Posted Oct 17, 2007 @ 10:31 AM
Lucky, lucky me got to go to the taping last night.
I got in line around 3:30 and ended up with ticket #18. My sister (her first visit) was stunned at the small size of the audience once we got into the indoor holding area. We got to sit in the front row, right in front of the desk. Warm-up guy Pete was OK; I don't despise him like I do Paul Mercurio at TDS because he's not mean spirited. He kept picking on two guys (I hope they didn't mind) who looked like a gay couple; later when he asked whether anyone in the audience was in the military, they raised their hands. That was pretty funny; Pete said "Navy, right? You guys have got to be navy," and he was right. The stage manager came out to instruct us how to be enthusiastic and said casually that Colbert was on his way back from an appearance on TDS. I almost imploded and I also felt like I was the only one in the room who understood just what a cool, amazing announcement that was. Whoa!
Stephen came out with the usual fanfare, spinning lights, running around, lots of yelling, looking, as always, handsome and adorable. He did his running by, hand slapping thing and both my sister and I made contact. He asked for questions in the usual way, something about getting to talk to him before he morphs into the obnoxious guy. There were a number of questions from the other side of the room which I couldn't hear. One led to a discussion of Sam Adams beer which Stephen said was patriotic. There was appparently a Stephen look-a-like whom someone pointed out. Somebody got their book signed, I think for a relative in the military. When he came to my side someone asked how, with his persona, he can remain humble. His answer, after a moment of contemplation was, "I have a wife." Then he called on me. I told him that I had been there two years ago tomorrow, for the very first show. He said "aawwww," stepped close to me and stuck out his hand for me to shake it. When I put my hand out he took it and held it between both his hands. Oh my. And just kept it there. Oh my oh my. He said, "you're a member of the original one hundred...you're electric." Then he let go of my hand and pointed quickly back and forth between us and said, "we're electric." Then he asked how the show had changed and I said it was much more polished now. He said, "Yes! Polished! I'm polished! That's because they polish me before every show." Then he bounded off to the next questioner before I got a chance to ask my question, but that was O-tay! Then one of the navy, perhaps gay guys said, "since you're more famous than me, will you trade wriststrong bracelets with me?" He grinned and reached his arm up (they were in the second row) and said, "I'll show you how to do this," and they grabbed hands so that in trading bracelets they had to be pulled over this stretch of arm and wrist. It was an arduous process and very funny. It was cute of Stephen to get into it so much.
He sat down at the desk and that song with the line "it's the end of the world as we know it" was playing. He mouthed along and occaisionally would make eye contact with someone in the audience. Once he made a slashing pantomime across his neck while he was mouthing "the end of the world." There was some fussing with make-up (the glasses came off) and hair. They had to shoot the opening of the show three times, which was a delight. The first time he cracked up when he said the name "Tom Tacredo." He commented that "you'll like the jokes the second time around. They're better when they've been aired out a little. Not wrapped in plastic any more. Hung on the line, flapping in the breeze." The next time he said "Iraq wall" instead of "Iraq war." He cracked up and said, "it's even better the third time." It was a joy to watch. He was positively giddy. The third take went smoothly. Each time they shot he would try a different way of approaching the camera. Once he pushed his chair way back and wheeled it in really fast toward the camera and the other two times he tried spinning his head or turning his body in a different way, just working on shaping the material as he went along.
The rest of the show was pretty much as you saw, though after he did the president/balloon drop, segment, he asked the audience, "how many of you thought that was real? How many of you though it was fake?" He looked around and it was about evenly divided, which he said was interesting. Then he said, "because we're really doing this. We're filing papers tomorrow." He was grinning and obviously loved the whole idea.
The closing sgement was quick, but they filmed for awhile, both shots of the audience and shots of Stephen futzing with his stuff on his shelves. I guess they don't know how much end material they will need until they edit the show. He left very quickly. I went up to the guy guarding the desk and asked if I could have the script. He said, "I'm really sorry. We're not allowed to gave anything away. I know they do that at TDS. Thanks so much for coming. For all it matters to me, I'd give you his chair." I really wanted the bumper sticker with the "Stewart" cut out, but I could see I would get nowhere. A few minutes later we were wandering on the street in a happy haze and one of the cameramen spotted us (I had a blue balloon and my sister had three- red, white and blue) and waved to us. He said, "are you going to vote for Stephen?" I told him I couldn't vote in South Carolina, which seemed to amuse him. Everybody who works there seems really nice.
I heard Stephen say "fuck" several times, which was exciting. He is amazingly accessible to his audience, both verbally and physically. He appears to love his work. He is sexy and wonderful and altogether divine.