Episode 7062 (5/10/2011) – Geoffrey Rush

Colbert Report Episode guideEPISODE NUMBER: 7062 (May 10, 2011)
GUESTS: Geoffrey Rush
SEGMENTS: Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump Announce Future Announcements, Yahweh or No Way? – Thor and Apocalypse Billboard, Difference Makers – Donald Trump
VIDEOS: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to my first episode guide—and what a fun show it was!

Didn’t our favorite word hurdler look especially dapper tonight, with his slicked-back hair and classic gray suit? But even dressed to the nines, Stephen is a supreme verbal warrior, no holds barred, and he came out hitting hard against one of my least-favorite politicians and preferred targets: Newt. Really, why doesn’t Gingrich just go hide under a rock? But Mr. Colbert was braced to go, ready to jump on the “huge headed news” that Newt had made an announcement that he would make an announcement…. Well, visions of Jon and Stephen rally-rousing danced in my head. Oh how much more fun THEIR announcement of an announcement was than Gingrich’s! Theirs inspired fun; this just caused dread and a slightly sick feeling in my stomach. And then came the Donald fest about HIS maybe, possibly, terribly, no-good upcoming announcement. I especially loved the line about Trump “running in his mind…because that’s where all the supporters are.” (Score–Stephen: 1, Donald: 0; no make that Stephen: 5, Donald: -500 and dropping.)

Given that it was a huge and excellent part of Jon’s show tonight, it was fun to see Stephen also tackle the issue of “who gets the credit for killing Osama?” in such a different way. Leave it to Stephen to put aside the Republicans and the Dems and go straight for Jesus: it was a miracle that could only be caused by the beatification of Pope John Paul II! Who knew? That sequence smoothly segued into ” Yahweh or No Way!” I loved the comparison of Thor and Passion of the Christ (“Jesus was a carpenter; Thor had a hammer) and their “daddy issues.” I have to say, though, while Christ won the box office, Chris Hemsworth beats James Caviezel for beefcake any day.  And Cain McKnight? But most important: wasn’t it fun to see Stephen lose it yet again? And remember: you have to save the date, because May 21st is IT—the four Jorges of the Apocalypse. Oops, no; that’s only if it turns out that the world is ending in 2012. I hope it’s the latter, because I really want to see if Stephen wins his boat race. Whatever happens, I hope we’ve all learned our lesson: if at first your prediction fails, predict, predict again. A side note: I love it when Stephen bangs his calculator.

You gotta fight, for your right…to raise the flag? My heartfelt thanks for two, count them, hits at Trump this episode. I must say I wasn’t expecting the Donald in this capacity. But Stephen is not going to let go of him, and I couldn’t be happier. “Difference Makers” was a delight with its sly phallic symbolism. My niece and sister joke when they see a man making an attention-getting racket revving his motorcycle engine or speeding with a too-flashy car, that there goes a guy with a small p*&!is. This segment seemed to operate on that same assumption; after all, size DOES matter…otherwise it’s just another limp flag waving in the breeze. The Rosa Parks reference had me on the floor, as did the “shy philanthropist” line, and the fact that Trump did not know what the 13 stripes stand for was the icing on the cake. (By the way, for those of you who also saw TDS, you might have noticed that Jon had his own phallic symbol in the form of bat. Hmmmm. Must have been something in the air!)

And finally, finally…did you all love the Geoffrey Rush interview as much as I did? Stephen’s questions were clever and informative at the same time: Do you stick in the character after the role’s done? Why keep acting? It seems like you won acting? And Rush matched him well. I especially loved “What if you give your best performance at the craft services table?” I was reminded of how much Stephen’s own training can really come into play when he’s speaking with fellow actors. He just knows their lingo. The sign off was great, too.

So what did everyone think? What was your favorite part of the show? I know many people were looking forward to Geoffrey Rush’s appearance, so I‘d love to find out how you felt.

