Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"I Like Taking Credit for Things!"

Amanda is taking a history class this year called "New Right, New Left" (or it's "New Left, New Right." I get it mixed up.) that is a study of the political parties in the US since the beginning of the 20th century. She finds it quite interesting, I think, particularly in light of the fact that this will be the first presidential election she will be able to vote in. To a large extent, it's a discussion class with a LOT of writing, and they've been discussing LBJ and Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement lately.

She called today and asked if I had seen The Colbert Report last night. I had not, but it was on the DVR. She said I should be sure and watch it, because Andrew Young was Stephen's guest, and that he (Stephen) kind of broke character during the interview. I was curious, so I made sure to watch it tonight.

If you know me, you know that I have long loved Stephen Colbert. I have always admired not only his quick wit, and his outlook on the world, but I have also loved to see what happens when his STEPHEN COLBERT persona slips, and you get a glimpse of the real Stephen Colbert.

I think we saw that on last night's episode. Stephen and Andrew Young have quite an interesting link.

And then he interviews Andrew Young. His wit comes through in the interview, along with his obvious respect for Mr. Young, but there's also an honest earnestness there:

It was all summed up for me with this one question: "Do you remember my father?" Just imagine - being able to speak with a man who is one of the icons of the American Civil Rights movement, and hearing this response to your question: "Yes, I do. I remember him very, very well."

Stephen is the youngest of 11(!) children, and he actually was born during the time period in which his father and Andrew Young were negotiating the strike settlement. When Stephen was only 10, his father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash just outside Charlotte. What a gift it must have been for Stephen to be able to hear someone like Andrew Young speak so admiringly of his father.

And then, in a singularly Colbert-ian touch, he ended the show with a musical tribute that was certainly funny, but also surprising, and touching as he paid tribute to the writing staff he surely misses.

It is SO time for the writers to return. I really miss Tonight's Word.


Paula said...

Colbert has another side, also. He is on an ABC video that Jackson has. He plays the lowly Letter Z that is underappreciated. I'll let you borrow the's pretty good. Ben enjoys Colbert and loves the video.

Dee said...

Dale doesn't like the show so I rarely see it - only if my son comes and gets me to see something on it. He watches it in his room all the time. This was such a great post though! It gives a new depth to Colbert. Thanks for this.