tv The Colbert Report Comedy Central December 1, 2011 9:30am-10:00am PST
[crowd changt stephen] [crowd chanting stephen] thank you very much. thank you very much. welcome to the report. good to have you with us. folks, the 2012 election is barreling down the highway and we are running out of road because the iowa caucus is just over a month away, and my man newt gingrich is leading in both local and national polls. that means mitt romney has very little time left to execute his proven strategy of saying and doing nothing while the guy ahead of him in the polls destroys himself in some spectacular and unforseen manner. let's say, by gay marrying a burning american flag. i don't know. something good. [ laughter ] will this unforeseen disaster
happen to gingrich? the liberal media is doing their best -- accusing him of shady lobbying deals. >> as newt gingrich rises in the polls there's growing scrutiny into his work after he left congress. the times reports that through his health care consultancy the former house speaker made millions of dollars helping companies promote their services while gaining access to government officials. >> stephen: that is an outrageous accusation that a -- yes, boo. how dare you accuse of a congressman with no discernible skills -- we know this isn't true because as newt's aides have pointed out, he is not a registered lobbyist. if he is not registered, ergo he's not a lobbyist. the same reason that i have not registered my audi a-8, so legally it's not a car.
[ laughter ] which is why i can drive it on the sidewalk. [ laughter ] today, newt categorically denied these scurrilous accusations. >> i did no lobbying of any kind, period. for a practical reason. let me be really direct, okay? i was charging $60,000 a speech. and the numbers of speeches was going up, not down. normally celebrities sell fewer speeches. we were selling more. >> stephen: okay? he doesn't need to lobby--he's a celebrity. he's bigger than brangelina and tomkat put together -- or at least his head is. [ laughter ] [cheers and applause] $60k a speech.
as he explained. none of mr. gingrich's clients paid him to adopt a position that he did not already have. >> stephen: yes, companies frequently pay celebrities like us to continue to believe what we already believe. for instance, it has been my long-held position that if you're looking for all-out refreshment bud light lime offers up the just-right taste you love with a splash of 100% natural lime flavor. [ laughter ] that's just who i am.ymxdç i grew up feeling strongly that bud light lime is perfect for chilling at the pool, in the backyard, or pretty much anywhere. [ laughter ] i'm not being paid to say that. i receive money from the good folks at bud light lime because i happen to already think that bud light lime is the official beer of natural good times. [ laughter ] and i absolutely love the taste. [cheers and applause]
okay. that's enough good times for now. [ laughter ] of course -- [cheers and applause] of course, newt has some strong beliefs he hasn't made money off of-- yet-- like his hatred of barney frank. >> if you put people in jail you ought to start with barney frank go back and look at the lobbyists he was close to at -- at freddie mac. >> stephen: yeah, string him up! barney frank was close to the lobbyists at freddie mac, and gingrich should know because those lobbyists gave newt $1.6 million dollars. but that doesn't mean newt was close to them. i'm sure he waited until they left before he picked up the brown paper bag full of money. [ laughter ] and i'd say newt has won this fight, because on monday congressman frank announced his retirement. the man is a lion of the liberal establishment. from the looks of him, possibly the cowardly lion. [ laughter ]
even i have to admit though there have been some brave moments for this friend of dorothy. in 1987 frank became the first openly gay congressman other than all the founding fathers. [ laughter ] of course -- of course, whenever a titan of washington steps aside, the tributes roll in. like this one from bill o'reilly. >> if you challenge frank, he's in your face, if you point out his failures, he denies them. if you disagree with him on anything, you're a moron. >> stephen: high praise from papa bear. it's like he's describing himself. half laugh. [ laughter ] [cheers and applause] of course, not all remarks were positive, like this tweet posted by the tennessee tea party: >> good riddance you perverted sodomite piece of (bleep). >> stephen: sounds harsh, but in tennessee, that's the state motto.
