Episode 6158 (12/13/2010) – Patti Smith

Colbert Report Episode guideEPISODE NUMBER: 6158 (December 13, 2010)
GUESTS: Patti Smith
SEGMENTS: Found Goldman Sachs MasterCard, The WØRD: Swift Payment, Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude
VIDEOS: Monday, December 13, 2010

Hey, kids! I’m the designated hitter for today’s episode guide, and what promises to be a great week got off to a strong start with last night’s show. I’m not surprised that Stephen is having a hard time finding a Wall Street banker who’s willing to appear on the Report. They probably have a pretty good idea what they’d be in for if they did appear. But I have to think that Buckley T. Ratchford is taking a fair amount of ribbing from friends and colleagues today after Stephen tried to blackmail him into coming on the show by threatening to reveal his credit card number. It’s going to be hard to live that one down. We’ll have to see how effective this “threat” is, although if Buckley T. is a Colbert fan, maybe he’ll take his chances.

I hadn’t heard about the latest global warming solution from Fonda survivor and part-time nutjob Ted Turner. Controlling reproduction rights by limiting couples to one child, and then allowing the poor to sell their reproduction rights to the rich is one of the most ridiculous ideas I’ve ever encountered. So it seemed appropriate for Stephen to refer back to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, which, if you’re not familiar with it, suggests that the Irish (always troublesome to the English back in Swift’s day) sell their children as food for the rich. It was a brilliant connection between Swift’s “proposal” and Turner’s idea that got there through Turner’s earlier statement that in 30 or 40 years the few remnants of humanity left on the planet will turn to cannibalism. I love that Stephen and his writers assume that their audience is intelligent enough to follow them along whatever intellectual path they take to get to the laughs.

I have a strange fondness for tacky Christmas decorations, but I have to say, that red, white, and blue Christ-mas tree from Boss Creations is truly awful. It is surpassed in its extreme fugliness only by this monstrosity that Zoner Lilimich tweeted a few days ago. And I didn’t know what to expect from the interview with Patti Smith, but I found it interesting and enjoyable. I wish she had talked just a bit more about the New York scene in the 1970s, because that would have been fascinating. I liked her honesty about getting awards.

I thought Richard Holbrooke had appeared on the Report at some point, but I couldn’t remember when until I saw the short clip at the end of the show of Holbrooke singing with Stephen and Willie Nelson. It was back in March of 2007, just around the time that Stephen’s Americone Dream ice cream began appearing in supermarkets. Holbrooke mediated the ice cream taste-off between Willie and Stephen that happened earlier in that show. I’m glad Stephen chose to acknowledge the sad news of Holbrooke’s passing with a lighthearted moment.

So what did you all think of the show? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to vote in the poll!

  • The only chestnuts they want to see roasting on an open fire are the ones attached to Wall Street bankers.
  • You see, in China, you can have only one child. That makes sure that the only big brother you’ll ever have is Big Brother. [Hu’s Your Daddy]
  • Some people see life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as Constitutional rights. But visionaries like Ted Turner see them as menu options. [No Kids Menu For You!]
  • If we don’t control global warming, Ted Turner is going cannibal. [Reason Larry King Is “Retiring”]
  • I even found some great preparation tips by a guy named Jon Swift. I think he was a famous cook back in England. [Won “Iron Chef: Eighteenth Century”]
  • Just watch your portion size. Otherwise those chubby thighs will go right to your chubby thighs.
  • It’s crazy! It’s totally insane! It’s like they’re making this stuff up… which they are!
  • Well how was Gretchen supposed to know? She had such a trustworthy source… an anonymous, slurring woman hanging around a school at night.
  • It’s like George Washington and Jesus teamed up and declared independence from taste.
  • Best of all, this tree can be used year-round. Christmas, Flag Day, Fourth of July, hell, this thing would look pretty good in a gay pride parade.
  • Patti Smith: I don’t work to win an award, but if I get one, I’m really happy. Stephen: Me too.
  • Patti Smith: It’s like being a mother, you have to– It’s a full time job. Stephen: That’s why I’m a father.


