Colbert Christmas Special on Comedy Central gets my highest reccomendendation
Review: COLBERT CHRISTMAS
Well, I don't yet have a TV or Movie ratings system designed for this blog yet ..but whatever the criteria, A Colbert Christmas, The Greatest Gift Of All, which debut's in the Christmas season of 2008, gets the A+, 10 out of 10, or the both thumbs up. It was funny in a unique way, musical in a surprising way, and even managed to touch me a bit ....and I confess that I am not a big fan of The Colbert Report, so this is all the more surprising.
And ...DON"T YOU stay away from this if you aren't a fan of the Colbert Report, cause this is nothing like it.
When you watch the show on Comedy Central, or on DVD, you know the Colbert never comes out of character, and you wonder about this eclectic array of guests. But one by one, the guests come in and are integrated with the plot, the Colbert can't get out of his cabin to travel to the city to do his Christmas Special. The songs are FUNNY and sung well.
THIS COMEDY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL IS MORE MUSICAL THAN AN ANDY WILLIAMS SPECIAL OF YEARS GONE BY.
Colbert begins with "Another Christmas Song," which is a generic christmas song and is blatently for profit ..he even exclaims that people should buy it for generations to put his kids through school. I think it's the worst song on here, probably because I genuinely LOVE Christmas music, but could understand if this is some people's favorite.
Toby Keith sings with gun in hand in "Have I Got A Present for You !" It somehow makes a hoot of redneck violence ..and even though the joke is on Toby, he knows it and goes along.
"Nutmeg" is the song that "park ranger" John Legend comes in to sing, under the pretense that you can't possibly serve eggnog without nutmeg, sings a song about nutmeg that is really one of the dirtiest, funniest sex songs ever ....a fifth grader would appreciate the jokes ...but it still stays north of the Howard Stern line and never offends. (OK I take that back..don't let your kids watch a Colbert Christmas)
Willie Nelson sings the "Little Dealer Boy" about his gift for the baby jesus which doesn't shine like gold, but smokes more sweet than frankincense and myrrh. As a Willie fan, I am blow away ..as a Christian, I am laughing at something I know I shouldn't be, and amidst the comedy, Willie gets a message of the love at Christmas through in the song. (Don't Bogart Love) It''s a memorable moment, one that will live for ages, as I am sure the song will on Ipods or whatever we play music on 20 years from now.
"Can I Interest You In Hannakuh,' is John Stewart and Colbert's chance to duet ...another song that will outlive the Comedy Central careers of both these talented men. Stewart pokes good natured fun at the jewish holiday, asking Colbert to consider his holiday, which he ends up not doing because he is a Christian...which is what his character would do.
Fiest, the singer made famous by her Ipod commercial, is an angel who gets so many prayers, she puts Colbert on a kind of Angel Hold when he prays, getting him through a phone tree with her song "Please Be Patient." Both she and her voice are beautiful....the song is funny and moves the plot along.
The best musical moment is when the only song NOT specifically written for this special is revealed with Colbert singing the opening verse of Elvis Costello's "Whats So Funny 'Bout Peace Love and Understanding," at the piano. Costello, who has been eaten by a bear that reminds you of the Bumble in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, sings along from the stomach of the bear (don't get too caught up with the plot details until you see the special ...it isn't THAT far fetched for Comedy Central) ..and then Willie, Toby, John and Fiest all join in to sing the song that is on my permanent Top Five, and now, should be given consideration as a Holiday Song.
Finally, Costello, now saved from the stomach of the bear by Santa Clause himself, and Colbert sing a touching song, "There Are Much Worse Things To Believe In," Again, a touching song , sung well, written well, has a funny moment or two ...hits you in all the right spots.
Yes ..the special is a farce ...but its right. You're gonna like it if you give it a try. Watch it, buy it, enjoy it, and as I write this, I believe the music from it will live on for years and years beyond the Colbert Report.