erinptah: (daily show)
The photobucket clearout has turned up some fun fake-news images. In the spirit of Independence Day, here they are on their brand-new host.

Illustrated Jons, from otherwise-forgotten articles:

Jon Jon


Jon and Stephen playing cards, from a 2008 pro-Obama deck:

Colbert playing card Stewart playing card


This one is (a) very NSFW and (b) not actually Jon, but isn't it fun to look at?

NSFW art under the cut )


This one is definitely a 100% authentic gif of "Stephen":

confused eagle


And finally, the only thing better than Jon and/or Stephen, a digitally-fused portrait that's both-Jon-and-Stephen-at-once:

Jon-Stephen fusion

Either that, or they secretly had a kid, because their BFFdom is just that magical.
erinptah: (daily show)
A smorgasbord of links that's been building since December:

A visual guide to everyone in the Colbert Report finale! From Doris Kearns Goodwin to Eleanor Holmes Norton to Neil Degrasse Tyson to Big Bird. And Katie Couric helpfully provides the guest list.

A roundup of forty-nine celebrity farewells to the Report, Stephen, and"Stephen".

Meanwhile: Olivia Munn has a new contract to develop and executive-produce shows for CBS! She's done so much good acting (even in bad shows), it's high time she got an opportunity to write stuff, too.

Jon did an AMA on Reddit back in November; for ease of reading, have all the answers with their questions, in chronological order.

Lewis, Jon, and Kathleen Madigan poke fun at Larry's tie-adjusting pose. Aww.

___

And with excellent timing, someone on Tumblr asked my thoughts on the Nightly Show, prompting all of this to get typed up.

I like it overall. The scripted comedy bits are solid — a worthy addition to the fake news family. Not every joke hits, but that’s the case with TDS and TCR too. And it’s only their first week! No telling what heights they’ll be able to reach once they really hit their stride.

The panel discussions are weaker. One thing I really love about Last Week Tonight is that it has very few interviews, to let them do fake news straight through. And here The Nightly Show has less fake news, in order to make room for more interviewing. If I wanted to watch a talk show, I have a wealth of those to choose from already….

That said, the “four guests per night, more than one of them black, all with different perspectives” pattern they have going does counteract the pressure of “hey, you, speak on behalf of all black people” that comes up in the media a lot. So given the focus of the show, it’s probably a smart choice. (...she says, as a white person with zero personal authority on the subject.)

And I really appreciate their choices about what to cover. I’ve been wishing TDS would give more airtime to things like the Ferguson protests, but their focus is so broad, and their schtick is to react to whatever is dominating the real-news cycle. TNS, like LWT, has the freedom to be more self-directed, and like LWT, the stories they’re going after are refreshing.

Also: Larry is great, his voice is great, his presence as a host is great, his throwing teabags at that one sexist guest the other day was great. Like Jon and John (and definitely not like “Stephen”), he’s coming across as a smart, thoughtful person who’s using his comedy to poke at harmful things and defend the harmed. Again, it’s his first week, maybe he’ll end up revealing some jaw-droppingly terrible beliefs as his time in the spotlight goes on…but so far, so good.

tl;dr like it, might have attention wandering sometimes during the panel discussions, but unless something goes horribly wrong I will be keeping it in my fake-news-watching lineup and enjoying it.
erinptah: (daily show)
has aired, and I have finally gotten my hands on a download.

Spoilers follow.

Reactions... )
erinptah: (daily show)
As planned, I was at the October 14 (Neil Young) TCR taping! Took a bus roundtrip from Boston to NYC, so I got out of bed at 8am on Tuesday and wasn't back in until 6am on Wednesday, with nine of those hours spent on the road.

Worth it.

The crew are, as always, very good at getting you energized. They make you cheer so much between the waiting room and the warmup that I was starting to feel hoarse before Stephen himself actually appeared. The fact that the show is coming to an end is part of the atmosphere, and it's really been embraced -- from the audience wrangler jazzing everyone up about how lucky we are to see one of the last tapings, to the warmup comic mocking a guy who had been to five already: "There's like twenty shows left [note: actually 30], and you're taking another seat from someone else?" On the list of suggested "things Stephen loves talking about" for the pre-show Q&A, his move to CBS is right there with things like the show's trip to Iraq. You feel good about it.

