Last night, I was a part of television history. Yes, my dear loved ones. I was one of the lucky hundreds to attend the premiere taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert . It’s a day I will tell my grand pup children about for decades to come. I do have to confess that I saw a test show two weeks prior, so I did have a sense of what I was getting myself into, but, even so, I still wasn't prepared for the comedic genius that transpired Tuesday night. Epic one-liners ("Civil rights only won the pennant that year, racism won the World Series."), Oompa Loompamerican, and Donald Trump jokes told through Oreo based metaphors. Colbert branded political satire (oh how we missed you!) in late night is back, and now it’s on network television.
I am a comedian and a huge fan of Colbert, having seen live tapings of The Report and attending several behind the scenes events featuring him and his writers, so, needless to say, this was a Top 5 moment for me. I didn’t care that it was the hottest, grossest day of the year, or that it ended up being a nine hour day, six of which consisted of waiting in the heat. It’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, damn it. Sun, sweat, and exhaustion be damned!
In addition to feeling superior to all those in midtown without tickets, I got to experience the awkward bumps, hilarious outtakes, and heartwarming moments that never made it to 11:35 p.m. Without further ado, here are the moments from Tuesday night that made me go “AHHHHHHHHHHH, I’M AT THE FIRST EVER TAPING OF THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT!” You know, besides all of it.
1. Nerding Out With Other Colbert Fans
Colbert is a brilliant man, and a brilliant man attracts brilliant fans. So, when said fans are in the same area waiting to watch said Colbert, we nerd out. I got to nerd out with some incredibly interesting folks, including a Yale music professor and a Yale PhD scientist.
2. Free Col'brew
The marketing geniuses over at LSSC partnered up with Stumptown Coffee to create a limited edition Col’Brew. I got two. One for me, and one for you. (None for you.)
3. Jon Batiste and Stay Human Mini Concerts
In between every segment, we got full blown Jon Batiste and Stay Human concerts. My eyes and ears were quite pleased.
4. Batiste and Colbert, Late Night's New Dancing and Singing Duo
Countless times throughout the night, Colbert and Batiste would dance together. The show’s epic Mavis Staples and friends performance had to be filmed twice due to sound issues, so, in between sets, Colbert and Batiste decided to gift the audience with a lovely rendition of “On The Street Where You Live.” Sorry, you kind of had to be there.
5. "Sit down and get ready to fake another orgasm.”
It was the first show, so there were a few expected glitches and bumps here and there. (The taping ended up being around three hours.) Colbert eased the pain by making us laugh with sly comments, and the most memorable equated our laughter to orgasms. Just so you know, Colbert, there was no faking where I was concerned.
6. Colbert's Family
Guys, his whole family was there. Kids, wife, brothers, sisters, you name it. Seemingly, they were the perfect American Southern Dynasty. Oh, and Colbert ran into the audience during one of the commercial breaks to kiss his wife cause, you know, he's perfect like that.
7. During Q&A, Colbert Impersonated a Squirrel Pooping
There's not much more I need to add to this.
8. Colbert and Jeb Bush Donald Trump Impressions
This didn't make the cut, but somehow Colbert managed to get Jeb Bush to do a segment impersonating Donald Trump, and it was glorious. Fortunately, Colbert released the footage online a few minutes after the show ended. The extra footage doesn't include Colbert's impression, but we have a long presidential campaign ahead of us, and I am sure there will be plenty more Trumping in Colbert's future.
9. Bragging Rights For Life
I am quite certain that, after posting nonstop all day about LSSC on my Facebook, a good handful of my friends either deleted me or unfollowed me. I wouldn't blame them. I was a bit much. But I couldn't help it. I was witnessing television history and watched my favorite comedian and artist start a new era in late night. I'll be honest: I probably won't stop talking about Tuesday night for a while, until perhaps, I make my own television history.
Without a doubt, Tuesday night's show was a monstrous success. David Letterman left an impossible standard to follow, but to no one's surprise, Colbert held his own. The "narcissistic conservative pundit" Colbert flawlessly transitioned to the "real narcissistic" Colbert without leaving behind the wonderfully strange, nerdy and political idiosyncrasies we all know and love from The Report. The nine-month hype paid off, and I, for one, can't wait to see what Colbert shakes up the next few decades. #ColbertNation
Images: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS