Fantasy Colbert League: December 6-9, 2010

Hello, Zoners! You don’t have to tell me why I DO like Mondays! Sure, it’s a day almost everyone dreads, but for us it means a new Report–and that’s always good. And we must savor every show now, because very soon the holiday break will come, leaving us bereft.

What a great lineup this week, including two Pulitzer Prize winners, a Tony Award winner, and one of my favorite novel writing, bluegrass-playing comedians ever.

Monday December 6: Garry Trudeau

DoonesburyHappy 40th birthday, Doonsebury! Garry Trudeau debuted his cutting-edge, politically satiric strip (the continuation of his earlier, deliciously titled Bull Tales) in 1970, when the Vietnam War still raged and the cultural strife of the 60s remained explosive. For his unique work, Trudeau received the very first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a cartoonist. Doonesbury has also been adapted for TV and stage.

In 2004, Stephen and Trudeau appeared together on a panel about comedy:
Stephen Colbert, Drew Carey, Garry Trudeau: Political Humor and Campaigning Part 1 (2004) You may also remember Mr. Trudeau earned a “Wag of the Finger” from Stephen in May 2006.

Fract: Family ties–He is related (albeit distantly) to the former Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau, and is married to journalist Jane Pauley.

Tuesday, December 7: Julie Nixon Eisenhower & David Eisenhower

David & Julie EisenhowerThis should be an fascinating evening. Stephen has said that he admires President Richard Nixon and he reportedly has a poster of Nixon hanging in his office. So even though I do not share this sentiment, I’m really interested in seeing how a visit from Nixon’s daughter Julie and her husband, David Eisenhower (grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and director of the Institute for Public Service at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication) will play out. The couple recently collaborated on the book Going Home To Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969, which examines Ike’s post-presidential life. This is David’s second book about his grandfather; the first, Eisenhower at War, written in 1987, won the Pulitzer Prize. Julie has also written several books on her own, including a biography of her mother, Pat Nixon.

Fract: Despite her firmly Republican lineage, Julie Nixon Eisenhower supported Obama, not McCain, in the past election.

Wednesday, December 8: Steve Martin

Steve MartinHappy, happy, joy, joy: I love Steve Martin! On his last visit to the ‘Colbert Report’, he and Stephen parodied Christian Bale’s on-set meltdown, and it was pure comic gold. The versatile Martin is one of the few comedians (along with Stephen, of course) who has astonishing verbal flair (as evidenced by his novels and plays), amazing physical comedy skills, and superb dancing ability. He’s also an incredible Grammy-winning musical talent, which he showed off recently on Austin City Limits. His newest novel, An Object of Beauty: A Novel, was recently released to rave reviews.

Fract: In a somewhat shocking incident, the 92nd Street Y offered a refund to everyone who attended a recent conversation between Martin and Deborah Solomon. Apparently, the audience was upset that the two talked about art (the subject of An Object of Beauty) rather than, say, what Stephen Baldwin was like on the set of It’s Complicated. Martin has tweeted about the uproar as well as wrote an op-ed about the incident in this Sunday’s New York Times.

Thurday, December 9: Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor sculptingShe’s a director of theater, fllm, and opera; a designer, and a songwriter: Julie Taymor’s many talents have earned her two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award nomination for Original Song, and other honors too numerous to mention. Although she began her career working on experimental theater rather than commerical productions, Taymor is best known for successfully bringing Disney’s The Lion King from the screen to the stage. Her newest project is even bigger: the multimillion-dollar theatrical version of Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark , which very recently previewed to positive buzz after several years delay and many cast changes. The opening is now scheduled for January 2011. Also scheduled for an opening: Taymor’s film version of The Tempest, which does a little sex-change magic, transforming Prospero into Prospera (played by Helen Mirren), debuts on the 10th.

One of my personal favorites, for those who haven’t seen it, is her film Across the Universe, set to Beatles’ songs. It’s visually stunning meditation on the 60s.

Fract: Thanks to a grant she received, Taymor spent time studying puppetry on the Japanese island of Awaju. She put that knowledge to good use when she created the amazing life-size animal puppets for Lion King.

Enjoy the shows, and let me know what you think about Stephen’s guests!

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  1. friedthing says:

    Wow, I have never seen any of the Steve Martin episode before, except for that tiny bit of him walking around the set with some really loud, metal thingy during the show. Fist shake at! So, a million, billion thank yous for that clip! That was actually pretty terrifying, hearing Stephen yell and swear like that! And I finally get that joke about baby Christian Bale’s first words in that one Formula 401 segment!

    Anyway, sounds like an awesome week!!

  2. Mr. Arkadin says:

    That’s great that Steve Martin is coming back! Given Stephen’s confessed admiration for him, I’d think Stephen is thrilled a well. :)
    I’m glad you mention that incident at the Y. I hope Stephen brings it up as well. You’d think people who go to a show like that would be more clued in about what their going to see.
    Aw, Karenatasha! Why did you have to remind me of Stephen’s abiding affection for Nixon?! I guess even my heroes can’t be perfect. :(
    Just saw a doc. on Hubert Humphrey yesterday. It mention that Nixon sabotaged the peace talks with Vietnamese to assure himself the ’68 election. (And prolonging the war for another 7 years!) God, I hate that man!

    • Karenatasha says:

      I know, I know! Stephen may have a point about some of Nixon’s policies seeming liberal by the standards of today’s Republicans (which is hard for me to wrap my mind around), but he’s strategically leaving out Nixon’s role in the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the McCarthy years as well as the Watergate antics.

      Hope there aren’t 18 strategic minutes missing from tonight’s show! ;-)

      That said, I think Julie and David Eisenhower are both very interesting people, and the interview should be good.

  3. Heh, was not alive during Nixon’s term, but from what I’ve learned about him in school and from my parents, it doesn’t sound like I would’ve been big on him, either. Ah, well. He’s got his reasons for liking Nixon, so be it. Will still indeed be interesting to hear what his daughter has to say, definitely.

    And count me in for being excited about Steve Martin coming on the show. Last time they were together they read some, erm…entertaining…snippets of a story to the audience, so who knows what could happen this time (and given Steve’s love of the banjo and music, maybe, just maybe…a song between them? Dare I hope?).

    I’m also interested to see Taymor-U2, whom I love, is making the music for the “Spiderman” musical she’s directing, so I’ll be curious to see if any discussion on that aspect of it all comes up :D.

  4. lockhart43 says:

    I am so excited to see Steve Martin on the show! Thanks so much for that clip of the Christian Bale parody! I’d really like to see Martin’s interview from that same episode, too. Why isn’t it on *confused*

    As for President Nixon, Stephen’s admiration for him has actually made me want to read up on his policies (I added a Nixon biography to my book list, but I still haven’t had time to pick one up and read it). So I’d really like to hear him talk more sometime on why he does like Nixon. And I think his Nixon poster is the one that hangs in his office and was signed by George McGovern when he was a guest on the show.

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