YOU TUBE: Videos of Stephen Colbert in Iraq

YouTube member DavidKanevsky1980 just posted some amazing videos of Stephen Colbert in Iraq that I simply must share. Also watching these videos, and watching Stephen interact with the troops reminds me yet again that if he doesn’t win an Emmy this year for his work there, I’m personally going to go and kick the shins of every Emmy voting member I can find.

Pre-show Q&A

If you’ve never been to a live show, and you’ve heard the stories of the Q&A’s before the show, this will really bring to life how lucky that the studio audience is every night. From the spin, to the questions about Sweetness, to discussions about his haircut, this is filled with moments that, let’s be honest, will make you squee just a little.

The Star Spangled Banner

How many times have we seen Stephen sing the “Star Spangled Banner”? That would be a lot. But to see him sing with a member of our armed forces, with a sea of camo at attention in respect to our National Anthem, is almost overwhelming. It’s now officially my favorite rendition of his singing the song.

Stephen Colbert warms up the crowd

Here’s another video of Stephen before a “Going Commando” show, this one obviously before the first show due to the fact that he has hair.

“You Are The Best” – Live!

I really respect how the show didn’t just come in and do their job of taping the show, that they actually worked hard to entertain the troops. This song will be instantly recognizable to those who have always loved the Tek Jansen segments on the show. I love any time that Jason Baker gets to sing in that amazing, 80’s hair band twang of his, and to see it live for a very enthusiastic audience made me smile terribly.


  1. Gratefull says:

    WOW! … *grin* and as an affirmation, the words I have to type to post this comment are …

    “He radiates” … Booyaaaa!!

  2. THE BEST way to end my day, thanks! Operation Iraqi Stephen will never get old, and I will never get less emotional and appreciative about the whole endeavor.

    Count me in on the shin-kicking if it becomes necessary. I’ve got a big ol’ pair of Dr. Martens just right for the job ;)

  3. lockhart43 says:

    I’m not going to lie that I got teary-eyed while watching the “Star Spangled Banner” one. Just….WOW. Thank you so much for posting these! :]

    If Stephen doesn’t win an Emmy this year, after going to Iraq last year and with all of the Winter Olympic coverage, I am all for the shin-kicking. I’m with wren – I’ve got a nice pair of Doc Martens handy for the occasion. ;)

    • lockhart43 says:

      I am realizing that I should correct myself – If Team Colbert doesn’t win an Emmy this year, I’m kicking some shins. I say this because I’m really pulling for Stephen and the staff in the Writing category. *fingers crossed*

  4. All smiles here! Has it really been almost a year since the Iraq shows aired? Crazy!

    I third/fourth the shin-kicking. I’ll bring a pointy pair of heels and my cleats to add to Doc Martens! ;)

  5. The audio for the Q&A was a little hard for me to make out…

    anyway, I usually root for TDS to win at the emmys but, this year, I’m rooting for TCR, because those shows in Iraq were AMAZING. They deserve it. :)

  6. Not only do they have to award Stephen, but they have to bring his performance category back this year!

  7. ColbertGirl27 says:

    I think Stephen put his life on the line during that Thunderbirds segment, so he should win an Emmy based on that alone:)

  8. Caoilfhiann says:

    If anyone with better hearing than I have could write up transcriptions of these videos (except for the Star Spangled Banner. I’m dead familiar with the words to that. LOL) I’d really appreciate it. The sound is just too muffled for me to make it out clearly, and I don’t have time today for the multiple listenings it would take for me to figure it out. Thanks.

  9. Twirling Stephen!

    Ok, I seem to be starting a lot of my comments with my last sentence, haha.

    And I agree with Caoilfhiann and Rein. Transcriptions would be greatly greatly appreciated.

    Thanks to DavidKanevsky1980 for the videos and to No Fact Zone for posting.

  10. MaryLovesColbert says:

    WOW. Absolutely amazing videos. And I have to second or third or fourth the assertion that he’d better win an Emmy this year!! Those shows were unbelievable and so full of heart, he definitely deserves the award for what he did over there. The National Anthem video definitely made me tear up.

    Transcripts would definitely be appreciated though – especially of that first video, there’s a lot of echo on it. Thanks to DavidKanevsky1980 for posting and thanks to you guys for reporting on stuff like this!! :D

  11. Katydidnt says:

    Transcription of the first clip follows. It’s mostly right, though there were some moments that I couldn’t make out. Maybe some of you will have better hearing than I do and can fill in the dodgy spots.

    Clip #1

    Intro Guy: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the man of the hour, Mr. Stephen Colbert!

    (Applause, cheering.)

    Stephen: Thank you! Thank you! Sit down, sit down! (Unintelligible something in a low voice–sorry guys, I can’t tell what it is.) Welcome to the show; I am Stephen Colbert. Are there any questions you might have for me before we begin, to humanize me in your eyes before I say these terrible things in character? (calling on someone) Sir!

