Friday, August 27, 2010

The Colbert Report

Wednesday night we crossed yet another item off our NYC To-Do List. Man, we are just knocking 'em out, aren't we? At this rate, we'll be through that list in no time! Hmmm, maybe I better start adding some new things to it...

Anyway, this week's list item was attending a taping of The Colbert Report. We live ridiculously close to the Colbert studio, so it seems crazy that it has taken us this long to get inside. Tickets were pretty hard to come by, though. But, we finally made it happen thanks to their ticket mailing list and good timing. Hooray!

We were instructed to be in line no later than 5:15 p.m. However, it's a "we-overbooked-so-if-you're-not-early-you-might-not-get-in" kind of situation, so we wanted to be earlier than that. I arrived at 4:40, and Eric and our friend Jose joined me around 5:00. We waited in a little covered hallway outside the studio. Around 5:15 they made some security announcements, then a little after 5:30 they came through and handed out our actual tickets. Jose and Eric managed to look super uninterested, but I suck at being fake serious, so I could not hide my excitement.

Eric and Jose are totally not excited about seeing Colbert.

I AM excited. I'm not ashamed.

The waiting really was the worst part of the whole Colbert experience. This is the third talk show taping we have attended (the others being The Daily Show and The Late Show), and the wait time for Colbert was by far the longest of any of the shows we've seen. After passing out tickets, they very slowly started letting people inside to the holding room, pretty much one group at a time. When you got inside you went through security, then just stood around in this holding room, watching old Colbert episodes and waiting for everyone to get in. We were able to briefly entertain ourselves with some fun photos, and of course the old episodes were entertaining, but dude. It took forever.

With the man of the evening himself. Well, a painted-on-the-wall version of himself.

It looks like Colbert finds Eric funny. The feeling is probably mutual.

Once everyone made it through security, they gave us some more rules and pep talks (LAUGH! GO NUTS! HAVE FUN!) then there was more waiting around. Finally they opened up the doors and let us in to the studio! We were seated on the far right side against the wall, three rows from the top. By the time we got in and seated, it was 7:30. I had already been hanging around there for three hours! The wait wasn't over yet, however - we continued to wait for the show to get on the road.

At long last, the warm-up comedian came out to get things going. He was actually very funny. He talked with the crowd for some time, then finally it was time to bring out Stephen Colbert! He came out and the audience was allowed some time to ask him questions out of character, which was fun. Then finally it was time to start the show!

When the show started, the audience immediately went nuts because Colbert opened with an "inside joke" relating to an audience member's question during the Q&A question. This woman in the audience had informed Colbert that some elephant seal somewhere is named after him, and Colbert later mistakenly referred to it as a "sea elephant" instead (a combination of "sea lion" and "elephant seal," apparently). Then when he opened the actual show he said, "I give you answers, but I also ask questions on a nightly basis, the eternal questions like: there are sea cucumbers, there are sea lions. Why no sea elephants?" The crowd went crazy! Of course, it sounds terribly unfunny all written out here, but it was a great way to get everyone excited at the start of the show!

The guests that night were Andrew Hacker, who discussed the negatives of for-profit universities, and Heidi Cullen, who discussed climate change. We found Colbert very funny, of course, and more "off the cuff" than Jon Stewart was - Stewart had nearly all his jokes on teleprompters, but Colbert was much more improvisational. It was also very fun to see him dancing and joking around during breaks. He was highly amusing.

If you missed last night's show and would like to watch it (and listen for us laughing!), click here to watch it on Colbert's website.

Of course, no photos were allowed inside the studio, but Jose did manage to snap this one photo of the set as we were leaving:

Illegal set photo

We didn't really get on TV this time, at least not like we did on The Late Show! At the beginning of the show and after Heidi Cullen's segment they very briefly (and quickly) panned the audience from a distance, and since I know where we were sitting, I can pick out which pixelated blobs are most likely us. You can't recognize us, but take my word for it:

There we are at the start of the show!

Oh hey, there we are again! Well, kind of. I promise we're in there somewhere.

All in all, long wait time aside, we had a great time. We did wait forever, but we had so much fun at the show that it more than made up for it. It's so cool to be able to be a part of something, then go home and watch it on TV. It's fun to see which jokes made it to air, which were cut, and remember seeing it all live. We had a great time!

After the show

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