Home > The Colbert Report > Better Know a Guest: June 27th – 30th

Better Know a Guest: June 27th – 30th

Hey, Hubsters—

The music has stopped. StePhest ColbChella is over. The musicians have laid down their guitars, the singers are silent, and a satisfied audience sighs happily. Let’s hope that this turns out to be the first of many annual StePhests. As for me, I’m raising a glass to the wonderful Jack White for being one of the very best it-getters ever.

And I’m also raising another glass shortly–a caipirinha–to celebrate my birthday Brazilian-style. We will not discuss ages, and adding another year is no fun…except, as the old saying goes, the alternatives are worse.

Now, a very different week awaits us, focused on politics, religion, and the military.  So onward….

Monday, 6/27: Grover Norquist:

Grover Norquist“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” –Grover Norquist

It’s right-wing night, and Grover Norquist is here for his second appearance .  I’m hoping Stephen demolishes him again. Norquist is the author of Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives (which he discussed on his last visit), and the president of Americans for Taxpayer Reform, which “opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.” Norquist , a dedicated libertarian, believes that the government should get entirely out of our hair—and he wants to cut it and shrink it and strangle it financially.

Norquist became active in politics young, and worked to get out the vote for Nixon; he started his taxpayer reform group at the request of Reagan. He has now risen to the point where GQ magazine called him out as one of the 50 most powerful people in DC. What I will say in his favor is that advocates only economic, not social, conservatism, so he has built bridges with many ethnic groups as well as gay organizations.  However, many of the people he has propped up in the past (such as Gingrich and Bush, Jr.) do not share his laissez faire attitude toward these groups.

Now, this fact is fun: Norquist has been a three-time competitor in the“Washington’s Funniest Celebrity” fund-raising event; he even came in second in 2009. There wasn’t any evidence of humor in his last appearance, Might he try to go one-to-one with Stephen this time?

Watch him with Jon on The Daily Show.

See a profile of him here.  Be sure to read the excerpt from his interview with Terry Gross—the one where he said the morality behind the estate tax is the same morality as that behind the Holocaust.

Follow him on Twitter.

Buy Leave Us Alone on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, 6/28: Alexandra Pelosi

Alexandra PelosiThey wouldn’t let Stephen film naturalization ceremonies—but Alexandra Pelosi could and did. Her newest film, Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip, documented people gaining their US citizenship all across the country. (Here, she talks about the film on ABC)

Unlike her mother, California Representative and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Emmy-winning filmmaker Alexandra stays behind the camera as well as in front of it.  In Friends of God: A Road Trip with Alexandra Pelosi, she met the kind of red-state, red-meat people who generally wouldn’t vote for her mom…or any Democrat. Pelosi points her lens—more sympathetically than you’d imagine—at the born-again, evangelical Christian movement that has so altered our social landscape. (Fortunately, my own home state just dealt them a blow on Friday by giving the thumbs-up to gay marriage—go NY!)  You’ll see some famous names in this work, including motivational speaker Joel Osteen, but also less well-known, everyday people who push a fundamentalist Christian agenda—sometimes in unusual ways.

Pelosi seems to embody the philosophy “know your enemy” (or better: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” a line some attribute to the Chinese general Sun Tzu, others Machavelli, but was definitely said by Michael Corleone in The Godfather). Her other documentaries include Travels with George, about life on the road with the 2004 Bush campaign (the candidate tried to find her a husband) and Right America: Feeling Wronged – Some Voices from the Campaign Trail, made in 2009 when she accompanied McCain on the road.

After years at NBC, she now works for HBO. Her most recent film, made in 2010, Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County, abandoned the political stage to look at the young victims of poverty.  (Although of course homelessness has a political component too.) The LA Times reviewed the documentary. She is also author of the book Sneaking into the Flying Circus: How the Media Turn Our Presidential Campaigns into Freak Shows.

Do note that Alexandra is a lapsed Catholic after having been raised in the religion. Maybe Stephen will try to bring her back in the fold. (Well probably not.)

