“Tell Old Pharaoh”

Wow! Last night’s Report was simply amazing. I may yet post all of it, but for now, here’s the closing piece. Ambassador Andrew Young was Stephen’s guest, and the middle segment was extended footage of the 1969 nurses’ strike in Charleston, SC. He pulled together so many things past and present and gave us such an incredibly intimate look at the way the WGA strike is never out of sight while the show is back on the air. If you saw the episode, you know what I’m saying. If you didn’t, find a way to see the rerun today. Go to the Comedy Central site if you have to. And maybe some of today’s Pharaohs need to be reminded of the real flesh-and-blood people who are at the heart of this strike, people who deserve respect for the work that they do.

The old spiritual reminds me that the words of Scripture and the exodus experience provide an archetype that can be applied in many different situations of varying degrees of seriousness. And that’s the beauty of the kind of satire that Stephen does. He can shift back and forth between silliness and seriousness and make a lot of subtle points that would sound ridiculous if pushed to extremes.

Edited to add:I decided I might as well put up the other two videos. You really have to see the whole thing to appreciate the effect.

Here’s the interview with Ambassador Young.



  1. Yes! Wonderful show and great piece about it! I too thought it showed the human side of these historical conflicts. If people would work together to solve problems harming both sides… I love Colbert because he seeks that humanity with his off-the-cuff humor as padding. A couple of days ago a wrote a bit about this as it relates to my artwork. Thanks!


  2. Wow. Thanks for posting this. I saw the intro piece and then fell asleep (as usual) – the ending song segment was exactly the right funny/sincere tone that I love about Colbert. I’m so glad I got to see it here!

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