Yahweh or No Way? - Thor and Apocalypse Billboard


  1. I was lucky enough to be at the taping and it was fantastic. Looking back, the entirety of the episode seems like a big inside joke with the audience, the billboard bit in particular; possibly the entirety of Yahweh or No Way was added just before the taping, when someone in the audience asked Stephen if he’d heard of the group.

    • Ooh! Would you be able to give us a reporT, Erin?

      • Ha, sure! My blog post was a little incoherent, so I’m going to copy-paste some and write a little more concise and clear here.

        It was my third taping (living in New York is awesome). My dear friend nabbed tickets two nights earlier by chance; it was also her third taping. Long story about our previous tapings. That’s for another day. But we did get front row this time, over near the interview table. We had a nice clear look at all the action the entire taping.

        The billboard bit was asked by an audience member, who’d be handed a pamphlet on it earlier in the day. Stephen asked for it, said, “Oh s**t, I’m going on a sailing trip that day!” and dropped to serious mode, turning to the producers and asking if they could add something on that in the show. So for that reason, Q&A was a bit longer and Stephen answered questions a bit more in-depth.

        Because of time/post constraints, I won’t do too much Q&A summary (though all the questions were fantastic), but the other Q&A inside jokes that made it into the show were as follows:
        •A girl asked how he relieved stress. He stood, eyebrows raised, looking helpless and smiling a little. The “this is how I relieve stress” joke at the top of the show was for her.
        •Someone with a very English accent had a question to which Stephen replied, “I’m sorry, speak up. Your debilitating accent is keeping me from understanding you!” So, he got a nod in the Geoffrey Rush interview, where Stephen claimed that Colin Firth had a “debilitating English accent.”

        So imagine my surprise when the Yahweh or No Way was almost entirely written from the audience suggestion, in a span of probably 20 minutes, tops. Turns out, as my friend and I suspected, Paul Dinello wrote it, as he went to speak to Stephen about the bit during the commercial break. He was around a lot during the show, discussing things writing-wise, which was nice for someone who admires him greatly as a television writer (ie: me).

        Apparently the Difference Makers segment was actually a few years old. I suspect because they threw in the Yahweh or No Way last minute they decided to balance it out with something else. Comedy is funny like that (pardon the pun); you need a balance, always. They explained to us at the top of the show that they weren’t doing the table of contents because they had a show that had many jokes. See? Balance.

        Also, the staff’s faces when Geoffrey Rush entered were priceless. Everybody seemed really happy to have him; the interview was fantastic.

        Geoffrey Rush was around after the taping, and he signed some stuff and skedaddled away. He’s very approachable.

        Oh, and I met Stephen Colbert. It was awesome. He’s very sweet!

        And that’s my concise recap for you, No Fact Zone. Hope it was prettypretty good!

        • Karenatasha says:

          Thanks so much for that ReporT, Erin! I really appreciate getting the background.

          And, oh yeah: living in NYC IS awesome! ;-)

        • So glad you posted this ReporT for the Zoners, Erin, since we tumblrs were fortunate to see it last night!
          I was wondering if *just* the last part of Yaweh or No Way would have been added, maybe replacing something, or if the entire segment was done from that pamphlet.
          Either way (look at mah pun!), amazing bit of teamwork to write and find/create graphics for that bit. Kudos to them!

          My admiration for Geoffrey Rush stems from his days on a tv series called Mercury, back in 1996. My brother and SiL were extras on that show and they told me how sweet he was to the ‘human props’. Top bloke!

        • I can’t believe you met SC! Oh man! How!? Seriously. How. I need to know. Although I live in Perth Western Australia so the chances of meeting him are nil, especially since I missed my one chance two weeks ago when I was at a taping of TCR on holidays and was too gobsmacked to even ask a question!