$ ( laughter ) $. [ laughter ] now, the president of the tennessee tea party tami kilmarx, quickly took down the tweet, saying it was posted without her knowledge, and thoroughly apologized on facebook, by saying: "while privately and inwardly i may agree with the commentary, it is completely irresponsible for any one of us to write these kinds of commentaries." >> stephen: yes, it's fine to agree that barney frank is a perverted sodomite piece of (bleep) but don't say it out loud. [ laughter ] just like when a gay guy walks into a restaurant you don't scream, "hide your children! he's looking for new meat. " you just cover your young one with a coat until danger passes. right? i'm right. we have to be tactful. i think kilmarx gave the
appropriate response, so it's irresponsible to say "this pic of tami kilmarx is why barney frank is gay." [ laughter ] hashtag, though i privately and inwardly agree. [ laughter ]?;ñç i don't know what that future holds for frank, especially since he has pledged: "i will neither be a lobbyist nor a historian." for an ex-congressman, that only leaves felon or fully-clothed exotic dancer. [ laughter ] ♪ [ laughter ] [cheers and applause] ♪ wild thing on a personal note, i'll be sad to see congressman frank go. sure, we didn't always see eye to eye, but he was one of the first congressman i got to better know.
so to honor his retirement, i'm pleased to present this encore presentation of my second-ever "better know a district." thank you for taking time between taxing and spending to talk to me. [ laughter ] congressman barney -- can i call you frank? >> it's my last name. say whatever you want. >> stephen: president bush, great president or the greatest president? those are the only two options i've got. >> i think he's been a disaster. >> stephen: i'll put you down for great. >> well, i -- >> stephen: it's the lower of the two. so i'll put you down for it. bush is great. barney frank 22nd september, 2005. okay. you are self-identified as a
group that has a lot of discrimination against them. what has it been like living your life openly left handed? >> very difficult. pencil sharpeners, for instance, are right handed. >> stephen: scissors. >> door knobs. >> stephen: i was born left handed. i believe you are born left handed it's in the a decision. >> right. >> stephen: my parents, especially my dad were pretty upset. they did everything in their power to get me to switch sides and go right handed. they even got me involved in this christian ministry youth group to get me me to go over to the right side. has your minister ever approached you about changing from left to right? >> my minister is a rabbi. >> stephen: you are jewish? >> yes. >> stephen: to sum up, you are left handed, jewish, as i learn here but there's something else
about you and this is sort of the elephant in the room that i'm not naming but as a journalist i feel like i have to name it: you are a little overweight. does your wife like that you are overweight. >> can i honestly say to you whether or not i lose weight is of no concern whatsoever to my wife. >> stephen: okay. you've been called fairly hip. what is the last cd you bought? >> i don't think i ever bought one. my boyfriend gave me some. >> jon: sorry what? >> my boyfriend gave me one. >> jon: you are homosexual. my apologies. i didn't know. for not knowing. >> why would i be offended by the fact i didn't know. >> stephen: please -- i apologize for apologizing. >> let me explain the nice thing
about me. ignorance does not offend me. >> stephen: thank you very much as a journalist i should have known that so it doesn't happen in the future tell me who else is gay. >> elton john. let me think about else who. ellen de. >> stephen: the one who dances? >> yes. ♪ çñrç >> stephen: thank you so much. >> your welcome. -- you're welcome. >> stephen: i'll go. we'll miss you. we'll be right back. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause]
>> stephen: hey, welcome back, everybody. thank you so much. [cheers and applause] nation, i had the old iphone out earlier. i reminded me i'm a fine fan of apple's voition rition software siri. it's got all the convenience of talking to a woman on the phone without that annoying $2.99 a minute. [ laughter ] but now there's another reason to love her/it. because according to the new york times blog, she is pro-life. if you're in manhattan you ask to find an abortion clinic, siri responds:
>> sorry, i couldn't find any abortion clinics. >> stephen: really? in new york? i think, they've got one at the top of the empire state building. the line is ridiculous. it's a tourist trap. [ laughter ] point is, siri is clearly an arch-conservative woman. like laura ingraham, but less robotic. [ laughter ] and that's not the only way siri is earning her conservative cred. >> there's a personal assistant on the iphone. it might leave people left out. apple users that speak english with a foreign accent, including scottish, australian, irish, and other say that siri does not understand them. >> stephen: that's right. siri can't understand foreigners which explains why she never laughed once when we watched. crocodile dundee together. [ laughter ] turns out siri is just as scared illegal aliens as i am.
i don't blame her. it's only a matter of time before the iphone loses its job to some mexican yo-phone. [ laughter ] but it's not enough for siri just to ignore foreign users, she has to fire back. so i made a few modifications to siri. let me just test it out here. let's try some scottish. (scottish accent) siri, can you direct me to the nearest kilt shop? >> siri: this is america. wear pants, you haggis-eating, bagpipe molestor. [ laughter ] [cheers and applause] >> stephen: all right now for the british. (british accent) siri, where does the rain in spain mainly fall? >> siri: why don't you go ask your stupid queen? or is she too inbred to answer?! [ laughter ] >> stephen: or for germans -- (german accent) guten tag-- i vould like directions to the local gim-nasium.