When I went to a taping in 2007, I didn't ask any questions, and came away kind of regretting it. This time, I didn't bother...because the question I had back then was "if the show was coming to an end, have you thought about what kind of big finale it would have, and are there character-development-type things you would do, given the opportunity?" And, well. In a couple months I'll find out.

With all that said, let's get to the good stuff: the quotes and exclusives! (As best I can remember, with the help of a bunch of notes made directly after leaving.)

---

The Pre-Show (and Post-Show) Q&A

Stephen says "doyouhaveanyquestionstohumanizemebeforeIsayalltheseterriblethings" like it's all one word these days. And we get right to it....

Q (in very British accent): Have you ever been to [place]?
A (in matching accent): I'm sorry, where?
Q: [Place]. It's where J. R. R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings.
A: No, I haven't. I've only been to England a couple of times.
Q: It's where I live.
A: !!
A (playing it cool): ...What's it smell like?

Q: How do you decompress?
A: I get to tell jokes every night. No, seriously.

Q: Have you ever officiated a gay wedding?
A: No.
A (roguish): ...That I know of.

Q: What brand are those big glasses you wear off-camera?
A: I don't know. I lost them again. I'm going to have to wear these [the normal ones for the show] all the time.
A: I like these anyway. The other ones are kind of standoffish. These are more inviting. They invite people in. It's like I'm not even wearing glasses at all.

Q: How do you get the part in your hair so straight?
A: I come in at five, and I have a team. They have lasers. They use a surveying level.

Q: Can you drive me home to Montclair after the show?
A: Uh, I live in The New York Area.
[dude, you have serious publicity-related involvement in the Montclair Film Festival, are people not supposed to have noticed?]

Q: I just turned 40, so I was wondering...what do you hope to have accomplished by the time you turn 40?
A (chuffed): Well, I hope to be established at CBS by then...
A (seriously): I got this show when I was 40, I was 41 when it started, I'm 50 now...the 40s are a good decade.
A: Get yourself a TV show. I really recommend it.

After the interview, they had to retape a couple of lines, so Stephen took a few more questions to keep us engaged while the crew was getting that set up. [He also pulled a lot of faces. That man's face is cartoonishly malleable. He did this curly Grinch-with-a-plan smile, and a square, wide-mouthed frogface. I lost it on that one when he started doing lizard-flicks with his tongue.]

Q: What's the story behind the Hugh Laurie photo on your shelf?
A: [gentle explanation for this poor soul who hasn't watched House, M.D. closely enough, and/or just isn't enough of a TCR fan]

Q: Is that [on the mantel by the interview table] your real Emmy?
A: One of them.
A: ...That was a really dickish way to answer that question, wasn't it? Like, the most dickish way possible.
A: That's the one we took to Iraq. You can see she's in digital camo.

Q: What's your favorite barbecue?
A: Where are you from?
Q: South Carolina.
Q: Charleston.
Q: James Island.
Q: My family's in the business, that's why I asked.
A: [starts talking about places, eventually giving the names Michael and Maurice]
Q: Those are my uncles.
[Turned out she was a Bessinger. Turns out Maurice was famously racist, but Stephen praises the barbecue itself: "You can really *kisses fingers* taste the heritage."]

---

The Second Act That Got Cut

There was an entire Sport Report between the first act and the interview. At the end, Stephen mentioned that it was probably getting cut so we could have "as much Neil as possible." (It sounded like they wrote a table of contents for the top of the show, but they didn't even film that. Explained up-front that tonight, "we have too many jokes.")

I remember being a little let down that the middle segment I was getting to see in-person wasn't, say, political...but hey, studio-audience-exclusive gags! Can't complain about that. And "Stephen" even opened with "Nation, I love sports. I also love pretending to love things I don't actually care about."