        • Thanks so much for the ReporT, Erin! I love hearing about behind-the-scenes actions that give an explanation about certain in-jokes within the show! You’re lucky that you live in NYC (along with any other Zoner who’s there)! I hope to live in NYC myself someday…when I have money. But looks like NJ’s still gonna have to do right now. And YAY that you got to meet Stephen (I keep hearing how lovely he really is in real life)! I can’t wait for the opportunity to actually attend a taping myself…and maybe even talk to/meet Stephen too…although most likely I would be too shy/scared/anxious to even approach him and end up making a fool out of myself because my emotions like to mess me up.

    • lockhart43 says:

      It makes sense that they added Yahweh or No Way just before the show, because it had kind of a weird lead-in (not bad, just weird because it wasn’t segued by a camera switch). And thanks for the background on the audience jokes, those are always appreciated. And go you for meeting Stephen!! There aren’t really any words for meeting Stephen other than awesome. Great reporT Erin!

  2. That’s it, Stephen! Keep hammering away at Trump and every other GOP candidate (the comment about Trump needing to be careful about throwing his big hat into the ring so that his hair won’t fly off with it made me guffaw and clap in delight)! It’ll keep us all happy and light-hearted since the 2012 elections seem to be making all of us queasy about who Obama is going to have to go up against. Oh, mighty power of the Colbert Super PAC (speaking of which, Stephen hasn’t talked about it in a while. Hope nothing is up again.)…use your influence of truthiness to make sure that every candidate gets the “help” that they sorely need…if you get my drift.

    I always enjoy a good old Yahweh or No Way segment, and when it’s accompanied by a worthy Stephen character break, it makes it all the much sweeter. I lost it big time when Stephen started “lithping” during the Thor part. He sounded so cute! Could he talk like that more often, please? And, when Stephen mentioned the hammer part during the Thor/Jesus comparison, was I the only one who simultaneously thought of Tom “The Hammer” Delay and Captain Hammer, Dr. Horrible’s arch-nemisis? I didn’t like the Apocalypse part so much. My problem with it is that end-of-the-world scenarios are such a Western belief, and why some people go through all the trouble to scare people into thinking that their lives are going to end very soon. It was bad enough when the Mayan prediction was in the spotlight and people wrote to the Mayans telling them that they were horrified and dismayed that they and their families and children would not live long to experience their one life etc. before the Mayans clarified that it is simply that their calendar will come to an end before it resets itself and not the world. But there’ll always be a brouhaha about a specific date predicting the end of the world and people who get upset that they won’t live much longer, which I don’t like at all. You can probably tell how worked up I’m getting over this, since we don’t know for sure if it will happen and, if it does, whether you lived your life the way you wanted to or not and what will be coming for you depending…ugh. Not a fun thought to mull over, again going back to the fact that I have trouble talking about religion.

    Okay, to try and end on a cheerful note, Geoffrey Rush was a joy to watch and listen to as I expected. There’s this wonderful ambiance between two people of a similar profession who know the ins and outs and the lingo (I still say that Stephen is as fine an actor as he is a comedian. Plus he makes a pretty damn good pirate himself), and they had a good rapport with one another. Solid episode, even with the edgy part in the middle.

  3. Loved the chat with Rush … I’ve seen him a bit awkward in past interviews, but the two of them got on great! And more details of the taping please Erin!

  4. jbirdNZ says:

    The only problem with the Geoffrey Rush interview was that there just wasn’t enough of it! Love love love GR and having Stephen interview him? Major thrill!

    I was surprised and delighted when GR turned up at a movie premiere I went to in Melbourne in July 09. He lived in the area I was staying in, but I’m not a stalker -I’d thought my trip would be complete with just getting the chance to sight him in a local cafe perhaps. At the premi after-party he was about 3 feet away from me and I was too shy, but my NYer friend who was with me just tapped him on the arm and said I’d always wanted to meet him. He was just a delight -chatty, friendly and happily posed for a pic with this wee fan. I bet he and Stephen had some good stories to tell each other backstage about their love of theatre and performing.

    Count me in to get a report of the show from Erin!

  5. Is it just me, or did Stephen do a very very similar clip about the Trump golf course flag pole a few years ago? It seems so familiar.

