DAY IT DOESN’T MATTER I WAS IN THE SAME VICINITY AS STEPHEN COLBERT.
This is going to be long, mind you. I arrived (in hindsight) ridiculously early. 2:30 to be exact. I’m just going to skip past the waiting process.
I was initially really hesitant to say anything, I didn’t want to ask a question, I didn’t want to be spotted by the warm up. But as soon as the the warm up comedian said ‘Who’s from far away?’ my arm shot up way too quickly and I was spoken to for a few minutes and then it turns out that a few people were from Australia in the audience!
Then Stephen ran out. He apologised for taking long to come out, and I swear, this moment was like an out of body experience for me to be seeing him with my own eyeballs and he’s actually physically in the studio with his Brooks Brothers get up and infallible hair.
He asked if there were any questions and my arm shot up without my brain even realising it. So I was the first question and he called me young lady (I was internally screaming).
I just asked what he thinks Chuck Noblet and Geoffrey Jellineck would be up to now. He went on to explain what Strangers was to people that were in the dark about it and he said that he thinks they’d be staging a traffic accident so they can exchange insurance details in the backseat. Which is what he’s mentioned before as a scene they never got to shoot. That moment was amazing in and of itself.
The next question was about how important space travel will be in relation to American economy. Stephen seemed a bit taken aback by the depth of the question, and he just quoted Arthur C. Clarke with 'Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for mankind to keep all its eggs in.'
The next question was regarding his writers and if they prioritise awareness for a certain topic or the comedy and entertainment first. Stephen was quick to respond with it’s comedy. They do cover topics that they care about. but it’s Comedy Central not 'Raising Awareness Central’. if a writer were to approach him with a story that was purely for awareness they would be out of there.
The last question was what his favourite thing to do in NYC and his favourite place to eat. He said that his favourite thing to do is just walk down past 14th street, especially after it rains because it’s just a beautiful area. And he doesn’t eat at restaurant’s often but there’s a great place (I forgot the name, apologies) just near the studio.
Now during the Q&A, he was speaking and a bug literally fell from the rafters onto his hair. Which explains the cold open when he mentioned the bug at the beginning. This bug literally fell, I can’t accentuate this enough… directly on his head. He shook it off because he heard the audience gasp and when he saw it was a bug he stared at it for a bit, and literally goes 'I’m fucking out of here.’ and walked off for a few seconds. He came back and went to pick up a Tom Clancy book from his shelf and flipped the cover open to get the bug to climb on. He then threw the book backstage. The book later made it back onto the set. He came back to take more questions but before that, I just remember him saying 'Fuck me!’ in response to the whole thing and how he was relieved that the bug had 40 legs as opposed to 8.
When he shook that bug off his head though, that hair did not move. It’s impeccable.
The taping went on as you saw it.They retaped him saying the word 'Year’ and the Perfect Polly segment because he messed up the part about 'chirping’. The second tape was way more dramatic though with his face pushed up against the cage. The first time around when he threw (and killed) Polly she bounced off the table and hit the floor and he delivered the rest of his lines standing up.
Stephen makes funny faces into the camera while some of the videos play. It looks like he’s just stretching his face, getting ready for when he’s back on. The rest of the taping went on and at the end he asked for one more question.
Someone asked what his favourite Campaign was in Dungeons and Dragons. I’d be lying if I said I understood anything of what he or the audience member said here. But he did mention that when he was 15 he went to GenCon and back on those days, there wasn’t cosplay. Their cosplay was acne. And he got his D&D Players Handbook/Guide signed by someone significant (forgive me for not remembering this one).
Anyway the taping ended and then Jordan and I waited for about an hour after we were let out. We weren’t even looking and then we hear 'Hey ladies!’ and it’s Stephen Colbert, coming down the stairs. This is all a blur. He apologised for the long wait. In my head I was just thinking what the hell don’t apologise, I apologise for taking up your time.
I decided to give him that little vinyl Kidrobot Munny that I customized and he said that it’s cute and that he loved it! He first gave it to his driver to put in the car, then he took it again and told his security (I think) to run it back up into the office. So my night was already made at that point. He asked where we were from and what our names were and he shook our hands. He heard Australia and said he wasn’t sure if The Report is even aired there anymore (It is, only on the Comedy Channel on paid TV).
I asked if we could just take a quick photo before he headed off and he said that we’ll have to take a selfie so it could be the 3 of us but because Jordan was amazing and wanted me to have an individual she offered to just take the photo. But he was adamant that we both got photos with him so I took her photo and that was it. He was off and he just wished us a safe trip home. His hair was fluffy and newly washed and non-Report-like and it was the best night ever.
Then we were walking away and waited until the car was well and truly gone and had a freak out on the corner of the street.
On the way home we found Late Night Snack and The Killers’ Bones was playing in a bar that we walked past so everything seemed to be fate at that point. It’s like the city of New York just knew it was our last night here and made it absolutely perfect.
EDIT: I just remembered another question during Colbert’s out-of-character Q&A at The Report taping. It’s not vital but it’s information I will add to complete my memory of this night.
The question was about advice he wished his Mum had given him when he was in his mid-twenties.
Now I don’t recall this verbatim (obviously as it’s about 3 days after the taping that I even remember the question was even asked) but he said she gave the advice he needed and she wasn’t worried about him.
But he did proceed to tell the story about how a few years after that he lost his job (Exit 57 was cancelled) and he and his wife just had their first baby. He was on the phone with his Mum and he said that he didn’t know why, but he wasn’t worried. And she said 'I don’t know why you aren’t [worried] either.’
I like how I remember details days after. Excitement got the better of me.