YMMV: The Colbert Report

  • Anvilicious: Colbert deconstructs conservative "artist" Jon McNaughton's masterpieces here
    Colbert: It's like Where's Waldo?, but what you're looking for is the slightest hint of subtlety.
  • Awesome Ego: Sir Rev. Dr. Colbert himself.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "You are the best! Keep fighting and trying! To pass the test! So try to keep fighting! Fight your best fight, and try to fight best! Try your best, try to fight through the test!"
    • I'm right behind you now, Charlene
    • The performance of "We Will Meet Again" in the final episode.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: On April 27th, 2010, Colbert executed the "Greatest Pun of All Time" (3:30) after talking about sheep on meth getting tasered who could have their own TV show called "Breaking Baaaaa". This led to a balloon drop, giant muscular men carrying him over to an Egyptian-esque tent, fighting a man with a giant bull for a head to the death, and ended with him lying in the company of beautiful women who fed him grapes and fanned him.
  • Critical Research Failure: A particularly egregious case with Sarah Palin and "Paul Revere's Fomus Ride" Fans of American History, don't click that link.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Common. For example, Stephen accidentally killing Grimmy in the final episode.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: This was the room's reaction to his act at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner. The general public felt otherwise.
    • His tendency to use transphobic comments and the word "tranny". He turned this around after his February 2014 interview with transgender activist Janet Mock, however, and apologized for it (or came as close without breaking character), while also poking fun at the extreme critics.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Stephen's lawyer and father of Harry Potter, Trevor Potter, who, from the moment of establishing Stephen's PAC (and later, SuperPAC) may just be the first Real Life lawyer to have fans.
    • Hans Beinholtz, the (fake) German ambassador to the UN, gets a lot of love for his nihilistic commentary.
  • Foe Yay: Jon Stewart. Colbert regularly criticizes Stewart at any chance he gets and Stewart in turn acts a lot like Colbert's enemy on the Report, despite the fact that the two are best friends in real life.
    • Don't forget Rain. Colbert thinks he's adorable.
    • Colbert's obsessive hatred of bears. Which is now canon.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Stephen opened his 10/24/12 episode with jokes about people stocking up canned meat and boarding up their windows in anticipation of Donald Trump's "big revelation" about Obama. After the episode was filmed, storm-trackers confirmed that Hurricane Sandy would make landfall and merge with other weather patterns, forcing most of the Eastern U.S. to batten down the hatches and really stock up on non-perishables.
    • The December 11, 2012 episode opened with Stephen saying "It is now legal to carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states. So, if you are in one of them, be careful.". Three days later, a mass shooting occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, in which 20 children and 6 adults were killed, making it the second deadliest mass shooting in a school setting, and was viewed as a tipping point in the debate on gun rights.
    • In this segment, Stephen and Billy Crystal had this exchange about Pete Seeger and his nomination in the 2014 Grammy Awards in the same category for which they were nominated.
    Colbert: But what I really meant was that I just hope that Pete Seeger doesn't win.
    Billy Crystal What an asshole.
    Colbert: Yeah, he is. And besides, he already won the Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1993.
    Billy Crystal Yes, and he keeps on living! It's so selfish!
    ** Pete Seeger died on January 27, 2014, one day after the Grammy Awards.
    • Many of Stephen's gags during the first year of Barack Obama's administration about how Republicans can refuse to work with Obama are a lot less amusing nowadays, since his presidency has been fraught with severe tension between himself and Republicans.
  • Genius Bonus: The fireplace in the "interview room" is inscribed with the latin phrase "VIDERI QUAM ESSE". This means "To seem rather than to be". This is both a Take That against politicians and the media (and if you're cynical enough, any successful person in society) for pretending to be whatever will garner public support; and also, as a reversal of the state motto of North Carolina, is rallying support from his home state (South Carolina) by mocking the motto of the Carolina he's not from.
    • Alternatively, it's a reference to the fact that his fireplace holds a television screen displaying a video of a fire, instead of an actual one.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Colbert used absurd word association chains to predict the 2005 Oscars. For Best Picture, he made a chain that clearly led to Brokeback Mountain, but suddenly predicted Crash instead. All of his predictions were right.
    • The show was conceived as a parody of The O'Reilly Factor, which made it ironic when O'Reilly introduced a new segment in 2007 called Pinheads and Patriots (which also became the title of one of his books). The segment consists of O'Reilly expressing his approval/disapproval of various people/things, much like the Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger segment Colbert has been doing since his show debuted in 2005.
    • One thing that shows what a sharp satire the Report is is the fact that even though it was meant to be an O'Reilly spoof, it also in large part predicted the rise of Glenn Beck, whose first TV show (on HLN) debuted three months after the Report. Beck rose to greater prominence with his Fox News show three years later, and the similarities between him and Stephen didn't escape Stephen's notice.
