The Colbert Report (2005–2015)
Stephen Colbert: Now I have my own problems with James Frey. Not because of the inconsistencies in his memoir, nothing wrong with stretching the truth. After all, we stretch taffy, and that just makes it more delicious. In fact, I respect him for making up his past! It shows character. Too many people just let their past happen to them. It's part of the culture of victimization. "Ooh, I had no control over the circumstances of my birth!" But when you decide to have had a difficult childhood, that... that's really owning your past! And in a fundamentally refreshing way, taking responsibility for it. It's so rare these days. Besides, taking liberties with the truth is an American tradition. In fact, the word liberty is right there in the word liberties!
Stephen Colbert: [Discussing Martin Luther King] Dr King envisioned a day when the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners, could sit down together at the table of brotherhood. For a feast of plently. I believe that day has come. And what I wanna know is... what will we have for dessert? I can't speak for others, but for my own part... I have a dreamsicle.
[Holds up a popsicle]
Stephen Colbert: Mr King saw the South sweltering with the heat of oppression! Well, what better way to cool off than with a frozen... tasty confection? I have... a dreamsicle.
[Takes a bite out of the popsicle]
Stephen Colbert: He wanted children not to be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character! Just like this dreamsicle! If you judged it souly by it's outer shell, you'd think it was a sorbe. You'd be missing out on all it's inner, creamy contents.
[Takes another bite]
Stephen Colbert: I have a dreamsicle! Look at the way the white and the orange are working together, side by side in harmony.
[Takes another bite]
Stephen Colbert: Mmm... I really wish you could taste this! If you think of the orange part as white people, and the white part as black people, it's almost as if the two races are holding hands. Because all men are created equal... equally delicious! I have a dreamsicle!
[Takes another bite]
Stephen Colbert: And... in his last lines, Dr King envisions every valley exhaulted, every hill made... GOD!
[Holds his forehead]
Stephen Colbert: Aggh, brain freeze! Oohhh... ahhh! Oh Jesus, that hurt! Ugh, forget it! Nothing's worth this pain... good night.
Stephen Colbert: I'm disappointed that my own Catholic Church has decided that capital punishment is wrong. Which is pretty hypocritical if you think about it, because they wouldn't even have a religion if it wasn't for capital punishment.
Stephen Colbert: Look, I just think that Rosa Parks was overrated.
Conan O'Brien: Rosa Parks was overrated? That's-that's madness!
Stephen Colbert: Conan, last time I checked, she got famous by breaking the law.
Conan O'Brien: Breaking the law? She was standing up for a whole race of people. She was a freedom fighter!
Stephen Colbert: Conan, how do I know that there wasn't an old, sick, white man who needed that seat in the front of the bus?
Conan O'Brien: How can you say that?
Stephen Colbert: Conan, I'm gonna keep saying this until Rosa Parks's children apologize for what their mother did to that bus company!
Conan O'Brien: You want Rosa Parks's children to apologize?
Stephen Colbert: Absolutely.
Conan O'Brien: Gah! Okay, I'm sorry. I have no choice.
[shoots Stephen in the chest, who then rises up a second later]
Stephen Colbert: [unaffected] Typical East Coast, Ivy League-educated response.
Conan O'Brien: [pause] We'll take a break. We'll be right back.
Stephen Colbert: Look, I respect your right to disagree with me. Don't get me wrong.
Conan O'Brien: I shot you very near the heart!
Stephen Colbert: I've swallowed 18 condoms full of truth and I'm headed across the border!
Stephen Colbert: [debating Russ Lieber on minimum wage] Look, people don't have to work for what I'm paying them, they don't have to show up. It's not slave labor. By the way, slave labor- I'm against it. Rebuttal?
Russ Lieber: Um, well... I'm against it too.
Stephen Colbert: I accept your apology. Look, they tried your idea in Russia. Minimum wage is just line item Communism! All right? The government is controlling the economy. We won the Cold War, Mr Lieber, fair and square.
Russ Lieber: Well, I don't see what the Cold War has to do with this.
Stephen Colbert: Then why don't you support our troops?
