Saturday, June 13, 2009

Stephen Colbert in Iraq (recap)

The Colbert Report's week in Baghdad is over now and by any measure was a great success, from the shout-outs from the likes of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, John McCain, Jim Webb, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, and Bush father and son to the interviews with the troops and their leaders.

Here's a recap for the week, which hardly touches on the funniest bits.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Recap - Week of 6/8/09
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

I've already mentioned bits from the first two nights. The funniest from Thursday's show surely had to be Stephen's interview with the commander of the Thunderbirds, and the subsequent film of his joyride. -- Oh my God!

    Favorite line (as he's strapped into the back of one of the Thunderbirds).

    Airman: Stephen, if you could just not touch anything back here...
    Stephen: Does this drop the bombs?

While a lot of fun, the show made a number of serious points. Stephen Colbert (the person, not the character) has been quoted as saying one of the reasons he decided to do the show was to remind Americans that there are still 135,000 troops stationed over there; something we as a nation have lost track of as news about the economy has seized our collective attentions.

He also made some non-too-subtle points about the diversity of the army, featuring an interview with a combat decorated female soldier and an Arab-American translator who enlisted after the attacks on 9/11. His segment about the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy around gays in service of their country, while satirical, had a serious subtext as well.

All the shows are available in their entirety from the ColbertNation website.

  • Monday - Guest barber Gen. Ray Odierno
  • Tuesday - guests Sgt. Robin Balcom, Specialist Tareq Salha
  • Wednesday - guests Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh, Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby and special guest package wrapper Tom Hanks
  • Thursday - guest choir leader Command Sgt. Major Frank Grippe; Stephen gets flying lessons

The week's shows were sponsored by the USO, who has been doing this sort of thing since 1941 (that's 68 years by my count). God bless 'em.

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