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'A Colbert Christmas' Great for Fans; OK for Casual Viewers

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'A Colbert Christmas' Great for Fans; OK for Casual Viewers

'A Colbert Christmas' DVD

Viacom

The Bottom Line

Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, takes on the traditional holiday special in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All. From celebrity special guests, purposefully low production values, over-the-top song parodies, and Colbert's own twist on conservative values, A Colbert Christmas delivers both the laughs you'd expect - and even a bit of the charm from specials of yesteryear.
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Pros

  • Great special guests
  • A laugh-out-loud soundtrack
  • An out-of-the box approach to a talk show special
  • Great change of pace for the holiday season
  • Sales of the DVD benefit Feeding America charity

Cons

  • Some of the humor falls flat
  • Too long
  • Some songs are just OK

Description

  • Debuted on Comedy Central on Nov. 23, 2008
  • Available on DVD
  • Original songs written by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger, both Daily Show writers
  • Special guests include Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, John Legend, Feist, Jon Stewart and George Wendt
  • DVD features include a book burning Yule log, video advent calendar, alternate endings and an extra song
  • Differences between the TV version and DVD include extra footage during the Stewart and Legend segments

Guide Review - 'A Colbert Christmas' Great for Fans; OK for Casual Viewers

As a fan of both Stephen Colbert and holiday specials, I was excited to see A Colbert Christmas. I watched the aired version and have not had a chance to see the extras on the DVD.

What can I say? I liked it. I didn't love it, but I liked it.

And what's not to like? Professional satirist Colbert and some amazing special guests take on the often maligned - and often terribly executed - holiday special, replete with cheesy songs, a rustic cabin setting, low production values and a contrived story (in true Colbert fashion, Stephen is trapped in the cabin by his greatest nemesis - a bear).

The great moments come when Colbert is playing off people he knows, namely Daily Show host Jon Stewart. Stewart drops by to try to convince Colbert's character to choose Hanukah over Christmas - and even dives into the song "Can I Interest You in Hanukah?"

As someone who appreciates absurd humor, I also enjoyed the final act, during which the Bear that is stalking Colbert manages to get in the cabin. Colbert and the Bear come to an understanding, and - at the mistletoe's request - exchange a kiss. Colbert realizes his mistake in engaging in the snog: "Oh no! I forgot! I'm delicious!" An chase ensues and Colbert is saved by a knife-wielding Santa (played by George Wendt).

The other guests, all of whom sing, are adequately used, but none of the musical numbers stand-out, save for John Legend's spicy ode to nutmeg and Elvis Costello's duet with Colbert - a more serious tune titled "There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In".

Overall, if you're a fan, you'll enjoy A Colbert Christmas. If you're not? Well, this probably won't turn you into one.

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