Stephen Colbert’s TV show comes to Vancouver for the 2012 Winter Olympics
– by Rachel Fox
In all “truthiness,” there’s nothing quite like the sight of several thousand polite Vancouverites lined-up for hours to gain entrance to a… field.
Though I did manage to get there early, the earnest intent behind the redundancy of the whole line-up thing became pretty clear early on. NaturallyÂ I line-jumped in order to position myself properly for the unofficial sport of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games – rushing a stage.
I managed to get about seven people deep from the foot of the stage which was great, until reality set in and I remembered that the reason I vowed never to deal with general admission situations has less to do with either my age or temperament and everything to do with my height.
I am 5”3.
The people squished into me were all right and soon enough my new BC buds had me feeling A-OK and entirely relaxed. Good thing this unofficial sport isn’t sanctioned or we’d all be disqualified. And it wasn’t even 9:00 am!
Stephen Colbert came out and was, of course, utterly hilarious. Upon having to re-do several takes he asked, “What, was I too good?” and asked the crowd to forgive him if he “fucked up.” He ran an interview with Vancouver South’s representative Ujjal Dosanjh, and he asked the 5-year veteran of our Parliament what it was like to work with Bootsy Collins. Surprisingly (or not) the joke seemed utterly lost on the sea of Main Street Hipsters (not me – I’m a West End Girl).
Vancouver native Michael BublÃ© was the first guest, and before the interview even started the crowd chanted “Sing, sing!” to which he responded, “Pay my ass!” He then called us a bunch of “chant whores,” which was fair as spontaneous chanting (“Ca-na-da!”) accompanied by random fits of “WOO!” does seem to be another one of our unofficial sports. The two then sang a very wonky rendition of “Oh, Canada” to the tune of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Guest number two was Team USA legend Michael Eruzione, best known for the goal he scored against the Soviets as part of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics’ hockey tournament, aka “The Miracle on Ice.” Next up was NBC sports anchor Bob Costas, whose overall sourness was not surprising considering his bitterness towards Canada in the past – his broadcasts during the Toronto Blue Jays’ 1992-1993 World Series ‘Repeat’ reportedly earned him death threats.
Colbert commented upon this being Costas’ ninth Olympics and asked how Vancouver ranked as host city, to which Costas replied, “In the top nine.” Though somewhat lively he seemed entirely put-off, and the crowd did start to jeer him a bit. To his credit, when they chanted “Ride the Moose!” (refering to the one onstage) he did oblige.
For his Final Word, Colbert shared the stage with a stuffed beaver in to appease the crowd’s chanting of, “Stroke the beaver!” Without missing a beat he said, “Believe it or not, this wet beaver smells a lot like a wet beaver” before apologizing for anything mean he may have said about our home and native land.