  1. I loved the Word, but the best segment for me last night was actually the bit with the found Goldman Sachs Mastercard. First of all, Buckley T. Ratchford is one of the greatest names I’ve ever heard. Secondly, the giddy, joyful look on Stephen’s face after he said, “…and now, I have it.” was so great! I can’t wait to see how that turns out.

    “Fonda survivor and part-time nutjob Ted Turner” – I absolutely cracked up when I read that! :P Ted Turner certainly is a giant bottle of crazy sauce. And I was sad to hear of the passing of Richard Holbrooke. He seemed like a nice man, and a definite presence wherever he went. Showing Holbrooke singing with Stephen and Willie Nelson was a nice way to honor him at the closing of the episode.

  2. I have to say that I am a huge fan of patriotic decorations, but that tree??? It’s sad to want to see a red white and blue decoration burn but, that tree!!! All I could think of was all those trees in the Charlie Brown christmas tree lot. The pink and orange ones, shiny and aluminum (shudder)

    I really hope Buckley comes on the show.

    Oh and when Stephen referred to Ted Turner as a Fonda survivor, he should know. He is also a Fonda survivor. :-D

  3. Mr. Arkadin says:

    Isn’t this the second “The Word” to reference “A Modest Proposal?” I’m not complaining. It was great! Just wondering.
    I love it when Stephen slaps around “Ma elf” Gretchen Carlson. It makes me happy. :)
    I kind of wish Stephen had let Smith talk a little more. (I sometimes think his deafness in his right ear makes him jump the gun on his guest & not let them finish their answer.) Because I swear Smith was going to tell Stephen that he had Punk rock spirit. (Or words to that effect.) But, Stephen step on the complement. :(
    Ann, I to was glad Stephen remarked on Holbrooke’s pasting. Holbrooke was a true friend of the show. He envoked Stephen’s name on multiple occasion. At multiple events, including during an interview with Rachel Maddow & a seminar on the Afghanistan war.
    RIP Mr. Holbrooke.

  4. MaryLovesColbert says:

    The credit card bit at the beginning was GOLD. Stephen’s glee was so utterly palpable during that opening! :D

    I was glad that Stephen mentioned the sad news of Richard Holbrooke’s passing. He was, after all, a friend of the show and a great diplomat.

  5. It’s like George Washington and Jesus teamed up and declared independence from taste.

    That made me laugh. A lot. Pretty much sums it all up (and oh, Gretchen. Oh, Fox News…).

    I REALLY hope something comes of this whole credit card thing. I’d love, love, LOVE it if he actually managed to get a Wall Street banker on, that interview could be legendary. Such a devilish man sometimes, our Stephen.

    I knew the Swift name sounded familiar, I just totally blanked on what it was he was known for (to be fair, I had a bitch of a headache last night, too, so my brain was kinda focusing more on that at the moment). I love the sources this show uses for material, they can pull in pretty much anything and have it make sense in the context of whatever they’re talking about. And more proof of why I love the “Word” segment (as for Mr. Turner, uhhhhhhhhhhh…yeah *Makes coocoo motion with finger*).

  6. Karenatasha says:

    Oh, it was a hard decision: the credit card or the Word? I went for the latter, because I so loved Stephen’s use of “A Modest Proposal,” which is truly one of my favorite pieces of angry and satiric writing. (And of course, IRISH writing.) Really, Turner just made the choice of that text irresistible,didn’t he?

    That said, the Goldman Sachs Mastercard segment was completely hysterical, and as every previous poster has already pointed out, Stephen’s glee was positively delicious. Of course, I’m writing this on Tuesday night with the advantage of having seen his equally brilliant follow-up.

    Really, does comedy get much better than this? A toast to Stephen and his staff! If they don’t win that Writer’s Guild Award it will be a crying shame. (Even though Jon was particularly splendid tonight himself.)

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