!

        • Thanks for posting this. Also great.

    • MaryLovesColbert says:

      That Stephen-Jon-Steve Emmy moment is the best in Emmy history! Classic. Also loved when Ricky wanted it back, lolz.

  7. retrogirl says:

    Why doesn’t Stephen sing more often?????

    This is probably going to sound outrageously corny AND cheesy but I wish he would do a “fake” special for Comedy Central. Something like “Stephen Colbert live at the Palace”.

    In it he gets to belt out very fabulous song (cheesy or otherwise) ever made famous by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr, Andy Williams, etc, etc, etc.!

    Stephen at a Baby Grand, Stephen doing a soft shoe shuffle, Stephen “roasting” his audience (maybe Not that).

    I’m serious – I would watch it. And it might even win an Emmy.

    • MaryLovesColbert says:

      I second this! Stephen’s really got a lovely voice, I’d definitely watch a special like that. :)

    • Yes! I would love to see one special a year. Last year was “A Colbert Christmas” and didn’t the Daily Show air more stand alone shows in the early years[featuring Steve Carell and Stephen?] Let’s bring that idea back!

  8. An excellent choice for number nine. Again, I’m proud to say though this was among the first, I remember this ep very clearly, though I hadn’t been following the emerging Emmy feud.

    “Look at you pretending to look surprized! Is there any thing you just did there that humans use to indicate surprise?”

    Beautifully awesome show, the beginning of a tradition, and the first time I saw Stephen SING! =D

  9. That emmy moment is featured on the CBS website under their Emmy links–as it should be. In fact, I remember Stephen’s opening lines being rebroadcast during NPR’s emmy story the next morning…I woke up to Stephen saying “…Good Evening god-less sodomites!” Crazy that I remember that. Though like many have already said, I am also partial to Jon and Stephen giving Steve Carell the award (and Stephen intentionally mispronouncing Steve’s name during the list of nominees).

    This is one of my favorite eps because of Stephen singing. I was so surprised by his vocal abilities when I first saw it that now I get excited if it even appears like he may sing on the show!

  10. This was definitely a great episode! Just watched the last clip again – so fun. I like when Barry yells out, “He’s a lounge lizard!” HAHA

    Some of the best things are the stories that have gone on and on over multiple episodes, and then culminating in a big finale. I think this may have been the first of that kind on the Report.

    Like, Rain, Stephen’s Wrist, the Decemberists, etc.

    Great pick, DB!

    • MaryLovesColbert says:

      I agree – definitely some of the best things are these ‘sagas’ that Stephen’s character builds up in his mind, like he’s the focus of everyone’s attention and is always being victimized by his enemies. Lol. :P

  11. Every time an award show approaches it’s air date, I can’t but exclaim “Kneel before your god, Babylon!!!” and I subsequently crack myself up to no end. Only 17 more days left! Hang in there, Nation!

    • Sorry…that would be “can’t help but exclaim…”. Stupid itchy typing fingers…

    • And I go with the “Welcome Godless Sodomites!”

      Never not funny. I do love the audience’s reaction to Stephen. Especially Debra Messing and Donald Sutherland. They’re seriously cracking up w/ surprise.

  12. I absolutely love that Emmys clip. I have it on my iPod so I can watch it whenever I feel like it :)

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