Recently, I sat down with my friend Dieter to watch The Best of the Colbert Report. While I've enjoyed the several dozen or so episodes that I've managed to watch, I haven't been keeping up with the show, nor did I start watching when it first aired. On the other hand, Dieter is a long-time fan and regularly quotes Colbert. Watching it with him meant that I had someone to help me place these clips into their proper context. As it turns out, that's only useful if one is writing a review. The collection is entirely enjoyable as it stands, and no one needs an intimate knowledge of the context and history to "get it."
Many people don't quite "get" The Colbert Report. The show was spun off of Comedy Central's The Daily Show to allow the character of Stephen Colbert to have his own O'Reilly Factor type show. Colbert reveres Bill O'Reilly, and regularly refers to him as "Papa Bear." However, his satirical take on the political pundit talk show genre results in a more universally appealing and entertaining show. Despite his extreme patriotism, right-wing, and often absurd stance on issues, Colbert is appreciated by both liberals and conservatives alike.
The box art claims that the DVD contains "over 2 hero-inspiring hours" of content, which is not quite accurate. Clocking in at 175 minutes, it's a little less than three hours. That's right — three hours of Stephen Colbert. Unless you have the stamina of a horse and strong mental facilities, I do not recommend watching it in one sitting.
The first clip is from the first episode, and it begins with Colbert noting that while his name is displayed several times on several set pieces (and his desk is shaped like a C), the show is really about the people; as in, the people who watch the show. He then goes on to what would become a daily segment of the show: "The Wørd." This is the moment that made TV history, and created a new definition for an old word: truthiness. To this day, Colbert is still best known for always providing the viewer with truthiness rather than facts.