Russ Lieber: I, I do! I don't see what that has to do with...
Stephen Colbert: So it'd be better for you if Saddam were back in power?
Russ Lieber: No, we were talking about minimum wage.
Stephen Colbert: On September 11th, 2001...
Russ Lieber: Oh come on, September 11th has nothing to do with this!
Stephen Colbert: I am not gonna let anyone sit here and bad mouth our firemen! No way! Sorry, not on my show, mister! Cut off his mike!
Russ Lieber: Oh, now wait a second!
Stephen Colbert: Cut off his mike!
[Lieber's mike is cut off, but he's still talking]
Stephen Colbert: I can still hear him, what is that? Is he coming through my mike? Cut off my mike!
Stephen Colbert: ["Formidable Opponent:" Stephen Colbert debating with Stephen Colbert on charity] But, I could take care of my minimal needs and send the rest of the money to the poor.
Stephen Colbert: Okay, think about this: You could buy a $100,000 Mercedes S600, or you could buy a $10,000 pile of crap from Korea and give the left over 110,000 to...
Stephen Colbert: An orphanage?
Stephen Colbert: Whatever lets you sleep. One day, you go to check on your orphans. It's raining, and you don't have the benefits of that fine German engineering. You spin out of control. You're like a loose lawnmower blade. And what's that ahead? It's your orphans! They've come out into the street to thank you for your selfless gift.
Stephen Colbert: Get out of the street orphans!
Stephen Colbert: Oh, I forgot to mention: They're deaf.
Stephen Colbert: Noooooo!
Stephen Colbert: Yes. Yeah, tragedy. Tragedy all because you didn't care enough to make a difference for yourself.
Stephen Colbert: Wow. You've really opened my eyes, Stephen. Say, um, does it have to be a car?
Stephen Colbert: No, it could be a really sweet boat.
Stephen Colbert: [Stephen states that celebrities are the ones to listen to about love] Thankfully, there are three celebrity relationship that are strong enough not only to last, but to teach the rest of us. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and William H Macy and Felicity Huffman. From their example, I've created "Stephen's Laws of Love" There are four laws, follow them and you'll be a happy and succesful husband and/or wife. Law number one: find someone who's name can be merged with yours to form a marketable nickname. Just like Brangelina, Bennifer 2, or... Fillam H. Muffman...
[Stephen cracks up over the name, putting his cards over his face, but still visibly cracking up in a rare display]
Stephen Colbert: The merged names... the merged names symbolize your un...
[He cracks up again]
Stephen Colbert: ... got a little something in my eye there. The merged names symbolize your unity and creates headline space, so that the phrase "sex tape" can be printed below it in a larger font. Law number two, marry someone within...
[Stephen almost cracks up again]
Stephen Colbert: ... marry someone in the exact same field as you. If possible, someone you work with. After all, it worked for "Mr and Mrs Smith", "Daredevil" and "The Splendiferous Zeppelin Escapades of Filliam H. Muffman" Not enough people saw that one.
Stephen Colbert: Shave your head, get a wet sponge, and flip the switch, 'cause you're about to get a Truthocution!
Stephen Colbert: Don't touch that dial. And, if your TV has a dial, go buy a new one.
Stephen Colbert: Sure they may be old and sick, but as Jesus said, "Walk it off."
Stephen Colbert: Now, isn't an agnostic just an atheist without balls?
Stephen Colbert: If the eyes are the window to the soul, then why does it hurt when I spray them with Windex?
Stephen Colbert: Like any good newsman, I believe that if you're not scared, I'm not doing my job.
Stephen Colbert: Sometimes it takes a crazy person to see the truth. If so, I'm a freaking lunatic.
Stephen Colbert: I believe all God's creatures have a soul... except bears, bears are Godless killing machines!
Stephen Colbert: George Bush... great president, or the greatest president?
Stephen Colbert: You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! But I've got oven mitts. This is the Colbert Report.
Tim Robbins: Why do you hate the truth?
Stephen Colbert: I don't hate the truth. It's facts I'm not a fan of.
Stephen Colbert: I'm looking over your shoulder... only because I've got your back.
