Stephen Colbert in the Zeitgeist – The Best of 2010, part 1

zeitgeist2Greetings, Zoners, and happy new year! As we say goodbye to 2010 — or kick it out the door, depending on what kind of year it was for you — it’s time to look back at the past twelve months and remember some of the highlights. And there were some truly amazing highlights: the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Stephen’s visit to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, and the “Vancouverage” of the Winter Olympics all come to mind right away. This is also the time of year when the media looks back and declares who made an impact in the past year, and then arranges them nicely in various lists. Stephen made it onto a lot of those lists this year, for his performance skills, his charitable efforts, his quotable wisdom, and just for being generally awesome. I’ve rounded up some of the highlights to share with you in a couple of posts; so many people thought Stephen had a great year that I’ve had to divide up the goodies so I don’t overwhelm you all at once. For this post, we’ll look at some of the praise for Stephen as a performer, and for The Colbert Report as one of television’s best shows.

The Year in Stephen Colbert (and Jon Stewart)

  • From TV Squad, 10 Memorable ‘Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert Report’ Moments of 2010: I’m not certain that this list is in any kind of order — Jon has all the odd numbered spots, while Stephen has the even numbers — but Stephen is at #2 with his “Vancouverage” of the 2010 Winter Olympics. (The video posted with this one features Stephen’s brother Ed informing him of all the different ways he can be sued by NBC. One of my favorite segments from the “Vancouverage”!)
  • From TPM LiveWire, Sanity, Fear, and Sanchez: The Year’s Top Moments in Stewart/Colbert. They’re not numbered, but the five top moments of the year from Jon and Stephen are Jon’s epic Glenn Beck impression, the Sanchez vs. Stewart battle that cost Rick Sanchez his job, Stephen’s testimony on Capitol Hill, Jon motivating the “lame-as-f#@k Congress” to pass the health care bill for 9/11 first responders, and of course, “the Rally to end all rallies.”
  • From not just a “best of” list, but The Year in Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. It’s all about The Rally, which was certainly the biggest highlight in The Year in Stephen Colbert. (Fangirl warning: the pic included with the article is dangerous. Shield the eyes of any small children in the room before viewing. I’M SERIOUS.)

Best performer/television show/good guy of the year, 2010

  •’s Best of 2010 voting is over, and The Colbert Report won the vote for Best Variety Show. Well done with the voting, Nation!
  • From the Calgary Herald, From Jersey Shore to Madison Ave: TV’s naughty & nice list for 2010: At the top of the “nice” list: “The case for Stephen Colbert as a soothsayer for wounded times… By taking on the persona of an outrageous, opinionated conservative pundit and TV blowhard, and by conducting some of the loopiest interviews ever seen on TV… Colbert continued to redefine the notion of TV satire, while at the same time deflating other TV hosts’ self-importance.”
  • From The New York Times television section, a look back over the year: Unexpected, Unfiltered, Unbelievable, Unctuous: “Mr. Colbert goes to Washington: The comedian Stephen Colbert testified before a House subcommittee on immigration in character as the right-wing cable bloviator he plays on ‘The Colbert Report.’ Among other things he proposed ways to crack down on farmers’ reliance on migrant workers. ‘The obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables,’ he said. ‘And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you’ll see that many Americans have already started.'”
  • named their Top 20 Celebs Gone Good, and Stephen shows up at #19 for his work with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Donors Choose, as well as his testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration.
  • At HuffPo, The Top TV Reality Moments of 2010: “Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington: …[T]he talk shows also went to Washington when Stephen Colbert… testified before Congress on behalf of migrant farm workers. After slipping into his on-air persona during his testimony — despite having submitted a report that he would address the lawmakers as himself — he received fewer laughs than he was used to and was even asked to leave… by a Democrat!
  • From The DePaulia, the student newspaper of DePaul University, 2010’s Best TV Performances: At #4, “Stephen Colbert as pundit Stephen Colbert in Comedy Central’s ‘The Colbert Report’: When President Obama moved into the White House and the Democrats took over Capitol Hill a couple of years ago, many wondered if Stephen Colbert would be relevant in late night. Then the Tea Party happened. Then the BP oil spill hit. While these two events allowed Colbert to remain hilarious and sharp for months on end, he always finds the absurdities in our world and strikes back.”
  • From TV Squad, 12 Underrated Actors of 2010: “Stephen Colbert as ‘Stephen Colbert’: Colbert is mostly overlooked because he lives in the shadow of his ‘adversary,’ Jon Stewart. In fact, their public squabbles, however manufactured, are as funny as any of their political satire… His parody of Papa Bear O’Reilly and all things conservative illustrates his range as a performer.”
  • From the Vancouver Sun, A Banner Year for Television: #1 on their list of the ten best TV shows of the year is The Colbert Report: “Stephen Colbert, TV’s most trusted purveyor of ‘truthiness,’ had a very good year in 2010, beginning with his invention of a new ‘high-definition touch screen’ in a January segment, and ending with his Halloween-eve Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with Jon Stewart… The highlight, though — the piece de resistance, if you will — was Colbert’s public preening act at Vancouver’s Winter Olympics.”

(h/t DB and Katt for all the help in rounding up these links!)


  1. lockhart43 says:

    From the TV Squad article – …It was a moment that transcended comedy and proved that these shows could be important reminders of what really matters.


    This year-end roundup was a great idea! I love when other people talk about how awesome Stephen is. :)

  2. Oh my–thank you for that tbd link!

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