Stephen Colbert's "Audition Tape"
June 2, 2006
From Stephen Colbert's brilliant monologue at the White House Correspondents Dinner. The complete video is available at Democratic Underground and Google Video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-869183917758574879)
|Forget Press Secretary. Let's draft this man for President!|
Colbert shows a video of a mock press conference. It opens with an empty podium. Colbert's head rises from behind the podium until Colbert is standing at the podium. He addresses the assembled Washington press corps.
COLBERT I have a brief statement: the press is destroying America. OK, let's see who we've got here today.
COLBERT: (acknowledging various reporters):
Stretch! (David Gregory nods)
Sir Nerdlington! (reporter nods)
Sloppy Joe! (reporter nods)
Terry Lemon Moran Pie! (Terry Moran nods)
Oh, Doubting Thomas, always a pleasure. (Helen Thomas smiles)
And Suzanne Mal -- hello!!
(Suzanne Malveaux stares at Colbert, looking unhappy. Colbert mimics putting a phone to his ear and mouths "call me.")
REPORTER: Will the Vice President be available soon to answer all questions himself?
COLBERT: I've already addressed that question. You (pointing to another reporter).
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite, the noted CBS anchor, . . .
COLBERT (interrupting): Ah, no, he's the former CBS anchor. Katie Couric is the new anchor of the CBS Evening News. Well, well, how do you guys feel about that? You, tousle-haired guy in the back. Are you happy about Katie Couric taking over the CBS Evening News?
DAN RATHER: No, sir, Mr. Colbert. Are you? (Laughter)
COLBERT: Boom! Oh, look, we woke David Gregory up. Question?
DAVID GREGORY: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?
COLBERT: I don't know. I'll ask him.
(Colbert turns to Rove) Karl, pay attention please! (Rove is seen drawing a heart with "Karl + Stephen" written on it.)
GREGORY: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl, and Elliott Abrams, and Scooter Libby, and you said "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me that they are not involved in this." Do you stand by that statement?
COLBERT: Nah, I was just kidding!
GREGORY: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything! You stood at that podium and said . . .
COLBERT (interrupting): Ah, that's where you're wrong. New podium! Just had it delivered today. Get your facts straight, David.
GREGORY: This is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell the people watching this that somehow you've decided not to talk. You've got to . . .
(Colbert is seen looking at three buttons on the podium, labeled "EJECT," "GANNON" and "VOLUME." He selects the "VOLUME" button and turns it. We see Gregory's lips continue moving, but can't hear any sound coming out.)
COLBERT: If I can't hear you, I can't answer your question. I'm sorry! I have to move on. Terry.
TERRY MORAN: After the investigation began, after the criminal investigation was underway, you said . . .
(Colbert presses a button on the podium and fast-forwards through most of Moran's question.)
MORAN (continuing): All of a sudden, you have respect for the sanctity of a criminal investigation?
COLBERT (seen playing with rubber ball, which he is bouncing off attached paddle): No, I never had any respect for the sanctity of a criminal investigation. Activist judges! Yes, Helen.
HELEN THOMAS: You're going to be sorry. (Laughter)
COLBERT (looking vastly amused, mockingly): What are you going to do, Helen, ask me for a recipe?
THOMAS: Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands (Colbert's smile fades) of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime.
COLBERT (interrupting): OK, hold on Helen, look . . .
THOMAS (continuing): Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war?
COLBERT (again interrupting): Helen, I'm going to stop you right there. (Thomas keeps talking.) That's enough! No! Sorry, Helen, I'm moving on. (Colbert tries to turn her volume off, but the knob falls off his controls.)
(Various reporters start shouting questions at Colbert.)
COLBERT (agitated): Guys, guys, please don't let Helen do this to what was a lovely day.
(Reporters keep shouting at him.)
COLBERT (putting his fingers over his ears and shouting in a high-pitched voice): Bllrrtt! No, no, no, no, no. I'm not listening to you!
Look what you did, Helen! I hate you!
(Helen Thomas glowers at Colbert.)
COLBERT (frantic): I'm out of here!
(Colbert pulls back the curtain behind him, desperately trying to flee. He says, "There is a wall here!" The press corps laughs. Colbert has difficulty finding a door from which to exit the room, echoing Bush's experience in China. He finally finds the door and hurries through it.)
COLBERT: It reeks in there! Ridiculous! I've never been so insulted in my life! Stupid job.
(Colbert continues walking away. We hear sinister-sounding music playing. We see Helen Thomas walking behind Colbert.)
(Colbert looks behind him, sees Thomas, and starts running.)
(Colbert trips over a roller skate. He yells "Condi!" We see a close-up of Helen Thomas' face, looking determined and angry. Colbert, increasingly panicked, gets up and continues running, running into a parking garage. He reaches an emergency call box, and yells into it.)
COLBERT: Oh, thank God. Help me!
ATTENDANT: What seems to be the problem, sir?
COLBERT: She won't stop asking why we invaded Iraq!
ATTENDANT: Hey, why did we invade Iraq?
COLBERT: NO!!! (runs toward his car)
(We see Helen Thomas, still walking toward him.)
(Colbert reaches his car, and fumblingly attempts to open it with his key. He is in such a desperate hurry that he fumbles with the keys and drops them. When he picks them up, he looks back and Helen is even closer. In his frantic rush, Colbert just can't get the key into the lock.)
(Just as his anxiety is getting completely out of control he suddenly remembers that he has a keyless remote -- so he just pushes the button on the keychain and the car unlocks immediately with the usual double squeak noise. Colbert jumps in and locks the door, and continues to fumble trying to start the car. He finally succeeds, and looks up to see Helen standing in front of the car, notepad in hand.)
COLBERT: NO!!! NO!!!
(Colbert puts the car into reverse and drives off, tires squealing. Thomas smiles.)
(Colbert is shown taking the shuttle from Washington, D.C. to New York. A car and driver are waiting for him at Penn Station. The uniformed man standing alongside the car opens the door and lets Colbert in.)
COLBERT: What a terrible trip, Danny. Take me home.
(The driver locks the doors, turns around, and says, "Buckle up, hon." IT'S HELEN THOMAS!!!)
COLBERT (horrified face pressed against car window): NO!!!
END OF "AUDITION TAPE"
STEPHEN COLBERT: Helen Thomas, ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Smith, members of the White House Correspondents Association, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, it's been a true honor.
Thank you very much. Good night!
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