Life between the ivory tower and a cardboard box

A Petition to Bring “The Colbert Report” to the Philippines

Stephen ColbertAdmit it, nation. You are hot for Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report. You love the way he pokes fun at TV pundits with his deadpan comedic delivery. You think there is absolutely nothing wrong with introducing a guest by watching shots of Stephen prance about on stage from several different camera angles. You may even think he could be the right father for your future children after watching him adopt a baby eagle. And, of course, watching him do tumbles and outsing Barry Manilow totally makes you want to touch yourself. (Don’t hate, I know some of you have at least thought about it.)

What’s that? Don’t know what I’m talking about, you say? Of course, you wouldn’t. Because, horror of horrors, The Colbert Report is not shown in the Philippines.

For the uninitiated: The Colbert Report is a U.S. satirical news program in the same vein as The Daily Show, from which it is a spin-off and counterpart. Like TDS, TCR discusses and critiques current events and the media using satire, parody, and caricature. Unlike TDS, TCR is character-driven, focusing on Colbert’s fictional character, Stephen Colbert, and parodying personality-focused pundit programs, most notably, The O’Reilly Factor. Since its debut in October 2005, it has become one of the highest-rated shows on Comedy Central and has managed to influence U.S. popular and political culture.

I obviously don’t need to tell you that this is one of my favorite shows. I will tell you, though, that it was definitely heartbreaking to come back here to the Philippines and find out that I would not be able to catch it on TV. Currently, you can catch clips from the show on iFilm, but I maintain that it does not compare to seeing the whole show in one go and logically following TDS.

So, if you live in the Philippines and are a fan of The Daily Show, or simply want to know what all the fuss is about, here are my top 5 reasons why Philippine TV must bring The Colbert Report this side of the Pacific.

  1. We can finally know who that Stephen dude at the end of The Daily Show is. Does it bother you that Jon Stewart sets you up for another 30 minutes of comedic bliss by having a hilarious conversation with one of his former correspondents, only to be disappointed when you see the opening credits for David Letterman (no disrespect to Letterman, of course)? It bothers me, too. If we had The Colbert Report here, we will finally understand what the hell is going on and stop being cheated by the cableNazis. I’m looking at you, JackTV.
  2. Stephen Colbert wants more Filipino friends. Fans of the show know about Stephen’s ongoing quest for a new Black friend. In Episode 123, Stephen reveals that, according to his Friends Exchange Rate, “one Black friend equals two Filipino friends.” He wants your friendship, nation! Get The Colbert Report here and give him some love!
  3. Stephen Colbert is a go-getter. What Stephen wants, the Colbert Nation gives. Stephen has managed to give his name to a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor, a junior ice hockey team in Michigan, and a bridge in Hungary, with the votes of the Colbert Nation. Stephen has also convinced his fans to vandalize Wikipedia entries and create YouTube videos with his image for the Green Screen Challenge. He has also just released his new book, I Am America (And So Can You!). The Colbert Report has managed to penetrate U.S. popular culture by engaging and utilizing people and their mass power to influence the show with technology. Kind of like our own People Power here in the Philippines. Coincidence? I think not.
  4. WikialityStephen Colbert is changing the English language. Anyone who can get millions of people to mispronounce “report” has got to be legit. One of the most popular segments on TCR is “The Wørd”, where Stephen discusses an issue using a key term or phrase. Often, Stephen will feature a neologism that ends up being used in everyday language. The words truthiness and Wikiality are two such words and, according to Wikipedia, have both been honored as the top television buzzwords of 2006 by the Global Language Monitor. Call center agents in the Philippines, take heed! You never know when these new words can come in handy when handling an irate customer, especially one that tells you to “Learn some damn English!”
  5. Stephen Colbert has guts. Perhaps one of the most defining moments for Stephen Colbert, the actor and the fictional character, was his speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, where, in the presence of celebrities, politicians, members of the White House Press Corps, and President George W. Bush himself, he (as Stephen Colbert the character) gave a biting satirical performance and indictment of President Bush’s administration and the media. To be able to do what he does every night in front of the big man himself takes a lot of balls and talent. Watch the entire thing here. Perhaps the Philippines can pick up a hint or two for how to address our own political troubles?
  6. Stephen Colbert is a fox. Yes, I know 6 is one more than 5. But let the record show that Stephen is not at all hard to look at. Jane Fonda and even feminist Gloria Steinem will agree with me here. Stephen Colbert can tip his hat and wag his finger for me anytime. Of course, it’s a little hard to do this when he is not being shown in the Philippines.

There you have it, nation. I encourage you to check out some clips and see if you are as rabid for The Colbert Report as I am. I also call on you to join me in my petition for more Stephen on our TVs. Whether by sending letters to our cable channels or getting the Catholic Church to intervene, if we can overthrow two presidents by coming together and blocking major roadways, we can definitely bring in a TV show that is more Filipino-friendly than Desperate Housewives.

