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The Pursuit of Truthiness

Bobby Black puts the Colbert Report on notice.

Last fall, I connected with a kindred spirit by the name of Wayno Draino – a zany cartoonist/filmmaker whose infamy may surpass even mine. While we were talking over a few beers one night, our conversation drifted to politics and the subject of The Daily Show came up. When I mentioned what a huge fan I was, he told me that one of his best friends – a long-haired guy named Jason – was an editor for The Colbert Report and invited me to drop by some time for a behind-the-scenes look at how the show comes together. Stephen Colbert, huh? Well… he’s no Jon Stewart, I thought to myself, but why not?

The following Monday evening, Wayno and I met Jason in front of Colbert’s studio. “You picked a great day to visit,” he said as he led us upstairs to his tech-filled editing room. “Tonight is our one-year anniversary!” To celebrate this milestone, Colbert’s staff had ordered a case of champagne and a huge eagle-shaped chocolate cake. We had some time before taping began, so we popped open a bottle and got to talking. I showed Jason some of my recent articles, and he showed me some of the segments he’d put together for the show. My favorite was a hilarious piece entitled “Rocktober,” in which Colbert explored the significance of the month’s metallic moniker. After watching the bit and hearing my opinion on it, Jason decided to include me in the metal montage. He grabbed a cameraman from the room next door and filmed me performing several exaggerated gestures and facial expressions that were so rockin’ and ridiculous they put Dio to shame. He’d just finished editing me into the piece when he got his cue – show time.

I watched on the monitors as Stephen came out and got the Report underway. After “The WORD” segment, Colbert asked for his anniversary cake to be brought out. He left the stage and they wheeled out a giant cake, which he then popped out of. I watched in amazement as Jason expertly cut and layered the video files to make it appear that Colbert was actually watching himself jump out of the cake. Other anniversary surprises included the premiere of his new drop-down flat-screen monitor and the unveiling of a pompous new portrait (which contained a third image of himself in it).

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