Last night's "Colbert Report" was truly epic. I can't believe so much happened in one half-hour. The much-touted showdown with The Decembrists over the Greenscreen Challenge was only part of it; that is to say, only the excuse for an episode that was truly Baroque in all its lavish excesses, featuring guest turns by Morley Safer, Eliot Spitzer, Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielson (who, we learn, wrote the Colbert theme), The Decembrists' and lead guitarist Chris Funk, NYT/Rolling Stone rock critic Anthony DeCurtis, 9-time Grammy winner Jim Anderson, a hilarious and tuneful song by Apples In Stereo frontman Rob Schneider and, unbelievably, Henry freakin' Kissinger ("Stephen, it is time to Rock"). Okay, this guy can get pretty much anyone to do anything." We've got vid and pics below but honestly, this one has to be seen in its entirety to be believed so go do that at Comedy Central's "Motherload" site where it should show up in its entirety soon (it's still going in reruns today; actually now at 2:30 and at 8:30pm). But first, Nation, some props: To us, ETP, for recognizing that this Greenscreen Challenge thing was gonna be big way back in August. We're not self-propping here, no — these props come right from the top: From Stephen Colbert himself. Watch, and be reminded:
If you blinked you might have missed it, but that was OUR post that flashed on screen — twice, in its original form and as a HuffPo news item (with our crack news team's signature bold headline). We'll let it slide that Colbert passed off one item printed twice as representative of an explosion of media coverage (since the post was actually picked up by the AP and widely run, which is why we're taking the screengrab as a specific shout-out and expression of undying love). We love you back, Stephen! In a very objective and journalistically-responsible way, of course.
Now on to the rest of the show, which was just littered with amazing moments courtesy of Colbert, his crack writing staff, and the Very Special Episode guest stars listed above. The Schneider-Apples In Stereo song really was hilarious and yes, totally tuneful (""He's calling out the bears in their evil lairs, he's calling out the press in their fancy dress" - outstanding) and Spitzer was beaming like a kid, and his delivery was perfect and totally not-wooden. Colbert's ridiculous five-necked guitar was awesome, too ("I'm gonna shred so hard tonight, I might blow out the first four necks") — this episode was packed with great lines, gags and reveals, too many to list so we just took some screengrabs for y'all, plus, we couldn't resist pulling the video of Morley Safer, who is Canadian, opening the show a la "60 Minutes" — a goofy, inspired first touch that kicked off the mood of the whole tour-de-force episode. Total TVNewser bait, we do not deny it. But still, pretty cool. Enjoy!