Arianna Huffington: You know what, you say you want democracy. But all but 20% of Iraqis want us gone. So if you want democracy, why don't you listen to what the Iraqis are saying?
Stephen Colbert: Hey, what if we pulled out of our own civil war, Arianna? We'd still have slaves! Why do you hate black people? Air tight logic!
Stephen Colbert: This teaches children a valuable lesson: Expect nothing and be happy you're not kidnapped.
Stephen Colbert: Open wide, baby bird, because mama's got a big, fat nightcrawler of truth.
Stephen Colbert: [discussing terrorists escaping prison through large tunnels] Projects this size cannot merely be accomplished by mere humans. It seems that our enemies are in league... with the mole men. Now what gets me here is that the mole men are supposed to be peaceful creatures! Superman defended them against an angry mob of townsfolk who feared that which they could not understand! Why would they consort with the enemy? Wait... wait, I got it! It's the C.H.U.D! Which I don't need to tell you are the Cannabalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers! C.H.U.D... now you've gone too far.
Stephen Colbert: [debating himself on torture] This is America. We don't torture. Respect for human life is what separates us from those we're fighting. If we stoop to their level, in a way, we've already lost.
Stephen Colbert: But if we don't stoop to their level, we might lose in a worse way... by actually losing.
Stephen Colbert: On Oprah's show they did it right. One of her guests was asked about truthiness, and here's what he said.
[clip shows a man saying truthiness was coined by Stephen]
Stephen Colbert: Now that guy, I don't know who he was, he gave me the credit I was due! And, uh, something else there...
[clip rolls again]
Stephen Colbert: Right there! Off camera, Oprah says "Yeah"! Play that back, and this time, let's isolate Oprah!
[slow motion version of the clip plays, where Oprah says, "Yeah"]
Stephen Colbert: Yeah! I think she might have even said, "Hell, yeah." But regardless, that is proof positive that Oprah Winfrey knows who I am! This, ladies and gentlemen, should be the headline on tomorrow's New York Times! Oprah, on existence of Stephen Colbert: Yeah.
Stephen Colbert: Just because the Pope is infallible doesn't mean he can't make mistakes.
Stephen Colbert: Don't worry Republicans. Just like the Lord you shall rise again.
"The Word" side-screen: Lord Voldemort
Stephen Colbert: This show is an acquired taste. If you don't like it, acquire some taste!
Stephen Colbert: Until next time, I'll see you in *health*!
Stone Phillips: We invited Mother Teresa to respond to these charges.
Stephen Colbert: You know what you can't outsource, Fareed? You can't outsource balls. America is the world leader in balls.
Fareed Zakaria: You've really got balls on your mind tonight.
Stephen Colbert: You know, I've been running this show, four nights a week, for... five nights now...
Stephen Colbert: I don't trust books; they're all fact, no heart.
Stephen Colbert: [interviewing Tim Robbins] I don't think I need to tell you, I have, I'm really split on you, Mr Robbins. On one hand, I think you are a true artist, who through your work is enriching our culture. On the other side, I think your politics are killing us by inches. Okay? So I'm not exactly sure what kinda question to lead off with here. Why don't I try to split the difference? What's it like working with Clint Eastwood, and why do you hate our troops?
Stephen Colbert: The 9/11 Commission says we are woefully unprepared for another terrorist attack, calling it inevitable. Well, it's inevitable now that we've told the terrorists about it!
Stephen Colbert: For God sake, shut the fuck up!
Mike Mark Carrion: [Stephen is calling the Humane Society after they were "livid" about his hatred of bears] Hello, this is Mike Mark Carrion.
Stephen Colbert: Mike, I want to know who to give my anger to.
Mike Mark Carrion: What seems to be the problem?
Stephen Colbert: This is Stephen Colbert from The Colbert Report. It says here in The Philadelphia Inquirer that your organization, quote "was livid" about an episode of my show. Is this true?
Mike Mark Carrion: Well, we're livid about the trophy hunting of bears in New Jersey, which-which...
