Stephen Colbert in the Zeitgeist – August 26, 2010

zeitgeist2Greetings, Zoners! I know it’s been way too long since I did one of these, but really, except for the Emmy win last weekend and the announcement about the “Returnification” shows, the news has been pretty sparse lately. I’m hoping that once everyone comes out of their it’s-too-hot-to-think stupor after Labor Day, things will start hopping more. As for me, I’m still on a taping high from Monday. It’s always a special experience to be in the presence of Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA, to watch the laughs being created first-hand. I can’t wait to go back! But for now, let’s move on to the news nuggets for today, including some commentary about Monday’s show, Wikipedia edit wars, and the most web-savvy late-night hosts.

Leslie Kean

  • The Chicago Tribune reports that Monday’s interview with Leslie Kean renewed interest in the 2006 UFO sighting at O’Hare International Airport. During the interview, Ms. Kean advised typing “chicago o’hare ufo” into the old Googles, and apparently a lot of people did just that: “According to Google Trends, the term ‘chicago o hare ufo’ saw a spike in search volume Monday night.” The initial story about the UFO sighting remains “the single most popular story or column in the history of”
  • The Transcendent TV & Media blog has a review of Monday’s interview with Leslie Kean, as well as some more in-depth information on the UFO incident at O’Hare International Airport.


  • Gizmodo has an infographic illustrating the greatest (although the illustration says “lamest”) edit wars on Wikipedia. If you look in the lower right corner of the graphic, you’ll see that one of the edit wars was over whether or not Stephen Colbert was a serious candidate for president in 2008, and was it the real Stephen, or “Stephen Colbert” the character who was the candidate. Total number of edits: 14,957.

Is your favorite late-night host web savvy?

  • Forbes reports on the top web-savvy late-night hosts. Jimmy Fallon tops the list with his 2.7 million Twitter followers, an active blog, and a steady stream of web content to compliment his show. Coming in at #4 is Stephen Colbert, with a 1.7 million Twitter following and videos that regularly go viral.

The Fightin’ Meatmen

  • has a brief article about J. Patrick Boyle’s appearance on the Report in the Better Know a Lobby segment featuring the American Meat Institute: “‘Although I’ve had a lot of tough interviews in my day, that was definitely the toughest and most unique interview experience of my career,’ Boyle said. ‘I was honored to play straight man to the hilarious Stephen Colbert and to demonstrate that while meat processing is serious business, we can be good sports.’ AMI reports that Boyle’s interview with the comedian was two hours long, edited down to a four minute segment for the show.”

“And the Wise Men started tokin’…”

  • has a feature on the ten sexiest celebrity stoners, and they list Stephen at #9. I’m going to take issue with this because 1) Stephen may have admitted to some weed usage when he was younger, but he’s not a stoner; 2) I personally don’t find recreational drug use to be sexy; and 3) he should be much higher on the list. From the bit about Stephen: “In a live speaking engagement in 2006 (and in San Francisco), Colbert mentioned that smoking weed in high school influenced his comedy. It’s always funny to hear someone explain how drugs ‘inform their art,’ but if you’ve ever seen Colbert in Strangers with Candy, you know it’s a pretty straight line.”

(h/t wren and Jennie)


  1. Thanks for the links, Ann G.
    Not surprised about the Wikipedia debate – even Stephen, himself, has said he was not always sure who was running.
    It seems like many of the others could be solved by the founder declaring American or British usage/spelling as the standard in disputes. Now, as for the 2000 or 2001 being the start of the millennium, everyone knows it’s 2001! And this is the last year of the 1st decade. I’m pretty apathetic about most of the others. (But toilet paper rolls should have the loose end hanging from over the top!)

  2. Spoon At A Spork Fight says:

    Did you guys catch John Waters’ mention of Stephen in his Paris Review interview from 8/9/10? It’s a cute behind the scenes moment:

    Waters: You have to give the totally straight face with him because he is such a good straight man. It was so funny, right before we went on, backstage, it was me and the kid who wrote the article about General McChrystal that toppled the government [Michael Hastings], and I loved the journalist, and we were talking because I used to write for Rolling Stone. So I was showing him my Rolling Stone press card, and right before we go on, Colbert looks at us, because he’s always in character, right, even before, and he says, “I like one of you.”

    Interviewer: No way!

    Waters: Which is really funny and I knew it was funny; but I think the young author was horrified. I knew it was part of the act, but what a terrible thing to say!

    • Oh that’s hilarious! He’s so wicked. You have to do more than that to throw John Waters ;)

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