Stephen Colbert in the Zeitgeist – January 16, 2011

zeitgeist2Greetings, Zoners! It’s time for a quick round-up of some Colbert news nuggets from the past couple of weeks. Today we’ve got a couple of stragglers from the “Best of 2010” category, a nostalgic look back at the beginning of Stephen’s relationship with Wikipedia, a chance to vote for Stephen, and a few other odds and ends. Here’s your zeitgeist for Sunday, January 16th.

Best of 2010 redux

  • Politico’s Top 10 Late Night Moments, at #10: “Colbert annoys Congress: When it was announced that Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert would testify before Congress, the question was not about his purpose… but about his tone: Would he be in character? Within just seconds of opening his mouth during that September hearing, it was clear that Colbert would be just as devious as he is on his show… The performance did not go over well with buttoned-up politicians on both sides of the aisle…” Also on Politico’s list, at #1, was the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, which was apparently all about Jon: “…[I]t did cement Stewart as not just a court jester but a permanent — and powerful — political player.”
  • has announced their awards for the best 3D, HD, and Blu-ray experiences of the past year, and among the winners was The Colbert Report, for both Most Dynamic HiDef TV Program Overall, and for Most Dynamic HiDef Talk Show.

Fact checking with PolitiFact

  • PolitiFact Texas takes a more detailed look at Rep. Ron Paul’s recent visit to the Report to talk about gold and the Federal Reserve, specifically to fact-check the congressman’s claim that “the Federal Reserve has destroyed 98 percent of the value of the purchasing power of the dollar since 1913.” A similar statement was rated as Half True by PolitiFact Virginia back in November 2010: “The Tea Party says the buck has dropped by 98 percent, but its use of the gold standard to measure the greenback is not a relevant gauge. Using the Consumer Price index, as many economists recommend, we find the dollar fell by 95 percent since 1913.”

Wikipedia and the African elephant population

  • In honor of Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary, PC World has posted their list of the 10 biggest hoaxes in Wikipedia’s first 10 years. And you can’t write an article about that without including this stunt: “Oh, Stephen Colbert. What would we do without you? Colbert’s brilliant media satire show, the Colbert Report, took on Wikipedia in July 2006, urging viewers to edit the encyclopedia to indicate that the population of African elephants had tripled in the previous six months.”

What’s a Reince Priebus?

  • The Wisconsin State Journal follows up Stephen’s recent report on Reince Priebus with the question: “Will anyone outside of Wisconsin actually be able to pronounce his name? The answer: Probably not.” But Stephen sure had a good time with it. Just for the record, the correct pronounciation is “rints (rhymes with pints) PREE-bus.” Get used to it, kids, I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing it a lot.

Vote for Stephen

  • HuffPo is conducting a poll to rate the 50 Funniest People of the Decade. Stephen is currently ranked just outside of the top 5 at #6, so head on over there and vote for him!

Gratuitous name dropping

  • The Guardian speculates on the identity of the anonymous author who wrote the upcoming book O : a Presidential Novel, which is being published in the U.S. by Simon & Schuster on January 25th. Among the possible names mentioned: Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. (I say no, they wouldn’t have had time to write it.) Most people are betting on either Joe Klein, who was the anonymous author behind Primary Colors in 1996, or Rahm Emanuel.

(h/t DB and Katt)


  1. WooHoo! Voted! Annnnnd voted. And voted. Annnnnnnnd voted. Oh yeah, I also voted.

    • That just made me laugh pretty hard. :D

      • Silly, silly HuffPo! They don’t know us very well, do they?? :D

        Vote vote vote…vote-va-vote-vote…Vote vote vote…vote va-vote vote!

        I just totally sang this to The Banana Splits theme.

  2. Yay for the Politico mentions! Great moments, both of them. Stephen’s testimony in front of Congress was truly amazing.

    LOL at the Wikipedia thing, I didn’t know about that. Oh, Stephen :D.

    We sure are going to hear “Reince Priebus” a lot now, since he’s the new RNC chairman. So more opportunities for Stephen to have fun with his name! Woo!

    And now I’m off to vote in that poll.

  3. At first I thought, how can they not choose the Conan-Leno fiasco as the #1 late night event, but then I realized it was political stuff they were looking at.
    Also, why is Anderson Cooper on the list of 50 funniest people of the decade? He’s not funny. Surely there is someone funnier that is saying the same thing as I am. God, Howard Stern is funnier, that guy on The Office, who plays Dwight, Joel McHale, Hugh Laurie is funnier than Anderson Cooper, Jane Lynch is funnier, I mean GAWD, Anderson Cooper???
    Wait a minute, was Jay Leno on the list? OUCH!!! Actually Letterman’s not on there either. Now COME ON! I hate Leno, but I would have to say he’s funnier….um…..well, Letterman should definitely be on there, instead of AC, no doubt. :-D

    • I don’t know – I thought Anderson was pretty funny last night on the SNL digital short. :)

      • Well, I agree that he’s funny. He can be funny at times, for a newsguy. To put him on a list of the 50 funniest people of the decade? There are others that are much funnier. Joel McHale keeps coming to mind, Jane Lynch, too. Meh, whatever.
        Anyway, I put both Stephen and Jon at #10.

  4. lockhart43 says:

    The very second that I heard that Reince Priebus was the new RNC Chairman, I thought to myself, “Ohhhh Jon and Stephen are going to have soo much fun with that next week.” So bring it on, Priebus! :P

    And regarding the HuffPo poll, I’d say they have it right so far with Ricky Gervais and Jon being in the Top 5 (along with Tina Fey – she ruled SNL when her and Jimmy Fallon did Weekend Update), but COME ON. Stephen’s not in the Top 5 yet? That needs to change. *votes again and again and again* *and again*

  5. Karenatasha says:

    Aghh. That Larry David isn’t in the top 5 is a crime to me. Dave Chapelle too, because he’s absolutely brilliant. Actually, this is all rather hard, because there are loads of people I love there. Voted for a bunch of people along the spectrum to get them higher up in the list…and of course, Stephen! Multiple times.

  6. Karenatasha says:

    And David Sedaris is there too! How do you compare his writing to some of the others, who primarily perform? Makes no sense to me.

  7. WooHoo! Just found out I can vote using my iPhone with HuffPo’s handy li’l app!

  8. Karenatasha says:

    David’s actually more well-known than Amy, at least as a writer. I know many people who are huge fans of his but only slightly familiar wth her. His books are highly regarded and almost always receive major critical attention. Plus, David really was the first Sedaris to make his name.

    From the things I’ve read, it doesn’t seem as if Amy’s even searching for big-time fame. She’s so offbeat and unique, and I’ve gotten the impression she’s happy to do her own thing. She’s a cult star for the initiated.

    In any case, the two really shouldn’t be compared. I’m just glad they’re both around, because I get a lot out pleasure out of their work.

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