A Final Fond Farewell to Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.

In 2006, just five days into this blog, I posted my first item about “The Colbert Report”. That was back in the days of analog cable TV, and using the tuner in an ATI TV Wonder Elite I recorded this excellent “60 Minutes” piece by Morley Safer about Colbert, in which Stephen talks about the loss of his father and two of his brothers. Full Disclosure: If you go to the link for the 2006 post, there is a wry comment from my cousin Lawrie. Her niece is married to Morley Safer’s nephew.

And here, one last time, is the picture that Denro took of me, with my long-gone “woodchuck” facial hair, in the presence of Stephen Colbert. No, I am not a giant and Colbert is not tiny. Actually, we’re about the same size. I mean height! We’re the same height!

The Times Center, 242 West 41st Street, New York, NY, November 16, 2007 8:21 PM
The Times Center,
242 West 41st Street, New York, NY, November 16, 2007 8:21 PM

The Truth Behind Truthiness

The music that played under the end credits to the finale of “The Colbert Report” was “Holland, 1945”, a 1998 song by Neutral Milk Hotel.

Why did Stephen Colbert pick that particular song? It’s explained at this link to a Maureen Dowd column.

[Colbert] had 10 older siblings. But after his father and the two brothers closest to him in age died in a plane crash when he was 10 and the older kids went off to college, he said, he was “pretty much left to himself, with a lot of books.”

He said he loved the “strange, sad poetry” of a song called “Holland 1945” by an indie band from Athens, Ga., called Neutral Milk Hotel and sent me the lyrics, which included this heartbreaking bit:

“But now we must pick up every piece

Of the life we used to love

Just to keep ourselves

At least enough to carry on. . . .

And here is the room where your brothers were born

Indentions in the sheets

Where their bodies once moved but don’t move anymore.”

Comedy Central Casting

I don’t have to post all of the screen grabs I made with great effort from Colbert’s finale, because Josh Marshall’s site Talking Points Memo has their own, and they identify everybody. TPM also embeds the video, and I will too.

I knew Emily Bazelon would make an appearance. Colbert often had her on the show as a “guest at the desk.” Besides being an excellent reference source, it was obvious Stephen was smitten with Emily, but his wife Evelyn is also on stage, so no worries.