When the The Best of the Colbert Report DVD was announced, I paused and thought, “Wow. That’s going to be a big set to fit three seasons of episodes on!” You see, I’m a huge fan of Colbert and saying that there is could even be a “best of” means that there is a “worst of”, which simply isn’t true. Every time he opens his mouth I want to laugh and whittling his best segments into a two-hour DVD was something I wasn’t sure was possible.
For those who don’t know, The Colbert Report, first airing in October of 2005, the show has since accumulated over three hundred episodes, resulting in over seven thousand minutes of Stephen Colbert. Originally a “reporter” for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert slowly began building a fan base for himself through his many appearances on The Daily Show, even going so far as to host it a few times in Stewart’s absence.
When Colbert left The Daily Show to start his own twenty-two minute show of a similar fashion, I was worried that his shtick would get old after awhile. Never once have I watched an episode of the show and not laughed and it’s honestly how I prefer to get my news—full of satire.
So, with a full two years under his belt now, it’s only fitting that Colbert gets a best-of DVD release. While the DVD advertises it as “over two-hours”, it actually breezes by the three-hour mark by a few seconds. For three hours of Colbert for around $15, it’s hard to pass up…I mean that’s $5 an hour! Even I’m worth that. Well maybe not.
Moving onto the disc itself, we get things from all over the Colbert spectrum and I would have to agree, there isn’t a single favorite moment of mine from his first 1 ½ years on air that I didn’t find on this best-of collection. I had worried that there would be things that were left out, but all of the key moments from the show that stick in my mind are here.
There are no full episodes on the set and there are few interview segments, so if there are any specific interviews you were looking forward to watching again, you’re likely not going to find them here—unless you were looking for Jane Fonda, which, of course, both of her interviews are here in their entirety. I forgot about how hilarious those segments were—baking apple pie with feminists…classic.
Other highlights of the best-of (that’s right, there are best-of of the best-of) are the George Lucas appearance, the better-know-a-district series (including the “I like doing cocaine because it is fun”guy) and the meta-phor-off with Sean Penn (which closes out the DVD).
I guess one could say this volume is like a big mish mash of clips from YouTube, except in much better quality. Aside from the sequential order in which they come, some clips have no flow with one another and are just that—clips from the show. There’s only so much you can expect from a best-of collection, but what’s here is truly hilarious to watch, over and over again.
While I’m generally against collections such as this, it’s hard to pass up. There’s no way they could feasibly release the entire series on DVD, it would simply take too many discs—right at this current point in time we’d already be over fifty discs and a set like that would simply cost too much to produce and very few would buy it. On top of that, the show covers topical issues and they can get stale when watching those years later; that’s something I just noticed about the set as well—no political or social issues are mentioned in the set, it focuses entirely on Colbert. Which I guess doesn’t bode well for a second volume of Colbert including his recent quote of “Hilary Clinton and I are like matter and anti-matter. In that I matter and she doesn’t.” Political views aside, that comment is just hilarious, no matter whom you’re supporting.
In any case, The Best of the Colbert Report is worth owning. If they continue these volumes on a yearly or bi-yearly basis, I’ll be happy; there’s certainly things from the show I do enjoy watching over again and the three hours here is a great way to sit back and enjoy some hilarity, courtesy of Stephen Tiberius Colbert. Highly Recommended.
Arriving in a plain DVD amaray case, The Best of the Colbert Report comes with a cover of our hero in a signature pose against an American flag. Inside is an insert advertising past Comedy Central DVD releases and, of course, the disc which features an eagle over an American flag. This would have been a perfect opportunity to include some wrist-strong bracelets with the set, but alas, no bonuses here.
Video and audio for the set is what you expect from Comedy Central. There is some compression on the reds on Colbert’s set, but the transfer to be progressive at least, so no ugly interlacing to deal with. The audio is clean and clear and represents the show well.
Menus are rather haphazardly laid out, with segments on each menu. Considering there’s three hours of content on the disc, it’s kind of hard to poke around to find exactly what you want if you don’t remember the name of the segment. Still, it’s presented as good as it can be, I suppose.
And for extras? Nada. Here, Stephen Colbert is the special feature. We have nothing here that we didn’t see originally on-air. The adult language warning on the back of the packaging is also a bit misleading as nothing here is uncensored—it’s all like it was from the original airings.
While it would’ve been nice to see maybe a faux making-of or some other type of hyperbole documentary, we just have to settle for three hours of Colbert, which, in the end, is really all a red-blooded American wants. Highly Recommended.
The Best of the Colbert Report arrives on DVD on November 6th.