Stephen Colbert: World’s Worst Boss or World’s Worstest Boss?

I know, I know: you all dream of working for Stephen Colbert. You imagine he would be the greatest boss in the world – kind of like a super-cool Jim Anderson father to your inner Kathy or Bud. I imagine working for Stephen on ‘The Colbert Report’ is kind of like working for DB on the No Fact Zone: a cool boss, funny and talented work-mates, and an intelligent and appreciative audience that joins in the fun. But then I watch the show and think. “why does he treat his staff so badly??”

I love the alternative reality crafted by ‘The Colbert Report’, an absurd dimension that manages to convey truth. And Stephen Colbert perfectly plays the self absorbed idiot. It-getters understand his generosity of spirit and intelligence are always just below the surface. That’s why The Nation responded so heartily from the very beginnings of the show – it’s a parallel universe where we can be fanatical followers without loosing our humanity.

I wanted to do a final post presenting my dream episode – including my favorite opening, favorite word, favorite formidable opponent, most satisfying nailing ever, favorite musical segment, and favorite closing. But making a list like that would be impossible! How could you possibly choose? A person would spend a week watching all the clips on and obsessing over them for hours at a time and each time you think you’ve got it all finished some “related video” pops up and you think maybe this one will work but even while you’re watching that you’re reminded of that other clip with that monkey in a top hat on the Sistine Chapel ceiling but will that come up when you search for it? Noooo! And meanwhile what did pop when you search “monkey god” is a soooooo goooood and how could you not include Randy “Duke” Cunningham? Or Tom Delay? Or Formula-401? Who could make such a list???

In the end, I decided to honor the staff and crew of the show with clips featuring them – at least their absurd reality doubles – demonstrating just what a nightmare that “Colbert” guy is to work for.

So, meet Tad, the building manager, in an all time favorite segment of mine. I miss Tad, though I hear he’s still working somewhere in the building. And hey, Toby!

This one I picked because we see stage manager Bobby (before Stephen ate him),
the oft-called, multiple Emmy nominated Jimmy showing his directing chops, and cable-jockey Killer negotiating a raise.

Writers – who needs ’em? Stephen finds out what they do up on the 4th floor when he opens the first show during the writer’s strike. The experience must have changed his opinion because he welcomed them all back after the strike was over. Oh – and say “Howdy!” to the guys behind the cameras.

Meg the Intern put up with a lot of harrassment. I was torn between this clip and the modeling for Nightgown Novel covers. I decided I like the sound of Stephen’s voice when he’s ovulating.

Though Meg is no longer around, the new intern Jay has his own problems with Stephen.

And, while not staff related, here we have Stephen at his most vicious.

If you can hear me over that earwig, I’d just like to say thanks. First, to DB for letting me play in her back yard. I wrote my first post over 4 years ago and it’s been a lot more than fun ever since. You made my obsession seem sane, DB and gave the world a safe outlet for it.

Then a thank you to all the other Completists – those fellow obsessives of all things Colbert. It was a true joy to work with a group so intelligent, talented, and dedicated. Honestly, I’ve always been proud to be part of such a high-class crew of bloggers.

Thank you to all the Zoners for reading, commenting, and sharing on the site. I think ‘The Colbert Report’ has one of the smartest and wittiest groups of fans of any show out there and the Zoners are the cream of the crop. I’m sure we’ll see you ’round the webs, tubes, and MyFace pages.

And, finally, thank you to Stephen Colbert and his wonderful ‘Colbert Report’ team who turn out brilliant episodes day after day and inspire this obsession. It’s been real, guys. And I’ll see y’all soon ’cause when I’m raptured, I’m going to the writers’ room at The Report and sitting at the right hand of Stephen!


  1. Karenatasha says:

    My favorite line: “Careful with the couch. It’s sealskin.” Stephen harming baby seals! Oooh, bad guy. :0

    • I always love the way ‘Tad’ says “Hey, Toby”. It sounds so sweet and reminds me of “Hey, Boo”. And who can get enough of Geoffrey Tad sobbing…

  2. I’d just like to take this time to say Thank You to all of the ‘Colbert Report’ staff who have been so amazingly helpful and supportive of the site. From those who sent us super-sekrit tips that helped us have the most updated and reliable news ever, to those who said nice things about us, to those who were kind enough to help us get our very much treasured Colbert Bump, you all rocked my world in so very many ways. I always enjoyed being able to play “Spot The Staffer” during episode guides, and look forward to seeing cameos for years to come. We know that “Stephen” would not be “Stephen” without all the writers who put the words into Stephen’s teleprompter, and the producers who travel the country looking for Difference Makers, and the graphic artists who make everything blow up at the end, and the audience coordinators who meet us at the door, and all the others who make the show possible every day.

    My only request is that the nickname we’ve given for Matt Lappin – “Koala F@#ker” – continue to ring loudly in the halls of the ‘Colbert Report’. Because that will truly have made it all worth it. Long Live Koala F@#ker!

    • OH, DB – here, hear to Matt’s nick name!
      And thanks for getting a link to a Mahmoud Ah-cant-pronounce-his-name-ijahd reference in there! I’m resisting the urge to go add more links to my post…

    • Karenatasha says:

      A toast to the Colbert Report staff! Long may they rule TV.

    • I echo those sentiments for Team Colbert! All their hard work shows in those four half-hours of pure comedy gold that we see every week. The writers, in particular, are my heroes. I want to be like them when I grow up.

      Playing “Name that TCR staff member” is one of the fun parts about watching the show!

      Every time I see Matt Lappin’s name, the phrase “Koala F@#ker” immediately pops into my head. I hesitate to say whether or not it means he was convincing in that role. Maybe I just like the sound of “Koala F@#ker.” Yeah, I’ll go with that.

  3. Arkadina says:

    Absolutely, long live the Koala F@#ker! May his pockets always be full of eucalyptus leaves!

    • Oh em gee, I’m going to miss you guys.

      • Arkadina says:

        Hey, DB, you don’t have to be a stranger….we’ll welcome Dinello-like cameo appearances at our new home, wherever it may be. After all, we’ll be missing you too, and you’ll want to know how all your little Zonelettes are doing as we continue keep the faith, won’t you?

        Seriously, DB, you’ve been brilliant. Thank you for all the fun and the caring and everything – you deserve THAT interview, go for it! And after that, have a happy life xxx

  4. Sweet lord, the “Gail for Rail” jingle… I just KNOW I’m going to have that thing on my head for at least two days. Again.

    Oh, I’m going to miss this website so much. Everybody here has done such fantastic job! I’m devastated to see it go, but I’m happy we’ve had it for as long as we did. :)

  5. Gratefull says:

    Thanks, Jennie, oh, how I am going to miss this place. So good, so good …

  6. lockhart43 says:

    Thanks for all of the great clips! Particularly the “Tad at the auction” one for Duke Cunningham, I love that one. I keep hoping that now that Paul Dinello is back working at the show that they will bring back Tad, but so far no dice.

    Thanks for everything Jennie!

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