A few weeks ago, I saw a friend post on Twitter that there were still a handful of tickets left for The Colbert Report in a few weeks and I grabbed two. Fast forward to Monday as I arrived on West 54th Street to meet my friend Jared, both of us incredibly excited.
After they checked in everyone and checked our ID’s, we were handed numbered blue tickets. Eventually we were lead into a holding room where we passed through metal detectors. Surprisingly our phones and cameras were no confiscated (though we were given strict instructions by a very animated PA not to use them while in the studio under any circumstances).
As you can see they showed old episodes of The Colbert Report while we were waiting. After they seated us we were introduced to the stage manager and told repeatedly that we [or our laughs, rather] were the most important part of the show and to laugh really, really loudly. A comic was brought onto the set [which is a lot smaller than you’d think] to get us ‘amped up’ before Colbert himself was brought out. He poked fun at numerous cast members and before long it was time for Stephen Colbert to come out.
One of the fun aspects of being at a filming is that there’s a short Q&A with Colbert before the taping with him OUT of character. To be honest, I’d forgotten there was a difference. One person asked what he thought about people trying to claim that Shakespeare wasn’t written by Shakespeare and he said, “There’s a whole lot of evidence that he DID write it and no evidence that he didn’t, so I think that’s clear!” I applauded him for that answer.
The PA outside told us the taping usually took about 45 minutes because Colbert usually hits his jokes on the first try. Then she caught herself and said, “I’m probably jinxing him now!” Well, she kinda did. The first line they had to do three takes of because he couldn’t stop laughing. The filming commenced shortly after that, and we all clapped and cheered as loudly as we could. Colbert, by the way, was bent over his desk and crying he was laughing so hard when they showed the “Corporations are People” video.
John Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and a candidate for the Republican nod for president, was the guest and he seemed like a pretty level-headed guy. I had no idea that Catholicism had ever been controversial (pre-JFK’s election). After the second time that the Chinese soundbite was played [during the interview], Huntsman made a semi-racist joke (something to the tune of “Oh the Chinese delivery guy is here!), but I noticed that they cut that when the show aired last night.
The whole taping process from start to finish probably took about 2 hours and it was worth every second of it. I loved coming home after and watching it later that night. Now all I have to do is catch a taping of The Daily Show and I’m pretty sure I can check this off my bucket list. If you missed it, click here to watch the entire episode on Hulu.