See her on Rachel Maddow.  Or read about Papa Bear Bill O’Reilly attacking her work.

Visit her official website.

Alexandra has appeared on The Daily Show.

Wednesday, 6/29: Gary Sinise

Gary SiniseMost people will know Sinise as one of America’s finest actors of stage, screen, and TV (although his stint on CSI New York is unfortunately not the highlight of his career). He’s won an Emmy and Golden Globe; received an Oscar and Tony nominations; and garnered an Obie as a stage director. His theatrical career—much of it with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, where he debuted in Sam Shepard’s True West—has been stellar.

Sinise is also right-leaning activist who donated to the McCain campaign—but even I, confirmed lefty, will gladly admit that many of his projects are praiseworthy. He received the Presidential Citizen medial from George W. for his support of the military and his charitable work for Iraqi children. As the co-founder of Operation International Children, he has done much good for kids around the world, including collecting donations for school supplies for Haiti’s impoverished children. Only a few days ago, he announced the formation of his new Sinise Foundation, dedicated to helping military members, first responders, and their families.

His newest film, Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good, follows Sinise and fellow performers as they entertain the troops on a USO tour.  FYI: the group Lt. Dan Band is named after his Forrest Gump character. If you see the movie, you’ll be helping too: some of your money will go to support Sinise’s charity.

Go to the official DAN BAND movie website to find out all about the film and the charity, and to see a trailer.

Like his Facebook page.

Follow him on Twitter.

If you’re a Sinise fan, this page is one you might want to check out!

Sinise is the third Daily Show vet this week—but he last visited Jon 10 years ago!

Thursday: 6/30: Timothy Garton Ash

Timothy Garton AshTimothy Garton Ash is a professor of European Studies at Oxford University, and the author of Facts Are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade Without a Name—a collection of essays that cover everything from the fall of the Berlin Wall to George W. Bush’s foreign policy to literature. He regularly writes for The New York Review of Books and the Guardian, and has won numerous awards for his body of work. See this video to hear him discuss the book.

Visit his official website to read articles and interviews, and find out about his other books.

Follow him on Twitter.

Like him on Facebook.

See him interviewed by Charlie Rose.

And Now, Let’s Check In With Our Good Friend Jon Stewart!
(DARN-when will we hear him say that about Stephen again? TOSS, guys, TOSS TOSS TOSS TOSS.)

And by the way, if you didn’t see this week’s People mag, it has an adorable picture of Jon walking down the street, carrying his cutie-pie daughter Maggie on his shoulders.

Monday, 6/27: Jennifer Aniston

First guest up on this star-studded week: Jennifer Aniston. Last time Ms. Aniston appeared on The Daily Show, Jon revealed that he asked her out on a date years ago—but it didn’t quite work out quite as he planned.  (Jen, I personally think you blew it. What a nice husband you might have had–scandal-free and always caught by the paparazzi…. cuddling his kids.)  What secrets will come out this visit? The former Friends star is currently starring in the film Horrible Bosses with two Jasons: Bateman and Sudeikis.

See the Horrible Bosses trailer.

Tuesday, 6/28: Louis C.K.

Comedian and Emmy-winning writer Louis C.K. wrote for several TV shows, including Conan, Letterman, and The Dana Carvey Show—which, as you all know, was a big show for our dear Stephen. He also produced The Chris Rock Show. He’s now a producing, writing, and starring in his own critically acclaimed series, Louie, which is entering its second season on FX.  He has been on The Daily Show three times already; the most recent was just about a year ago.

Visit the show’s website or Louie C.K.’s own official site.

Wednesday, 6/29: Tom Hanks

Well, we all know who Mr. Hanks is, don’t we? Only one of the most famous of all Hollywood actors; a multi-Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winner; and a producer of documentaries. And the one who packed Stephen in a crate. (But he didn’t send the crate to me, so Tom, I’m angry at you.) Tom has appeared on The Daily Show three times, the last in 2009, to promote Angels and Demons.  His newest film is Larry Crowne, about a man who returns to college later in life; his costar is Julia Roberts.|

See the Larry Crowne trailer.
See him on The Colbert Report, Part One and Part Two.