    Man: Stephen, are you gonna take another run at the presidency?

    Stephen: Am I gonna take another run at the presidency? (Cheers, then Stephen says, laughing) I don’t know! (Laughter. Calling on someone.) Yeah (unintelligible) here.

    Woman: Would you call, uh, uh, Jon a, uh, wussy for not coming in here?

    Stephen: Jon Stewart? Would I call him a wussy? No, but I would call him a hippie freak for (unintelligible). No, I’m not gonna call him names. He cries very easily. (calling on someone else) Yes, sir.

    Man: Did you bring Sweetness with you?

    Stephen: Did I bring Sweetness? My gun? I’m, I’m engaged to a handgun. Uh, I posted this s@#t on my web (?) Um, uh, no, I, they told me they wouldn’t allow me to bring my gun on a plane. Unlike you, I’m not licensed to carry it everywhere I go. In fact, looking out at an audience that has so many weapons, it seems like you don’t think it’s gonna go very well. (Laughter)

    Woman: How do you like your new haircut?

    Stephen: What?

    Woman: How do you like your new haircut?

    Stephen: It gives me some air conditioning, I’ll tell you that. Every time I feel it or I wash it…my hair’s not that long anyway, but every time I go by any reflective surface, I think, “Holy shit, who is that? Why am I brushing that guy’s teeth?” Are we ready to rock and roll? (coughs a little) I have (?) in my throat. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Petty Officer (?). Come on out.

  12. Katydidnt says:

    Transcription of clip 3:

    Stephen: Um, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s hard…it’s gonna be hard for me to explain to the people back home what it’s like here. Um, every time I get out of a vehicle, I think I’m standing in front of the tailpipe. (Laughter.) And then I try to get away from it, and I go, “Oh, no! They just built the whole country inside the tailpipe!” That’s terrible planning! (calling on someone) Yes, young man.

    (Man asks a question about what the insignia on his suit shoulders means.)

    Stephen: This is actually not, uh, this is not, uh, uh, a, an insignia for rank. This is something that tells me which end of this suit is up. (Laughter.) I forget sometimes. And this side there’s a little house that keeps the flag dry. (calling on someone) Yes, sir.

    Man: Do you plan on running for president again, Stephen?

    Stephen: What?

    Man: Do you plan on running for president again?

    Stephen: Do I plan on running for president again? Well, I’ll tell you what, I plan on counting this as military service, so…(cheers and laughter drown out the rest of his sentence).

  13. colbaby says:

    Best I could do for the first vid. If anyone can fill in the blanks that’d be great:

    Sit down, sit down! Oh you didn’t fight me very hard, that’s not a good sign. Welcome to the show, I’m Stephen Colbert. Are there any questions you might have for me before we begin? *muffled* before I say these terrible things in character?

    Q: Stephen, are you going to make another run for the presidency?
    A: Am I going to make another run for the presidency? *muffled*

    Q: Are you going to call Jon a wussy for not coming down here with you?
    A: Jon Stewart? Am I going to call him a wussy? No, but I’m going to call him a hippy freak for all that stuff he’s got on his head now. No, I’m not going to call him names…he cries very easily.

    Q: Did you bring Sweetness with you?
    A: Did I bring Sweetness, my gun? I’m engaged to a handgun. I have a close relationship to my gun. Uh no, they wouldn’t allow me to bring my gun on the plane. Unlike you people, I’m not licensed to carry it everywhere I go. As a matter of fact, looking *muffled*, do they always *muffled* this many weapons? It seems like the old *muffled* didn’t go very well.

    Q: How do you like your new haircut?
    A: It beats air conditioning, I’ll tell you that. And uh, I don’t really feel it *muffled*, my hair’s not THAT long anyway. But every time I go *muffled* I think ‘holy sh*t, who is that? Why am I watching that guy speak?’

    Are we ready to rock n roll? (coughs) *muffled* (something about “caught in my throat”)

    • colbaby says:

      katydidnt beat me to it! Oh well, maybe we can combine the two and have the whole thing haha.

      • Katydidnt says:

        Colbaby, I think that with our powers combined, we have the whole thing! You got a lot of the stuff I couldn’t make out. :)

  14. Mr. Arkadin says:

    Thank you Katydidnt & colbaby for your efforts in transcribing.
    I would have been completely lost without them!

  15. Thank you so much for the transcripts colbaby and Katydidnt! Yet another reason why I love this community. You guys are very kind! :D

  16. This was wonderful. I love how genuinely and sincerely Stephen was in his interaction with the troops. He gave it his all, and it definitely shows!

    Thanks for the post and all of the transcriptions in the comments by our zoners!

  17. Yes, I agree about the shin kicking. I think if he doesn’t win this year, I will be mad enough that I will want to kick a region of the body slightly higher than the shins.

    Anyhoo, Thanks for the transcriptions because they were hard to hear.

    The Star spangled Banner video was amazing. Stephen has such a wonderful singing voice and can harmonize to boot!

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