Friday, November 10, 2006

Colbert's Shout Out to Antarctica

On Thursday's show (2006-11-09), Stephen Colbert acknowledged a viewer at the South Pole, more than 9,000 miles [over 14,500 km] away from Colbert Report Headquarters.

This shout-out goes to a hero who watches the show from the Amundsen–Scott Research Station at the South Pole. His name is Michael Rehm, and he downloads the Report from a satellite link-up. Bravo, Mike — you understand that the Report provides everything you need to know about the outside world: my opinion. Mike here is the research station's cook; I hear he makes a mean thawed military surplus beefloaf. [photo of a clean-shaven Michael Rehm in a suit and tie] Actually, that's an old picture from before he moved to the station; do we have anything more recent, Jimmy? [photo of Michael Rehm with long hair, beard, mustache, and several liquor bottles] Aha! There's Mike after a year at the South Pole, with eight of his signature dishes. You can almost taste the isolation.

Now, Mike, I know you're watching, so tonight I'm getting outraged on your behalf with a brand new segment, "Stephen Colbert's South Pole Minute." First up: penguins. They look like birds, they swim like fish, and they're friendly like dogs; pick a side, you waddling flipper-floppers! Otherwise, I'll pick one for you: delicious like turkey. Next up: ice core samples. You know what I call these where I come from? Ice cubes. Oh, you contain information about millions of years of geo-tectonic history; [yawn]. Call me when you come in a paper cone with cherry flavoring. And don't think I've forgotten about you, upper atmosphere physics! Boo-hoo, bidirectional reflectance distribution functions reveal fluctuating polar albedos and declining directional hemispherical reflectance in the Antarctic? Cry me a fucking tundra!

α = (1 – D) α′(Oi) + D α″

Oh, one more thing, Michael: I know you get much information from us, but don't get much information down there in the South Pole, and if any of these photos you are sending us are any indication, you're in a fragile mental state right now, so, I am, uh, happy to tell you that as far as the midterm elections went, um, Republicans won. It was a landslide. Jimmy, let's drop the balloons. [cascade of red balloons] Everything's great, Michael; we'll talk about it when you get home, but you're not going to see Donald Rumsfeld any more, because the, uh — well, the President sent him to live on a farm, where [beginning to sob] there's lots of room to run and play. He loves it. [full-on sobbing] Jimmy, cut the feed to Antarctica! Cut the feed to Antarctica!

I didn't know how to tell him. [abruptly stops sobbing] Nation, on Tuesday I swore I'd never read another newspaper, but last night I got really drunk. Well, I bought up the whole newsstand: back issues, newsweeklies, I was reading them two at a time. I even did a Sudoku. I woke up this morning with newsprint all over my shirt collar, and this article stuck to my forehead: [International Herald Tribune, "Putin Talks of 'Influence' After '08"] ...

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