Until then . . . Philippine TV, you are ON NOTICE.


14 responses

  1. Rein

    Hi… just stumbled on your blog after googling “colbert report + philippines”. Nice blog by the way. There’s news out that there’ll be a TCR global edition, but no word yet whether the Philippines will pick up on it. I wanted to ask: do you know a lot of Filipinos who love TCR? Because here where I’m from [davao], I haven’t met one. Not a single soul. I’m also wary about how people would react to it if/when it does go on the air. The way they reacted to TDS’s bit about women presidents… just makes me think a majority of the country aren’t it-getters.

    October 25, 2007 at 7:05 am

  2. Erin


    Thanks for visiting!

    To answer your question: Come to think of it, I don’t think I know any Filipinos who are into TCR. I think it may partly be because it isn’t shown in the Philippines.

    I don’t doubt, though, that it can garner a sizable following. Despite the minor controversy surrounding the female presidents thing, “The Daily Show” still has a lot of fans, and I think it’s awesome that (at least in Metro Manila) we can watch it both on JackTV and CNN International. I hope that sends a message that we aren’t nearly as big a threat to Comedy Central shows and the world at large as, say, bears. 😉

    October 27, 2007 at 2:18 am

  3. Rein

    “Come to think of it, I don’t think I know any Filipinos who are into TCR.”
    well… i’m the first then. hi, nice to meet you.heheh

    Back in the happy days when TDS and TCR clips were still allowed on YouTube, i came across a few Filipinos who commented on the clips and love Colbert. I guess there are quite a number of us, although not as many as TDS fans, and that maybe we’re just scattered all over the archipelago.

    I think the best chance that we have in getting TCR is through JackTV. They seem to be the one channel that caters most shows from ComedyCentral. Torrents will just have to do for now, I guess.

    October 27, 2007 at 9:26 am

  4. Erin

    Nice to meet you, too, Rein! Haha.

    Yeah, I really hope JackTV gets on the ball about that. It’s obvious that TDS is doing well here. Might as well complete the circle and get TCR in there as well.

    October 27, 2007 at 4:52 pm

  5. Jay Vill

    OMG I heart the Colber Repor! But there’s no way that the show is gonna make it to local shores… it’s too, ummm… “foreign” for most Filipinos.

    January 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm

  6. I came across this blog while Googling for a TV schedule for TDS here in the Philippines but alas, this is a good read and I approve of it! Compared to the Daily Show, I think Filipinos would have an easier time understanding the humor of TCR. It would be hard to squeeze it in on Jack TV with the late-night mavens, O’ Brien and Leno, now on the scene and conquering late nights. I think it would do good with 2nd Avenue.

    January 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm

  7. Gabby

    hi! Colbert Report still isn’t available in the Philippines?

    May 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm

  8. I like stephen colbert. I watch his show, listened (through audio book) his book and it was hilarious. Although he targets US only, it gives us a thought that we can actually poke fun to the government that they will eventually be annoyed listen to what we have to say.

    stephen colbert. Ayos!

    June 2, 2008 at 4:38 pm

  9. Hah. It would be groundbreaking if a local network would show this. They would not want to deviate from the current majority of pre-programmed-oblivious demographic. It’s a waste of “investment”.

    Enjoy the torrents. XD

    June 13, 2008 at 4:42 pm

  10. Erin

    Hey everyone! Looks like we did something right, because Maxxx channel on SkyCable now shows “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” back-to-back! (See Maxx’s weekly schedule here.) Hurray! Now to only tell them that they got the order BACKWARDS (as in, showing TCR before TDS). Seriously, do they just watch NOT these shows at all, because it makes ZERO SENSE when they show TDS ending with Jon Stewart talking to Stephen Colbert, when the show ended thirty minutes ago. Duh!

    June 15, 2008 at 12:28 am

  11. Adrian

    Loved TDS ever since it was aired in Jack TV, and since I couldn’t get enough of it, I’m collecting all the episodes from 1999, TCR’s next on my list.

    June 27, 2008 at 5:59 pm

  12. Robin

    bad news…looks like TCR will be axed on august 11, as the late show with david letterman will air on TCR and TDS’s slots on maxxx…

    August 7, 2008 at 4:22 pm

  13. Erin

    Nope. It’s 15 August today, and it looks like they just moved the timeslot. I watched both last night from 9-10 pm. 🙂

    Now we just need to make sure they actually pronounce “Colbert” and “Report” “correctly”. 😉

    August 15, 2008 at 12:37 am

  14. Jayvill

    What is Maxxx? Do they actually show porn? 😉

    I actually prefer Stephen Colbert’s brand of humor to John Stewart’s, but it’s great that they’re both in the Philippines now. Are they showing up-to-date episodes? Because the show works best if watched within the context of current events.

    And yeah, let them know that it’s pronounced “Col-bear” 🙂

    September 1, 2008 at 4:45 am

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