Stephen Colbert appropriately giddy over Osama bin Laden news

While some people continue to debate whether partying like it’s New Year’s Eve or the Super Bowl was an appropriate expression of satisfaction that justice finally found Osama bin Laden 10 years after 9/11, we can all agree that Stephen Colbert’s response on The Colbert Report was pitch-perfect for his character. After burying the lead behind mentions of Obama’s birth certificate, Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, and Fast Five’s record-breaking opening weekend, he finally got to the real news: “Seth Meyers did a great job at the Correspondents’ Dinner, but I gotta say, this weekend Barack Obama really killed.” He then led his studio audience in a “USA! USA! USA!” chant.

“I am as giddy as a schoolgirl who just shot bin Laden in the eye. In the eye. Ka-boom! Hey, Osama, no 3-D movies for you in hell, which I’m pretty sure would be The Last Airbender,” he said. “Wow. I am just so happy. And I hope, I hope, I am never again this happy over someone’s death. And I know if I saw myself in a mirror, I would be appalled by the look on my face. [Looks into mirror.] Nope. I like this. That’s a good look. I want to stay this way forever.” 

Colbert then threw his long-awaited “We got bin Laden” party, which involved dusty, shrunken balloons falling from the ceiling and unveiling the cake he’d had since 2002 (with bin Laden in Bjork’s swan dress and a Weakest Link joke written on it). I think Glenn Beck topped him.

Because he had to admit Obama was “the No. 1 most bin Laden-killing president in American history,” he agreed to lay off criticizing him — for the length of the show. (His egg timer went off at the very end.) After a montage of broadcasters confirming bin Laden’s death culminated with the Wizard of Oz‘s munchkin coroner — or George Stephanopoulos, who has a lovely voice, as Colbert said — he analyzed Obama’s recent behavior, including his hearty laugh at Meyers’ Saturday night joke about bin Laden hosting a show on C-SPAN. “It’s funny because I’m about to kill him.”

Praising the assault, Colbert quipped, “It’s like something out of 24, right down to the black president,” and noted that he isn’t the only one thrilled by its success. So are college kids and their “strangely old RA,” Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera. Cue the kid shouting about how he had two finals on Monday that he wasn’t studying for because we just killed bin Laden. “Bin Laden got us out of finals! That guy rules!” Colbert interpreted. Colbert broke character (but saved it before it could become Prince Charles Scandal level) when he referred to Rivera as “that 19th century circus ringmaster” who brought up a good point — a lot of these kids cheering in the street had no real recollection of  what life was like before 9/11. You could carry an adult size bottle of shampoo without your scrotum being cupped and “instead of fearing Muslims, we ignored them like God intended,” Colbert said. He said he hoped with bin Laden gone, the kids could experience our pre-9/11 mentality, when our biggest fear in 2001 was the “summer of the shark.” We’d be okay as long as no one chummed the ocean. But wait. Bin Laden was buried at sea. With the radiation in the water, what if a mutant shark combined with his DNA? We could be facing the summer of Osama Fin Laden.

Colbert left it to his two guests to instill real fear in his viewers. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said bin Laden’s death won’t really change things because terrorism has been franchised. “So we got the original franchise — we got the main guy — but you still have thousands of golden arches of terrorism running around the world,” he said. (“I look forward to your lawsuit,” Colbert added.) Francis Fukuyama, author of The Origins of Political Order, answered the questions we, like Colbert, are asking ourselves: “How scared should I be, and of what should I most be scared?” Fukuyama’s answer: “Be afraid of the Chinese,” he said. “I mean, the Chinese shoot down satellites in space. They hack into Google’s computers. The Osama bin Laden people can’t make their underwear blow up.”

What did you think of Colbert’s take? Whose giddy approach did you prefer — Colbert’s, which was purposely heightened, or Jon Stewart’s, which was genuinely heightened?

Read more:
Jon Stewart on Osama bin Laden’s death: ‘We’re back, baby!’
Letterman, Fallon, and Conan react to bin Laden’s death: ‘I need a house full of navy SEALs like I need a hole in the head!’
Glenn Beck’s show opening includes marching band, confetti. Sarcasm? We can’t tell. Watch.

Comments (30 total) Add your comment
  • Tina

    Colbert had me rolling. He was happy but he also made it funny.I loved that part where they showed Obama walking to the music.

    • Matt

      I’m glad someone’s parodying all those people dancing in Washington shouting “USA! USA!” without a hint of irony.

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  • sandecorchar

    Brilliant, brilliant, beyond brilliant!! The entire show was pitch perfect. Colbert is tops and always will be

  • Condomleeza Rice

    Killing Osama Bin Laden does not mean this is over

    • Bravo

      Because the comment section of an article about an episode of The Colbert Report on (that no one will ever see) is the best place for this statement…

    • Bob

      OK, Captain Obvious.

  • I’m sorry but

    When will the overrated love for Colbert and Stewert die? I mean really, what is it with all the constant Colbert posts (it’s like the constant Twilight and Lost covers, I get that you’re trying to move copy, but really?) I’ve never read such a long praise-filled article about an episode of a television show on (that isn’t necessarily a recap).

    • Dal

      I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a post about Colbert. I think you just like to complain.

      • Kat

        Seriously. They don’t post about Jon Stewart very often either, though probably more frequently than Colbert. And regardless, they’re both hilarious yet insightful much of the time, so I really enjoy both of them. I’m not always on board with all their stances, but at least they always make their points entertainingly.

    • Dr. Linus

      It’s really not overrated. I think it’s deserving of it’s praise and accolades. Great stuff from both last night.

      • Wes

        Yes, they are vastly overrated. And it’s no coincidence that Mandi Bierly also wrote an article gushing over Glenn Beck too. Jon/Stephen are the lefties version of Beck.

      • Kate

        @Dr. Linus – I really love that your name is a reference to Lost! How appropriate

      • jodipo

        Wes, you are delusional

      • Kim

        You’re right, love is overrated. But Colbert and Stewart are not. They’re very funny, as they’re meant to be.

    • miss k

      You must have never seen an episode. Seriously, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • tcollins

    Somehow I don’t think Stephen out-of-character’s reaction was all that different.

  • Janitor

    I didn’t see the show last night, will try and catch up online. But I must say reading the article above it sounded absolutely hilarious! I’m @ work now and was trying to not laugh like an idiot

  • Kelly

    “but saved it before it could become Prince Charles Scandal level”

    Oh, that’s a *nice* callback to a classic Daily Show clip!

  • Kim

    I don’t normally go out of my way to watch The Daily Show or Colbert Report (just always forget to). However, I was very curious how each show would handle the news so I made and effort to remember watching yesterday. Enjoyed the Colbert Report more.

  • Lori R

    Give Jon and Stephen their co-emmy now. Both shows were spectacular!

    • Chris

      If you are going to give those nutjobs an Emmy, you might as well give one to Glenn Beck.

      • chris

        they both already have multiple emmys and i think the daily show is on a 4 year streak winning there category

      • Victor the Crab

        If there was a category for Best Delusional Liar, your hero Beck would dominate that as much as Stewart and Colbert dominate their categories of Best Show and Best Writing.

  • JSisLOST

    Colbert was brilliant as usual. Stewart is funny in his snarky way, but Colbert is just super smart hilarious. And I tuned in because it isn’t true until Colbert makes fun of it.

  • A

    I’m really tired of collegiate uptight white guy humor. It was great in the 90s and late 70s. BUt I have a hard time watching these two guys.

    • Victor the Crab

      Well then, here’s a suggestion. Don’t watch them. Then you’ll have no need to comment on them.

      Problem solved!

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