>> siri: how can you live with yourself after what you did to the von trapp family? >> stephen: know what? the republicans can't decide who to get behind, and siri is such a strong conservative voice. maybe she should run for president.v:i] but first, siri, have you had an affair with h>> siri: i was youi needed the job. [ laughter ] >> stephen: oh you poor thing. we'll be right back.
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>> stephen: welcome back, everybody my guest tonight is a legendary broadway lyricist and composer whose new book is called "look, i made a hat." it's better than andrew lloyd weber's book, "look, i made cats." [ laughter ] please welcome stephen sondheim. [cheers and applause] nice see you again, sir. thanks for coming back. >> my pleasure. this is just like old home week. >> yes. >> stephen: this is where you come to sell your books. and boy do you have one this time. last time it was and this one is called "look i made a hat."
okay? >> toes a progression. >> stephen: it is. this book has in it "look i made a hat" this is the second half of your career. this is my favorite musical of all time, sunday in the park with george. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. >> stephen: when i was explaining to my mother why i wanted to be a pundit i read her the lyrics to finishing the hat. that is about an artist having to live with the loneliness of his art that his art is his love and his life. are you writing about yourself there? >> yes, to a certain extent. i'm writing about what happens to everybody who writes or pains or composes, how you get lost in what you are doing, the word disappears and you sacrifice aspects of your life and you forget everything except finishing the hat. in this case it's about a painter who is workinging on a hat. it's just one of many hats but
he spends all his time concentrating on this hat. he said look, i made a hat, now i have to make another one. it's about concentration. >> stephen: it never ends though. the art never ends. she's a harsh miss stress, art. >> that's well put. >> stephen: i should write lyrics. [ laughter ] since the last time you were on you invited me to be in company. >> yes. >> stephen: which i did a -- [cheers and applause] >> i was thrilled that you accepted. i couldn't believe you would accept. >> stephen: i didn't believe i did either. my performance has harry great interpretation of sondheim or the greatest interpretation of sondheim? >> well, you had to compete with charles who had done it originally and i think it came out well spheenchts okay. i'll put you down for great. now, can i ask you about the
lyrics to the song i sang. it's called sorry grateful. i like thingsesome. i like things sim, sir. harry was asked if he regrets having been married. he said you are always sorry. you are always grateful and the chorus goes÷úç "you always aret you always were which has nothing to do with tiewl do with her." if you look at it like an equation. all to do, nothing to do. they are fractions over the words with hers. we elimb nate all to do nothing to do and marriage is what with her. >> that's true and part of it is sorry and part of it is grateful. >> stephen: right. but he can't explain what marriage is like. why not mike your characters
really simple minded. hakuna matata it's a wonderful word. >> it's true. it's true. people are complicated. speaking about myself. >> stephen: why not peppy, peppy, stuff. how but. ♪ beautiful girl how i'd like to meet you beautiful girl let me call the preacher ♪ >> if you asked i would haved up the tempo for you. >> stephen: seriously? >> yeah. >> stephen: i didn't realize. >> sorry grateful,. ♪ why look for answers when i'm with her you always israel what you always were which has nothing to do with all to do with her ♪ how that was? [cheers and applause] i want to speak about two of your works assassins. it's in this book.
it's a beautiful musical don't get me wrong but it's a musical about assassins. you have kids throughout incredibly imprergsable. they are going to go to broadway and they are going to see this thing and grow up to sing and dance and shoot the president. you don't feel responsibility for that? >> yeah, but they get killed at the end. >> stephen: so it's a happy ending? for steven sondheim it's a happy ending. >> all at sassins came to a bad end. so -- all those assassins came to a bad end. if there's a lesson there it's don't assassinate. >> stephen: that's what i mean, keep it simple. if you want the definitive book get this