Thursday, 6/30: Bill Kristol

Oh, yuck. Smug neo-conservative Bill Kristol. I’m trying to remember, but I think on my first taping of The Colbert Report, someone asked Stephen about his least favorite guests and Kristol came up. Anyway, I care to recall it that way, but I may be off. Kristol cofounded and edits The Weekly Standard, and way back when was chief of staff for Bush the first vice president Dan Quayle (of “potatoe” fame). He has taught at both the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, and appeared on TDS more than five times, most recently in 2009.

See him with Stephen on The Colbert Report.
Go to the Weekly Standard site.

That’s all, folks! Let me know who you’re most looking forward to seeing, and have a great week, everybody.

  1. lockhart43
    June 27, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Norquist “opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle”? I’m sorry, but that sentence makes absolutely no sense to me. To me that reads, “I’m just going to go ahead and oppose all tax increases as a whole so that I don’t ever have to explain myself.”
    On another note, I am really looking forward to the interview with Gary Sinise. I’ve always had a soft spot for him, and I’m anxious to see how he responds to “Stephen”, who I’m sure is bound to show up to discuss Sinise’s work with the USO.

    As for TDS, I can’t wait for Louis C.K. and Tom Hanks! Not so much for Bill Kristol. What a tool. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to watch that interview; the guy seriously gives me a headache.


    • karenatasha
      June 28, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      I agree about Norquist. Stephen was right when he got him last about “only driving on roads I paved myself.” Even for people who believe in small government, he’s extreme.

      And yeah, Kristol’s always a bummer. I actually prefer Stephen with him than Jon, because with his conservative character Stephen can sneak in and undermine him without having to be direct.

      Tom Hanks is a great guest and Louie C.K. too. Jon has some week lined up.


  2. susan209
    June 28, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    Happy birthday, Karenatasha!!! And another great “Better Know A Guest” write-up! Let’s hope “Stephen” socks-it-to Bill Kristol in honor of your special birthday week! Give it to ‘im “Stephen!”


    • susan209
      June 28, 2011 at 12:10 AM

      And I almost forgot, re Timothy Garton Ash, “Stephen” is going to love talking to anyone who finds “facts subversive!”


      • karenatasha
        June 28, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        SUSAN! How did your show go on the 25th? I can’t believe I forgot to ask–so terribly sorry. Let me know, here or by email. I hope you had fun….and see you on the 29th.


    • karenatasha
      June 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      Thanks Susan! I have no doubt that Stephen would have socked it to Kristol–but Jon’s got him this week, so probably Stephen won’t this time. ;0


  3. colbaby
    June 28, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    “And by the way, if you didn’t see this week’s People mag, it has an adorable picture of Jon walking down the street, carrying his cutie-pie daughter Maggie on his shoulders.”

    I just saw that picture and nearly choked on a rainbow. Too freakin cute.

    Looks like a great week of shows. Here’s hoping Grover Norquist gets his a** handed to him. People like him just need to find a little island somewhere and form their own little society and let those of us who exist in the real world get on with it. And I can’t wait for Louis CK on TDS. Love him.


  4. susan209
    June 29, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    karenatasha :SUSAN! How did your show go on the 25th? I can’t believe I forgot to ask–so terribly sorry. Let me know, here or by email. I hope you had fun….and see you on the 29th.

    Hi Karenatasha,
    It went very well — Thanks for asking — and I am looking forward to Wednesday, too! I’m so happy you’ll be there.
    I can’t believe I didn’t realize that Bill Kristol will be on Jon’s show, not Stephen’s. I clearly have had my mind on other things, I guess.
    I know this next comment relates to last night’s show, but I still have to say it. How EXCELLENT was that Mad-Libs letter that Stephen and his writers came up with for the Governor of Florida? I can’t wait to fill it in and hit “send!”
    See you Wednesday! And again, Happy Birthday!


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