On my birthday 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 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.”
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.
“All of life’s important answers, must in the form of a question.” So says Alex Trebek, and so ends “The Colbert Report”. It’s been a wacky, brilliant, and inspiring 9-year ride with Stephen Colbert, who has caught up to the age I was when his show began. Later I’ll be posting pictures of everybody, or almost everybody, who joins Stephen to sing “We’ll Meet Again”, the same song that ends “Dr. Strangelove”, which adds an ironic twist to Henry Kissinger’s presence.
It’s going to be a while, probably well into 2015, before we see Stephen Colbert on CBS, shorn of his faux cable news persona. The truth is that I am rarely staying up late enough on weeknights anymore to watch Colbert, so I use the DVR catch up on the weekends.
Internet pioneer Vint Cerf was on The Colbert Report recently, and although he was interesting he took too much credit for himself and Bob Kahn. Why no mention of Bob Taylor, who originally envisioned the Arpanet and got it up and running before joining Xerox PARC? Cerf should also have given an up-front shout-out to Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web which is, let’s face it, what most people think the Internet is.