Saturday, December 20, 2014

Comedy Flashback: A Colbert Christmas

This was a sad week of so-longs and goodbyes for fans of late-night television, as the effects of David Letterman's scheduled May 20, 2015 retirement began to play out. Last night, of course, was the final pre-Christmas Late Show with David Letterman, which featured the last in a long series of annual holiday appearances by Darlene Love and Jay Thomas. Last night was also the end of the road for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which had followed Letterman on CBS each weeknight since 2005. I only saw the show a handful of times, but I enjoyed it and I like and respect Ferguson a lot. He made an impressive decision several years ago to stop making jokes at the expense of celebrities facing genuine problems with substance abuse and mental illness, which strikes me as a very decent and principled stand. Ferguson himself has been sober for more than 20 years, and his candor about his own struggle with alcoholism has undoubtedly helped others who suffer from the disease. The opening of his final show was both sad and uplifting at the same time, though mostly the latter.

Finally, Thursday night was the final episode of Comedy Central's Colbert Report, hosted since 2005 by Stephen Colbert, who's leaving to prepare to succeed Letterman next year as host of the Late Show. In honor of Colbert's departure, we thought it might be fun to share a couple of excerpts from his Grammy Award-winning 2010 holiday special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All. The first features the great Willie Nelson sharing the tale of "The Little Dealer Boy," which I don't ever remember learning as a child, do you?

And here's Colbert's duet with Elvis Costello, which offers some truly worthy sentiments:

A Colbert Christmas - Elvis Costello/Stephen Colbert Duet from AdamSchlesingerMusic on Vimeo.
Video, music, production and performance by Adam Schlesinger

Good luck to all the moving parties!

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