Stephen Colbert: The Philadelphia Inquirer says here that you are livid about the episode. Are they lying or are you lying?
Mike Mark Carrion: We were livid that people killed nearly 300 bears for trophies last December in New Jersey.
Stephen Colbert: Are you aware that bears are Godless killing machines?
Mike Mark Carrion: Bears are not killing machines.
Stephen Colbert: But you will admit that they are Godless?
Mike Mark Carrion: Uh...
Stephen Colbert: What if a bear was breaking into your house to get at your women? Would you shoot it then or would you just say "take 'em?"?
Mike Mark Carrion: You know, when bears cause conflict, it's usually because people have attracted them...
Stephen Colbert: Oh, it's our fault! It's our fault, because I have doughnuts!
Mike Mark Carrion: Well, we encourage people to store their food and trash properly if...
Stephen Colbert: Were you livid with my show?
Mike Mark Carrion: We were livid with the killing of these bears in New Jersey.
Stephen Colbert: I accept your apology.
Mike Mark Carrion: I didn't apologize.
Stephen Colbert: Too late! Goodbye!
Stephen Colbert: Strike up the klezmer and start acting like a man! You're about to have a Truth Mitzvah.
Stephen Colbert: You know how many wars could be fought with $100 million? A *third* of one.
Stephen Colbert: Anyone can *read* the news *to* you. What I plan to do is *feel* the news *at* you.
Stephen Colbert: [discussing the potential ports deal with Dubai] I hesitate to say this, but while Bush may, in fact, be right, it feels like Bush... is wrong. Ooh!
[holds his gut]
Stephen Colbert: Oh, that hurts my gut! Oh, cause my gut tells me George Bush is always right! Oh God!
[holds his head]
Stephen Colbert: That hurts my brain, cause this is so clearly not the right gut political decision for him to have made! Ooh, there's my gut again! Bush is right... aggh, he's wrong... gahh, he's right... noo! Agh, he can't be both wrong and right at the same time!
"The Word" side-screen: Does Not Compute!
Stephen Colbert: ...or can he? Has he really gotten that advanced? Oh splendor, it all coheres! It doesn't have to make sense to my head or my gut!
"The Word" side-screen: Or Your Bulletpoint
Stephen Colbert: We just have to do what he says no matter what! Oh, that's gonna make things a lot easier. Well there it is. Bush is right! Absolutely!
"The Word" side-screen: Maybe
Stephen Colbert: Before I go, I'd like to share a little something with you. Not everybody knows this, but before I was a newsman, I had a band. Actually, right before I was a newsman, I was a carnival roustabout... but before that I had a band. Back in the 80's. Stephen and the Colberts. We mostly did love songs and power ballads, and since this is our last show before Valentine's Day, I'd like to play one of our videos. So this love song goes out from me to each and every one of you... but especially, to one of you. Cause there's a special hidden message in this video, to a very special hidden lady.
Stephen Colbert: [Wearing bad 80's clothes in the 80's video, set to an 80's beat as he sings on a rooftop] Every time I see you, I think of you!/Every time I'm near you, I think of you!/I think of you, when I dream of you, when I'm taking pictures of you!/I think of you when I'm in a blimp, looking down from up above you!/... you know I'm missing you... /... my mind is kissing you/I'm right behind you now Charlene!/Waiting, watching, oh so close!/I'm right behind you now, Charlene!/You'll never be alone again, no...
[Plays his guitar until the video ends]
Stephen Colbert: [Back in the present] You know... 20 years later, I still feel the same. By the way, Charlene, technically this does not violate the restraining order.
Stephen Colbert: Speaking of you and hating our troops, I've noticed that you're one of those cut and runners. You said it.
Arianna Huffington: You know what, Stephen? I'm amazed that you would use the phrase cut and run, because it is the ultimate in truthiness. Cut and run is just a catch phrase that stops people from thinking.
Stephen Colbert: Exactly! We want them to feel! It doesn't matter what your reasons are, it feels like you're betraying America!
Arianna Huffington: The problem, Stephen...
Stephen Colbert: You gotta admit, cutting and running sounds bad.