Topic was the Fall Experimental Football League, which he described as "Have you ever watched college football, and thought, 'man, I wish these players were better', and then watched the NFL and thought 'wait, not that good'?" One of the FXFL's selling points is that they expect to have at least 25% their players picked up by the NFL mid-season: "Because what you really want is to follow a team where all the good players keep leaving." He listed a bunch of previous failed non-NFL football leagues, included the XFL, but added, "You know this one will succeed because they've added an F, the letter synonymous with success."

---

Miscellanea (with Bonus Neil Young)

The set is so classy these days. When they were getting us settled, the video columns behind the desk and around the front of the platform were playing this fishbowl scene, and it all went together: you could see the same fish swim out-of-frame on one column and into the next.

Between the interview and the musical bit, the crew folded up either end of the platform that table sits on (with the table and chairs still sitting in the middle), used a bungee cord to hook the ends together, and wheeled the whole thing away. There were audible "oooh"s from the audience. So that's how they do it!

Stephen did surprisingly little guitar playing. From what I could tell looking between the screens and the people, they filmed it well. Basically, any time the camera was just on Neil, Stephen's hands weren't moving.

They also filmed another song -- a straightforward duet of "You Are My Sunshine" -- that didn't end up on-air. (I don't see it as a web exclusive, either. Bonus feature for an upcoming best-of DVD? IDK.) They had the same trouble at the beginning that they did with the first song, where Stephen would try to start the bit and Neil launched straight into playing the song, without waiting for the lead-in they'd rehearsed. Eventually, Stephen went "Is this why Crosby, Stills, and Nash left you?!"

(It was fun. They had a great time with it.)

---

The Report is soaring out on a high note! And I feel good about that. Even though I'm going to miss it so much when it's gone.
erinptah: (daily show)
So the Report will not end without me getting to see one more taping.

October is an auspicious month for this. Went to my first (and, so far, only) taping on Halloween 2007, and of course the Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30, 2010. I even got in early enough that the Megabus round trip was $10 -- not that it wouldn't have been worth a splurge -- I mean, fake news has been a fandom of my heart since 2005. And while I got into it a few months before TCR launched as a thing, it's "Stephen"-the-character (and the whole quasi-fictional universe he inhabits, and his delightful interactions with Jon) that cemented the whole fandom-of-my-heart status.

If by some chance any of you are planning to be at the taping on the 14th, let me know! We can say hi in line, maybe grab bagels together or something.

And if not, look forward to the taping report and some celebretory artwork in the days that follow.
erinptah: Vintage screensaver (computing)
1) Finally landed a Colbert Report reservation! I've only ever seen one taping, about seven years ago (!!), and was starting to worry I wouldn't get to see it again before it disappears. Not so! I'll be there October 14 -- and getting a reservation this early meant I could get a Megabus round trip to NYC for under $10. Sweet deal all around.

2) This maple cookie recipe. Found it while looking up something to make for a book club where half the members are vegan, liked it so much I just used the leftover ingredients to make another batch, purely for personal snacking purposes.

3) The Mel Blanc Show, from 1946-1947, one of the vintage radio series provided by Don't Touch That Dial. (Downloads available via The Internet Archive.) It has a great way of stacking one awkward circumstance on top of another to make solid comedy stories, plus good one-liners along the way, and they take full advantage of Mel's vocal range -- he plays the main character and one of the ensemble members, plus he keeps getting into situations where he has to be in disguise, new voice and all.

4) Mo'ne Davis. This cool kid. (Anyone out there who's having trouble picturing Tamika Flynn, here's an excellent 13-year-old to base your mental image on.)

5) The flashback episode of Fringe where they do a retro 1980s version of the opening credits. (Second one in this opening-sequence compilation.) Frankly, almost everything about Fringe is making me happy (the details deserve a post of their own), but speaking as someone who has watched a lot of sci-fi from a lot of decades, this OP was a special geek joy to watch.
erinptah: (daily show)
The first time a post about it came along, my reaction was to double-check that it wasn't a belated April Fool's joke. Turns out, nope. Stephen's moving on to do a network talk show.

FNFF discussion thread.

