Stephen Colbert in the Zeitgeist – June 29, 2010

zeitgeist2Greetings, Zoners! It’s time for our every-now-and-then round-up of Colbert news. It must be summer, because the news has slowed down to a trickle, but there are still a few interesting tidbits out there. Today we’ve got a few follow-up articles on TCR segments, a possible nerd-off in the works, and some gratuitous name-dropping.

Fallback Position: Astronaut

  • CultureMap Houston has a nice cummary of Stephen’s visit to the Johnson Space Center for astronaut training, referring to the resulting Fallback Position segments as “a video love letter to NASA”: “It’s clear: ‘Stephen Colbert’ conservative-blowhard pundit and the man who plays him, Stephen Colbert, comic actor and writer, are both space geeks. Clowning his way through the halls and simulators of the Johnson Space Center, he revealed the dignity, dedication, and, yes, sense of humor of everyone at NASA who helped him ‘train’ for astronaut duty.”

Stephen vs. Stephen

  • CNN’s Belief blog has a brief entry from Stephen Prothero on his appearance on TCR to promote God is Not One. He refers to it as a “mini-battle of the Stephens.”

Gloria Steinem

  • Mediaite reviews Stephen’s interview with Gloria Steinem, and finds it lacking because they barely touched on the subject of the surge in Republican female candidates. I don’t know, myself, if this is a valid criticism; there’s only so much you can discuss in a five-minute interview on a comedy show.

Nerds unite!

  • addresses the upcoming departure of über-nerd Peter Orszag from the Obama administration by asking another famous self-proclaimed nerd and friend of the blog, Craig Newmark, about life after Orszag. Craig acknowledges Orszag’s contributions, but also issues a challenge: “…I feel I’m a bigger nerd than he is, and have challenged him to a nerd-off, possibly moderated by Stephen Colbert, an Alpha Nerd himself.” Now that would be an interesting contest! But could the world handle that much nerdiness gathered in one place, or would it cause a massive disruption in the space-time continuum?

Gratuitous name dropping

  • From, in a news story about the trailer for the new film Never Let Me Go: “There are some films that arrive so overloaded with talent that the poster might as well just be a moving image of Stephen Colbert with his grasping hand and the slogan ‘Oscar Please!’ plastered across the bottom.” (Hee!)
  • In a story on Mohan Ramchandani, the New York tailor responsible for the suits with the custom iPad pocket, the New York Post mentions that Stephen is scheduled for a fitting for one of the iPad-pocketed suits sometime in July, in spite of the fact that Ramchandani is riding Stephen’s coattails, literally.

And in other space news…

  • Given Stephen’s persistent questions about sex in space during his astronaut training last week, I thought the timing on this story was hilarious. According to an article on, when asked the sex-in-space question during a Tokyo press event this week, astronaut Alan Poindexter responded, “We are a group of professionals. We treat each other with respect and we have a great working relationship. Personal relationships are not… an issue. We don’t have them and we won’t.” I guess this means “Stephen” won’t have any chance of joining the 200-mile-high club anytime soon!

(h/t Ms I, wren, and Katt)


  1. Stephen’s having another IPad fitting? I hope that means that the Emmy people will be letting him and Jon do a presentation this year (unlike last year). Or might it be for something else?

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