    • andyruso says:

      During the intro to the clip he did mention it was from 3 years ago, I suppose they thought it too topical today to leave be haha. :)

  6. lockhart43 says:

    “And then came the Donald fest about HIS maybe, possibly, terribly, no-good upcoming announcement.”

    I’m just singling this sentence out because it made me think of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and I like it. :)

    For some reason, throughout the entire Difference Makers segment, I was imagining Phil Ken Sebben doing the voice-over, because that’s exactly who Stephen sounded like (at least during the opening). That whole segment had me laughing. Actually, this whole SHOW had me laughing. I love when that happens.

    The interview was wonderful! I haven’t seen Geoffrey Rush in very many interviews, it was refreshing to see how clever he is. And it might be me, but it seems like Stephen loosens up quite a bit when he interviews an actor. His body language is more relaxed; I think they must be a nice break for him. Not that they’re easier; it just always looks like he’s having a lot of fun when he’s going toe-to-toe with an actor, especially a veteran like Geoffrey Rush or Kevin Kline.

    • Karenatasha says:

      Yea, Lockhart — it was MEANT to make you think of that! So happy you got my reference.

      if you haven’t seen Rush in many interviews, I have to tell you that Stephen had the same effect on him that you felt he had on Stephen. Rush sometimes seems shy–but here, he was so comfortable and funny. It was just great.

      • lockhart43 says:

        I used to love that book when I was a kid. I was actually babysitting a little while ago and totally read that for a bedtime story, because the 5 year-olds I babysit are awesome. :P

        One other thing I forgot to mention: Stephen’s ad-libbed “Too soon?” joke was freakin’ hilarious! The absolute perfect thing to say after that audience groan. And I will never, I repeat, never, get tired of the fake calculator bit.

        • Arkadina says:

          Lockhart43, the thing that always makes me laugh about the fake calculator is the way Stephen ‘uses’ his knuckles rather than his fingers – like paws! Strange how such a small detail can cause so much amusement

        • I love the fake calculator bit because it’s one of the few SWC references that I’m able to catch while watching TCR (I’ve only seen bits and pieces of random episodes).

        • lockhart43 says:

          @Anais – I actually was fortunate enough to watch the show when I was a young’in – I used to stay up late and watch “Sports Night” reruns on Comedy Central, and they would play SWC afterwards. So when it finally clicked in my head that Stephen was on the show, I saved up some money and bought the entire series. If you have Netflix or Hulu Plus, I would highly, highly recommend watching all three seasons of SWC. Not just so you can understand the many SWC references (including the ones that Stephen includes on TCR…like in this clip), but because I feel it is my duty to share this show with as many people as possible. I can’t even begin to explain how hilarious it is. :)

        • @lockhart43 – lol :) Well I certainly applaud your dedication to spreading the good name of Stephen’s early works to everyone you meet. Like I’ve said, I’ve only seen bits and pieces, but so far I like what I see and can see how well done and satirical it is (can’t believe how young that trio looked back then, especially Stephen). And the link you put in, I remember watching that clip because what I do once in a while to catch up on TCR is to go on the site, pick a random past date and then watch the episode on that date, then I go to NFZ to read the respective episode guide and read people’s comments, so I remember watching that episode (which I found to be a great one and wish that I’d started watching TCR sooner, plus Stephen looked really handsome that day) and getting a feeling that there was something about those Fatty Salty Crispies and Crispy Salty Fatties until I confirmed it as an SWC reference reading the comments on the EG, though it seemed that there weren’t really any it-getters in the audience that night. I’d definitely like to watch more episodes to see if I’ll like it more. But I have my final exams spreading out this week and next week so I may have to give up TDS and TCR (and sadly Stephen) for a while to do some hardcore studying (I’ve only been doing soft-core studying which is more relaxed), although we’ll see if I still end up making comments from time to time so that I don’t have to study. :( But hey, maybe once I’m all done, I can celebrate with an SWC marathon.

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