This is so surreal. I got into fake news only a few months before TCR started, so TCR and TDS have been a part of my life -- and a package deal -- since high school. There was always a huge backlog of TDS episodes I hadn't seen -- and even now the Kilborn episodes aren't online, so there are a lot I may never see -- and last summer's substitute hosting by John Oliver the show could go on after Jon, even if it wouldn't be quite the same. But in 2015 TCR will have stopped. There's no way to replace Stephen in that role. It's no longer open-ended; it's finite, and the bounds are set.

As long as Stephen's happy with the job change, that's the important thing, but still.

The ending had better be amazing, that's all I can say. (I mean, obviously the dream is for "Stephen" to run off to Vegas and have a big gay wedding, but, you know, any number of other scenarios could be satisfying. We'll see.)
erinptah: (daily show)


And all the other videos from Susie Sampson, bright-eyed star of fake conservative journalism. If the Report employed correspondents, she would be one of them. (Personal headcanon: in any AU where "Stephen" ends up taking over as host of TDS, she is so hired.)
erinptah: (legendary)
I thought I was done talking about Olivia Munn for a while, then I came across this interview, and, wow. I just want to hug her and tell her that it's all going to be okay, she can wear whatever casual unsexy clothing she wants now and nobody will complain.

...which is basically what I did here, in comic form.

*

There's also a new Olivia exclusive on the TDS website. All cute, but...that last line, you guys. That very last line. I had to go back and replay it just to make sure I hadn't misheard out of wishful thinking.

Flailing under the spoilertext: (skip) MY FANDOM HAS CANON FPREG. THIS IS AWESOME.

*

The book version of Faces of America (the PBS series with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) is out, and the chapter on Stephen is available free online (the link looks like a widget, but click "Preview"). It's his entire family history, as far back as a team of crack geaneologists could take it. Which makes me feel mildly stalkery for enjoying it at all, but still, it's pretty cool.

Best parts, at least for the fandom-minded:

1) While the vast majority of his heritage is Irish Catholic, one branch of the family was...wait for it...(skip) Lutheran.

2) The name of Stephen's real-life father's father's father was, honest-to-goodness, I-am-not-making-this-up, (skip) George William Colbert.
erinptah: (Kitten)
Thursday's TCR: two Words, then an appearance by adorable Steve ColberT himself.

Clearly this was Stevie's show, y/y?

Evidently the universe really wants me to finish that State of Grace rewrite. (It's almost there! Just half a dozen chapters to go.)
erinptah: (Default)
Dear computer: Plz cease to be losing function on me for scarily long periods of time. I'm so glad I know about alt-tab switching, or I would have given these links up for lost.

Scott Adams answers questions, and is now running a restaurant. (He's the one who drew this icon.)

How the candidates affect the brain. I'm trying to keep presidential campaign coverage to a minimum at least until next year; but this sort of brain chemistry analysis always interests me.

Just once, I would like to see a movie about colony insects that gets the gender balance right.

Gay Muslims in the States - better than it could be, worse than it should be, which sounds about par for the course.

And the writers' strike isn't just affecting screenwriters, actors, and production crews: authors are feeling the lack of places to promote their books. The article doesn't use the phrase "Colbert Bump", but in a broad sense that's what it's talking about.

Speaking of Colbert: as I suspected, the Doritos sponsorship joke was done without any actual money coming from Doritos. Most amusing thing about this story: the Edwards campaign apparently did not bother to double-check that.

[GJ]

Oct. 2nd, 2007 03:10 am
erinptah: (Default)
Dear Boston Globe:

You include the Parade supplement this Sunday, but fail to have included it last Sunday, when Stephen was on the cover?

Fail, Globe. Fail.

Sincerely,
Me

---

In other news, it's been One Of Those Weekends. I got sidetracked several times and accomplished approximately nothing. On the other hand, I've started posting guest strips for a few weeks, which is a great relief on my workload. And I'm ready to scan my first commission; they say money can't buy happiness, but it's certainly morale-boosting to get paid for something I'm doing.

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erinptah: (Default)
Where the towels are oh so fluffy

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