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Published on August 20th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Improv & Iraq with Stephen Colbert

To tide you all over while I continue editing my Del Close Marathon photos (why does Lightroom arbitrarily stop creating XMP files halfway through a batch?!?!), take a listen to this fantastic interview with Stephen Colbert on the Sirius radio show Stand Up with Pete Dominick. Pete is the warm-up guy for the Colbert Report, and I always enjoy his crowd work when I go to tapings (I also saw him work a very tired, fed up, and very distracted crowd at a Last Comic Standing taping, and successfully holding onto that group was quite an impressive feat).

Colbert has often talked about the improv-inspired “yes and” theory of life, most famously in his speech at Knox College. It turns out, it’s the same agreement instinct that made him accept the offer to do the show in Iraq for a week (“an improvisor would say yes”).

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Listen on Pete’s website

This is the second time he’s appeared on Pete’s radio show, and easily the better of the two (he kept slipping into character the first time around). He hasn’t done a lengthy interview since returning, and you really get a sense of what an impact performing for the troops had on him personally.

So enjoy this, while I spend another evening cursing out Adobe.

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About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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  • The Colbert Report A-Z

    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including