Stephen Colbert’s Best Bookish Moments

It was announced last week that Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report will be taking over The Late Show after David Letterman retires. While I’m sure he’ll do a great job, this news kind of gives me a sad. The Colbert Report is so smart and funny and whenever it’s off the air for more than three days I start going into withdrawals. Now it will be off the air forever! Where am I going to get my sharply sarcastic commentary on literature and art?

Fortunately, videos of the show will remain on the internet for a while (hopefully), so we can all go back and watch our favorite moments, like when Stephen makes fun of books. This happens A LOT. We’ve already covered his best author interviews, but here are a few skits that were played just for laughs, and brilliantly done.

stephen colbert jane austen

Stephen gives a wag of his finger to Jane Austen for inventing baseball.
This has to be one of the most hilarious tip/wags that has ever aired on the show.

It was a Jane Austen version, where the ball isn’t hurled about rudely, but introduced to the bat through proper channels… Of course, what the bat cannot reveal is that he loves the ball desperately.

how many monkeys does it take to write a hemingway

Stephen breaks down how to write great literature using monkeys.
My favorite of the numerous Stephen-takes-pot-shots-at-Dan-Brown segments.

10,000 monkeys writing for 10,000 years will give you a Hemingway, but you gotta get them drunk first.

colbert report hobbit special

Remember when Stephen dedicated an entire week to The Hobbit?
That was amazing, and so was this interview with James Franco where Colbert rose to levels of Tolkien geekery that I didn’t even know EXISTED.

stephen colbert's alpha squad 7

Stephen reads a passage from his unpublished manuscript, Stephen Colbert’s Alpha Squad 7: Lady Noturn, A Tek Jansen Adventure.

She only had minutes to live, and on this planet, minutes meant seconds.

On another show, he gave us more:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, call me Ishmael.

stephen colbert harry potter

Stephen covers the Harry/Hermione/Ron love triangle.

I demand [JK Rowling] write a new book: Harry Potter and the Realization He’s Made a Huge Mistake.

stephen colbert new moon

Stephen predicts New Moon by Stephenie Meyer will bring about the Apocalypse.
Actually, The Colbert Report was where I first heard about the Twilight novels, and one of the reasons I decided to give them a read.

He’s just going to string you along. And while you can’t wait forever, he can—he’s immortal.

stephen library books

Stephen sends an adorable kid books after the library takes away his library card.
The ending of this one actually makes me tear up a little/lot.

Why don’t we start with Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow? 760 pages of experimental fiction about the concept of entropy. Bon appetit!

the colbert book club

Of course we can’t leave off without mentioning the Colbert Book Club! Stephen has hosted discussions on The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Old Man and the Sea.
Plus, here’s a bonus list of books we’d love for him to cover before the show ends (Moby Dick! Please, Stephen!).

In strict adherence with book club guidelines, I’ve been drinking chardonnay since 1 p.m.

There are so many great Colbert Report bookish moments. Share some of your favorites in the comments.