    • The night of the show's first ever episode (October 17, 2005), The Daily Show did a pre-show toss in which Jon Stewart asked Stephen if he was ready. Stephen answered, "Very ready. Feel like I've been doing this show for years. Six years, in fact. I feel like the first two years were pretty good, started out strong. Then I hit a bit of a lull, had some substance abuse issues, came back, and for the last four years - strong as an ox."
      After about two years (in August 2007, to be exact) Stephen hurt his wrist and (in character) got addicted to painkillers. As of October 17, 2011, the show has been on for six years.
    • In 2008, Colbert interviewed Mark Sanford and declared him the most boring governor in America. The next year, Sanford went "hiking the Appalachian Trail" on National Nude Hiking Day.note 
      • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In 2013, he was elected to the US Senate, defeating Stephen's sister Elizabeth Colbert-Busch.
    • Supporters of the #CancelColbert movement got their wish a few weeks later when it was announced that The Colbert Report would wrap up at the end of the year... because Stephen Colbert would be replacing David Letterman as host of The Late Show, having effectively been promoted to a position where he could potentially reach an even bigger audience. The irony was not lost on many.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Upon NOT having his show called out for intolerance by GLAAD's television report, he concluded that one of his staff members had to be gay... and by process of elimination he determined that it was apparently himself. Surprisingly, he didn't put up much of a fight to this revelation...
    • And then in a later episode that week, he delved into a quite detailed fantasy about how to eliminate gay marriage- encouraging his straight male viewers to go to gay bars and become friends with gay men, living in a cottage in California and opening up a dog grooming parlor, and ending up with him getting engaged to an apparently Jewish man named Jonathan, before then leaving him at the altar with the words "NO WAY, I'M NOT GAY!" He then proceeded to cry about it.
    • Not to mention the muscular shirtless cameraman hired from RentBoy.com. He didn't say you could stop dancing!
    • The March Fourth, 2011 episode had an appearance by Jimmy Fallon as a promotion for his and Stephen's flavours of ice cream, Late Night Snack and Americone Dream. After they sang a song about friendship based on ice cream metaphors, it got...unsubtle.
    • There is a lot of slash material pairing him with Jon Stewart, for obvious reasons.
    • His Parody Sue, Tek Jansen, is often noted to have had hundreds of girlfriends.
  • LGBT Fanbase: So much so that he once recieved Gay.com's "Man of the Year" award.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Stephen is this comedy-wise (one-liners, quick comebacks), leading to some... interesting Wild Mass Guessing.
    • Not to mention being incredible at setting people and events up for ridicule and his ability to perform adequately with occasionally less than 24 hours of preparation.
  • Memetic Badass: Stephen Colbert isn't afraid of the truth. The truth is afraid of Stephen Colbert... and rightfully so.
  • Memetic Sex God: He recieved an award for 5 Years of Sexcellence from his many Fan Girls.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Sadly, there exist people who somehow take Colbert at face value.
    • There are many neocons or extreme liberals who take everything Colbert says in-character at face value. And even after they're told that he's just Alter Ego Acting, they refuse to believe it or consider it an attempt at a Parody Retcon.
    • Much like The Daily Show, many people watch The Colbert Report as their primary or only news source.
  • More Popular Spin Off: Of The Daily Show.
  • Narm: Quite intentional.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Invoked by Colbert when the London 2012 Olympics mascots were revealed.
    Colbert: Truly they embody the Olympic dream. Because technically, a nightmare is a type of dream.
  • Painful Rhyme
    Colbert: And this next ad reaches out the Latina vagina. ( 'Vagina' rhymes with 'latina.' )
  • Squick: Bringing up the controversy of Summer's Eve feminine wash commercials: "What you are about to see...you cannot un-see."
    • A callback was done in August 2011 when Jeff Bridges did a fake commercial for the product.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • When Colbert realizes Jesus was a Liberal Democrat (fittingly on an episode before his Christmas Break)
    Colbert: If we are going to be a Christian nation, that doesn't help the poor, we have two choices. We can either pretend Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we can admit that Jesus told us to serve the poor, without condition, and then admit, that we just don't wanna do it.
    • He also makes incredibly heavy-handed arguments against Objectivism and the idea that you can owe nobody anything, but it's generally all in the theme of unity and helping each other.
    • The Word in general is used to do this.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The Colbert Report became such a major pop culture phenomenon people are worried about whether The Nightly Show can match up to it.
  • True Art: When Steve Martin, an art collector himself, visited to promote his newest novel about the art world, Colbert devoted the whole episode to art. Later, Colbert wanted Steve to buy the recursive portrait that hangs over the fake fireplace and enlisted the help of Frank Stella, who declared the picture "Art", Shepard "Obey Giant" Fairey who embellished the painting with stencils, and Andres "Piss Christ" Serrano who further enhanced it (with a marker, get your minds out of the gutter). Steve eventually bought the arted-up "painting" for $20, and Colbert put a hi-res original online so other artists can enhance it; the first person to do so was William Wegman, who (naturally) added one of his dogs.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Thanks to WETA and his long collaboration with The Lord of the Rings, Colbert got to interview Smaug, with special effects on par with the movie itself.