DVD Review: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All

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I’ve been a fan of Stephen Colbert  for a long time, so I may be biased, but this DVD was really funny.  Stephen has made a career out of lampooning people and things.  Every weeknight on Comedy Central he poses as a mock-conservative commentator (like Bill O’Reilly) and bloviates to America by using his gut, not by using facts.  He has made fun of the book publishers and a host of other issues with his successful book I Am America: And So Can You.  Now he has chosen to tackle the traditional network TV show holiday special.

The plot is that while heading to his New York film studio to shoot his Christmas special with Elvis Costello, he becomes trapped in cabin located in “bear country” (and if you watch his TV show, you’ll know how much he hates bears).  Even though he can’t seem to get out of his cabin, a number of his friends are able to stop by and visit him.

Country music star Toby Keith stops by and sings a song called “Have I Got A Present For You.”  Willie Nelson appears in a hullucination as a character next to baby Jesus in the manger and sings a song called “The Little Dealer Boy.”  Colbert’s former boss Jon Stewart from The Daily Show stops by to try and persuade Colbert to become Jewish with the song “Can I Interest You In Hanukkah?”   The American soul singer John Legend sings a duet with Colbert about “Nutmeg.” The Canadian singer Feist sings “Please Be Patient.”  The whole gang together sings “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding.”  Finally, Colbert sings “There Are Much Worse Things To Believe In.”

A running gag is that every time the mostly male guests drops in for a visit Colbert points out “Oh look, we’re under the Mistletoe. Well, this is awkward.”  The songs are clever, though they are filmed in front of a cheesy green screen, which actually may add to the hilarity of it all.  Overall, this Christmas parody was a good effort by the Colbert team, though it did struggle to entertain for a full hour, but isn’t that the case with most network Christmas specials?

The DVD is a great stocking stuffer for a fan of Colbert.  Highlights include some funny alternate endings (including an encounter with a bear), a video of a book burning Yule log that viewers can use on TV sets in their home in place of a real fire, and a video Advent calendar containing shorts videos that you can watch every day to prepare your hearts along with Stephen Colbert for the coming of Jesus on Christmas Day.