today is the end of an era. we bid goodbye to a theme park attraction that truly allowed us to immerse ourselves in some of the most classic and revered films of all time. it will sorely be missed. rip shrek 4d.
inconsisently cut carrots
plates of food that aren’t 100% identical
a frustrated chopped contestant and the basket ingredient they forgot to use
alton brown (good eats era) and alton brown (cutthroat kitchen era)
a bid-happy cutthroat kitchen contestant and their ever dwindling pile of money
a sad chef losing to bobby flay
So this is it. The end of an era. Bidding farewell to The Colbert Report.Why the heartbreak, you ask. Well…
Once upon a time a teenage girl was sitting in front of her parents’ computer, wasting time on this new site called YouTube, when she stumbled upon a clip titled “Truthiness, explained by Stephen Colbert”. She remembered him from Daily Show pieces she had watched and loved in the past and apparently he had his own show now. Let’s check this out, she thought.
I didn’t understand every word Stephen was saying because my English simply wasn’t good enough at the time. But it didn’t matter. I laughed, I got it. I was in on the joke. I was one of the heroes. A ritual that would stay with me for almost a decade was born. There would be consequences.
One of those unforeseen consequences was me becoming increasingly interested in American politics and everything surrounding it. The frustration, the gridlock, the intricacies, the (admittedly increasingly rare) achievements, the enthusiasm- all these elements fascinated me. Last year I received my bachelor’s degree in that exact field. And when I would ask myself at 4am during finals week ’why the hell am I doing this?’ I would watch a clip and be quickly reminded. Oh yeah, that’s why. Thanks, Stephen.
The Report went places where no other show had gone before, where no other host had dared to go. It took us through congressional districts and congressional hearings; to Vancouver and Iraq; through outrageous field pieces and mind-blowing interviews; through Green Screen Challenges and naming contests; Christmas Specials and rallies; a South Carolina presidential campaign and a very real Super PAC; through giddy silliness and moving sincerity. It caught you off-guard as much as it made you shout along with the audience. It made you laugh and yes, even though the host himself would vigorously disapprove, it made you think.
I love this show, simple as that. It helped me through times of depression; it cheered me on in times of joy. It stayed with me from 9th grade to grad school, from the very first episode till the last. For the past nine years it conveyed a sense of stability when everything else around me was changing and when I was changing with it. Much like a friend you could turn to at any time when you were in need.
I was lucky enough to attend four tapings, all of them filled with incredibly special moments and eye-to-eye conversations with Stephen. During my first one in 2009 I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint. And then there I was, sitting in the first row after having waited outside for hours, unable to believe my luck when Stephen called on me during the Q&A and made me his Official German Friend™. A dream coming true. Four years later I got to hand Stephen my bachelor’s thesis. “Do you have a copy for Jon, too?” he asked me. I hadn’t. “Well, I’ll share mine with him when I’m done reading.” Unreal.
Yes, the audience-host relationship of the Report was something unprecedented. He needed us like we needed him. The Colbert Report couldn’t have worked without the assistance from the Colbert Nation. What a joyous symbiosis to be part of.
The show has changed and the show has grown and apparently all good things must come to an end. It’s been quite a ride and I’m gonna miss it like crazy. There really is no more elegant way to put it.
The hope is that by spending allllllll of today collapsed on the couch, not doing anything, I will be well enough to go to Mourning Market tomorrow. Whether that hope will become reality, I have no idea.
Dear Sandy Claws, I would like a new immune system. And a trip to Disneyland, minions to do my bidding, and Phantasmagoria-era Dave Vanian. Oh, and a first edition copy of Dracula.