Stephen Colbert - The Colbert Report Writers - Frost Nixon

Season 1, Ep 0101 01/11/2011 Views: 4,463

The Colbert Report was adapted from a 30 second fake commercial on The Daily Show. (3:15)

-So here we are atthe Paley Center.

I'm about to interviewthe Colbert writers.

I'm going to grill them, reallyhold their feet to the fire.

It'll be Frost-Nixon, Part Two.

And we are in a beautiful room.

It almost lookslike a-- like where

evil corporate decisionsare made, though.

Maybe like how they're goingto sell cigarettes to children.

Yeah, and we're going totalk to some Colbert writers.

We're going to talk tothem for a few minutes.

-Our show was adapted froma fake commercial they did

on "The Daily Show," whereit was going to be-- they did

a mock commercial for"The Colbert Report."

So that was ourmain job, was how

to expand from a30-second fake ad.

It was fun.

It was a lot of trial and error.

We just found a list ofall of our alternate titles

for "The Word," when we weretrying to figure out what

"The Word" wasgoing to be called.

And there were somelike, "The Way I See It."


We had "The Voice" right way,because Stephen had done it

on "The DailyShow" for 10 years.

INTERVIEWER: Howdoes your-- your day

starts with, I'm assuming,reading newspapers.

-What is this "newspaper" thing.

And when we getin in the morning,

I think there's a mad dash.

And everybody like goeson a bunch of websites

to check like the news websites.

And there's like a mad dashto flip through the newspaper.

And then we have a morningmeeting where we kind of like

throw all that informationout there, and like, you know,

pick what we think is funny.

INTERVIEWER: What's thevolume of written material

versus like how muchyou guys get on the air?

-Well, you can do an entireother like weekly show probably

WRITER 1: That's how we do it.

- --with thematerial we've-- with

the material that we've gotten.

-There was one thateverybody loved,

and it didn't makeit on the show.

We were talking about therebeing a chicken wings shortage.

The line was, "Watchingthe Super Bowl

without eating wings, would belike watching the show 'Wings'

without eating a bowl of soup."

INTERVIEWER: [chuckles]

So do you guys talk aboutlike, the editorial voice

in specific, like we thinkthat this is a problem.

And we want to like, wewant to tackle it head-on.


-Yeah, I mean,not when Stephen's

talking about hookingup with his dog.


-Although that is a problem.

INTERVIEWER: Is that fairlycommon for Stephen Colbert

to just wing like,interviews just like--

-We'll always haveprepared questions.

But a lot of it is ad-libbed.

INTERVIEWER: How did youguys decide like, this is

what you wantedto do as a career?

-I couldn't do anything else.


WRITER 2: No otheremployable talents.

-Yeah, yeah.

-I just remember seeing "YourShow of Shows" with Sid Caesar.

And I said to myself,I want to work

with Glen [inaudible] one day.

I want to work with that.


INTERVIEWER: It'slike you guys have

to put on a show likeso many nights a week.

Like what are thehours like doing that?

-It's not bad.

WRITER 3: [inaudible]times four.

-We get out at like 7:30 tops,which I think is pretty good.

-We should make it soundmore grueling, though,

so in case any of ourbosses watch this.

WRITER 4: Yeah.

-This is the first time I'veseen grapes in like years.

-Yeah, but once7:30 comes around,

we are pretty much free todo whatever menial labor

around Stephen's househe wants us to do.

INTERVIEWER: What happenswhen a really big story comes

in like once-- like inthe middle of the day?

-Like McCain suspendinghis campaign last summer,

I remember, was a good example.

Someone came in andwas like, "I think

John McCain isquitting or something."

I walked outside andwatched, talked really

fast for like a half anhour, then went and wrote

for a half an hour,and then like,

jammed those twothings together.

That was the onlytime I've ever felt

like I was in "Broadcast News."


-We can't just get a story at6:30 and go on the air with it

at 7:00.

-Many times, we putgoat horns on someone.


INTERVIEWER: And thank you,so much, for the interview.

I'm so grateful.WRITER 2: Thank you.

WRITER 4: Yeah, thank you.

Thank you.