Arianna Huffington: Cutting and running doesn't sound bad, unless you are a truthiness fanatic like you are. Here's the bottom line...
Stephen Colbert: I'm not just a truthiness fanatic; I'm truthiness's father.
Arianna Huffington: Not according to Wikipedia. You popularized it, but you did not invent it, Stephen.
Stephen Colbert: Fuck them!
Stephen Colbert: Isn't a centrist someone who doesn't have the balls to be a fanatic?
Stephen Colbert: Someone get a bucket, I think I'm gonna truth! This is the Colbert Report.
Stephen Colbert: That paper is so slanted, the words roll off the page. It makes it hard to read.
Stephen Colbert: That's why I continue to say that Oregon is California's Canada.
[having referenced how God is punishing the earth with hurricanes and strokes]
Stephen Colbert: And Oregon, where do you get off letting people commit suicide? If God wanted them to die, he would send hurricanes and blood clots.
Stephen Colbert: Which is clearer, "I am the lamb of God?"...
"The Word" side-screen: Huh?
Stephen Colbert: ...or "Hey you better build a boat quick 'cause I'm going to drown the world!"
"The Word" side-screen: Loud and clear, chief!
Stephen Colbert: [the terrorist group Hamas has started a children's TV show featuring bears; Stephen hates bears] Hamas, until you break off your alliance with the bears, you're on notice.
Stephen Colbert: My word... my word, truthiness, is in the news again! It's like Frankenstein, my creation won't die. This time, truthiness was used on Nightline to describe the Oprah/James Frey interview.
[clip shows one of the Nightline anchors defining truthiness]
Stephen Colbert: You know what's missing from that piece? Me! Stephen Colbert! But you know, I'm not surprised. Nightline's on opposite me over at ABC. Same time slot We destroy them in the ratings! I don't have numbers to back that up, I just feel that it's true. So of course, they play dirty. They're stealing content from my show. Well, let me talk straight to the triple headed he-she-he beast they put in for Ted Koppel! Fellas... no free rides. If I catch you copying my signature pieces, topical subjects, guests, and saying good night... there will be legal action! And if you think I am kidding, ask Bowtie Pasta! It's dead to me! It knows why!
Stephen Colbert: [commenting on how James Frey upset Oprah] You can lie all you want, but you upset Oprah! That is *it*! I have no choice but to call a nationwide boycott of James Frey! Not the book... which is fantastic. Everyone should read it. I don't know how he got through half that stuff!
Stephen Colbert: Stop asking for Bush's plan, senators! He clearly doesn't have one.
Stephen Colbert: And the number one threat to America is... Bears!
Stephen Colbert: Tensions have been rising between Afghanistan and the West over the fate of an Afghani man sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, casting Afghanistan in a negative light. Which brings us to our number one threat... Jesus! Jesus is such a powerful and appealing Messiah that Muslims can't help but convert to Christianity, and follow his teachings! But now, our Lord and Savior is jeopardizing our President's legacy. Afghanistan is Bush's success story! Where we toppled a repressive regime and replaced it with Western democracy. Thanks to Jesus, all that good will might be going right down the tube! So I call on the Son of God, the one true Christ, to just back off a little! The President's on your side, Sir! You should be on his! Leave the Muslims alone and save the true power of your glory for when we need it... midterm elections!
Stephen Colbert: [Discussing a Today Show segment on whether men should cry] It's never okay for men to cry! You know who cries? Girls. And little babies. And little baby girls. Man holds it in! Until his eyeballs swell to the size of baseballs, his throat feels like it's about to explode, and his gut just aches like there's a snake wrapped around his heart! That's why we die earlier, but it's worth it! At least we don't look weak while we're alive. But I got a bigger beef with this interview. Why is Matt Lauer doing it? First off, he doesn't know the history of psychology, Tom Cruise does! That's been proven to my satisfaction. Second, the man's a pansy! Katie Couric would have nailed this guy! She's the only reason I watch that show! Really, the only reason I get up most mornings! Moving on to Tom DeLay.
Stephen Colbert: Bobby, I'm doing the show right now.
Stephen Colbert: What is it?
