The Zen and the Damaged

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The Zen On October - 2 - 2013

By Anna-Neko
Source

This was my second time going (went with a friend last year), and just the day before got to experience ‘The Daily Show’ too!

Got there stupid-early (around 3pm) and there were already a few people making a line. Joined them and sat on sidewalk for a while. So glad weather was warm. Really windy but warm.
Bit past 4pm the staff with the tablets (no more clipboards!) came out to start getting us checked-in. Line moved from sidewalk to the awning alley space.
These guys still extremely serious business – check both ID and confirmation email. Everyone before me had paper print-outs, I realized left mine on my desk … after 5 seconds of panic remembered duh! phones have internet, and showed my confirm on phone screen.

There’s now a “tweet your excitement!” poster greeting you as go thru security. Encouraging everyone to post like mad to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with their official links and hashtags (#ColbertAudience). Plus download The Colbert Report App while you’re at it.

The waiting room got so crowded the A/C couldn’t handle it, and the big double exit-doors were opened to let in more air.

When it was time for seating, my being a loner earned me a first row seat (I’m filler, hoorah) It was a seat all the way in the corner, right where one of the security guys stands (and camera staff and whatnot) … but still, get to say was in front row.

Everyone’s seat had a pen on it. A nice little gift that glows and has show logo. ‘Cause this is how Emmy award winning shows roll.

Amusingly enough, the pens actually gave security trouble! Remember, no phones or cameras in the studio, yeah? The pen’s blue light from a distance was a bit like a phone screen lighting up … the security standing near me kept cracking up into his radio (guessing to underling on other end of studio) “Its a pen.. dude its a pen. No seriously, that light is the pen, let it go”.

During Q&A Stephen was asked what it would take for him and Jon Stewart to make a buddy cop movie (he’s all for it, but they’d make a better Odd Couple), and then another person asked him a Lord of the Rings question of course. Something about a named weapon during Minas Tirith battle, and without batting an eye Colbert went on 5 minute speech complete with referencing Silmarillion and everything (I wanna say a battle-ax was the item in question, but really can’t remember).

And then a very professor-looking guy asked Colbert about a book. Something about his (the person asking) book being left on Colbert’s desk and if it gets read does get to be a guest in future. Stephen was super-excited and thought they meant his on-set desk and went to check around it, but then it was clarified that no, the book went to his office desk (and he laughed, no that other desk in the office is purely for show, he never goes there).

At first break they had to re-shoot a POTUS joke and he was all “Okay you guys, we just gotta retake this one line. It was a great joke the first time, hope you’ll enjoy it again”.
During second break another few lines needed to be re-shot, from 1st Survival Bunker segment (due to mispronunciation) and then the guest was set up and interview was done.
At one point Chris Matthews was really trying to make some point and kept being interrupted … so he started saying Stephen’s name to try and cut in and Colbert shot back “You keep saying Stephen … Stephen … what are you, my mother?”

Once back to his desk for the final segment he was joking “Now we gotta edit out all those parts of him having great points, our interview is gonna be really short”.

And this is when the BEST bit of the taping happened. The staff kept asking “Do we have extra time? We might be able to fit this in …” among themselves.
Few extra minutes were declared to be available so a bonus segment was taped!
Makeup quickly ran out to attach a beard to his face, touch up few things and place Lincoln’s tall hat on.

Stephen took off his glasses and had the cameras (or rather, their teleprompter screens) come in as close as possible.
Then lowered the chair as much as it would go (too tall with hat, wasn’t fitting into any frame) and very dramatically read the ‘Gettysburg Address’. Occasionally stumbling over a few words and just steamrolling through it.
Decided to do a second take, just in case. This time he stood up & read the entire speech Even More Dramatically! (This is what’s on YouTube now) Complete with extremely dramatic hat removal near the end. Then beard ripped off. And finishing with a flourish, “ladies & gentlemen… Metallica!” (..um.. okay?)

Everything now taped and done, he humored the audience a few minutes more. Telling everyone how this segment was taped for Ken Burns, and that a more ‘normal’ reading of the Address was done earlier, but this seemed too fun an opportunity to pass up.

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