Bobby: Katie Couric actually announced this morning that she's leaving the Today Show.
Stephen Colbert: [Stunned] She what?
Bobby: Yeah, she said she's leaving the Today Show to go anchor the CBS Evening News.
Stephen Colbert: [after a very long, shocked pause] Oh. Good... well I'm sure she'll do- Katie!
Stephen Colbert: Why?
[Has a loud crying fit]
Stephen Colbert: No!
[Pounds his fist on the desk]
Stephen Colbert: No! You're my morning flower! You don't wanna anchor the news, there's no cooking segment!
[Points to Bobby]
Stephen Colbert: You're a LIAR! She didn't say that! Jimmy, tell me she didn't say that, tell me he's lying!
[a clip shows of Katie Couric's announcement that she's leaving the Today Show, ending by saying she and the audience have become friends]
Stephen Colbert: We have become friends! Best friends! BFF! Katie, don't leave me with Matt Lauer! I've never gotten over that buzzcut! I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen, that just caught me by surprise... well, I'll always have the View. Moving on...
Bobby: Stephen, Stephen?
Stephen Colbert: What, Bobby?
Bobby: It looks actually, also like Meridith Viera is gonna be leaving the View.
Stephen Colbert: [Crying again] My ladies! My ladies of the View! The six of us had a bond! We were like the Steel Magnolia Ya-Ya Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! What do I do with my grief? Jimmy, put up something that's gonna cheer me up!
[Clip shows of Tucker Carlson doing circus tricks, which makes Stephen laugh]
Stephen Colbert: That's a lot better! I love clowns!
Stephen Colbert: You just gotta keep strong.
Stephen Colbert: The Pittsburgh Post Gazette is reporting on a new phenomenon called wrap rage. Where people injure themselves trying to open difficult plastic packages with sharp objects. It goes on to say that according to a report, British researchers blame wrap rage for more than 60,000 injuries in that country. Okay, let's see, if England's population is 60 million, and they had 60,000 injuries, and our population is 300 million, how many injuries would we... hold on, I can do this. Um, let me just get my brand new graphing calculator.
[Gets out a calculator in a wrapped plastic package, and tries to open it]
Stephen Colbert: This, uh, this'll only take a second here.
[Can't open it]
Stephen Colbert: Let me get that...
[Tries to bite it open, but can't]
Stephen Colbert: Okay, I'm gonna lose that battle right there... let me get that.
[Tries to use a pencil, but it breaks]
Stephen Colbert: Okay... motherfucker, okay! Get open, come on!
[Tries to stab scissors through it]
Stephen Colbert: You are MINE! I will see you in HELL!
[Throws the package away]
Stephen Colbert: When life gets you down, don't get mad: Get Stephen. This is the Colbert Report.
Stephen Colbert: When the world tries to knock us around, I'm America's bubble wrap. This is the Colbert Report.
[Stephen eats some "Soylent Green", which looks like green colored toast or something similar, and says the following line like Charlton Heston:]
Stephen Colbert: Soylent Green is Delicious!
Stephen Colbert: When you're President Senator Clinton, we'll be able to bring the troops home on flying pigs provided that it's not too cold for them to fly, what with Hell having frozen over!
Stephen Colbert: Maybe we can hold the parade on "Highly Improbable Day"!
Stephen Colbert: Caution: This show may be a suffocation hazard because you can't poke holes in my arguments!
Penn Jillette: Which camera's on right now?
Stephen Colbert: I don't know.
Penn Jillette: [looks around] Oh, it's this one right here. There is no Santa Claus! The Easter Bunny is your mother and father! There's no Easter Bunny and no God. Sorry!
Stephen Colbert: Do we have a puppy for Mr. Jillette to punch?
Penn Jillette: I don't like to touch them; I'd like to hit them with a hammer.
Stephen Colbert: Okay, look. The rest of the stuff you can say what you want, it's your audience to lose. But when you start messing with God, you got ME to answer to.
Stephen Colbert: And *you* sir... are a Formidable Opponent.
Stephen Colbert: ...which brings us to tonight's Wørd: