442-colbert1.jpg

Stephen Colbert and Friends

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All

Rating: 4.0

Label: Viacom

We all know the character by now: Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report parodies conservative vigor with such impassioned ignorance that it surpasses satire and serves as a near-perfect blueprint for the logos of the American Republican. But it has never been enough for him to misquote the Bible, reject thought, and to “nail” his nightly guests; he is also a master of self-promotion, getting team mascots, endangered animals, and astral bodies named after him while also blindly praising publications that mention him and condemning any that fail to. Often mocking fellow comic newsman Jon Stewart for both the proliferation and lackluster nature of Jewish holidays, it seemed only a matter off time before Colbert put his name on Christmas too.

Stephen Colbert’s A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All is as shamelessly American as his fans would hope. Openly capitalizing on the commercialization of Christmas, heralding the superiority of Christmas to Hanukkah, and constantly mixing up Santa Claus with Jesus, Colbert’s album is just in time for the season that saw retail employees literally killed by the savage spirit of this blessed season.

Featuring guests Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, John Legend, Feist and Jon Stewart, the album is the soundtrack to the televised special airing constantly on Comedy Central. In the episode, Colbert and Costello are snowed into Colbert’s modest upstate New York cabin and are unable to make it to the television studio to film Colbert’s Christmas special. Fortunately Colbert’s very musical neighbors drop in and save the day. If the premise sounds perfectly cookie-cut for the holidays, the soundtrack goes even further, pandering to every commonplace perpetuated by the intolerable marketing of Christmas music.

Parody has never been more spot-on than Colbert’s opening track “Another Christmas Song.” With dashing, tacky horns, Colbert’s wholesomely sings “You! Don’t you want to sing along/ To! My humble Yule tide/ Dreamed up pool side Christmas song” and Colbert’s guests embrace the spirit of the album wholeheartedly. Toby Keith, who has always been a good sport about mocking over-the-top patriotism, sings, “Separate church and state/ That’s what some liberal said/ I say it’s time we separated him from his head.” Willie Nelson, playing a stoner wise man, offers, “Behold a plant that smokes more sweetly/ Than either Frankincense or Myrrh/ And like the child born in this manger/ This herb is mild yet it is strong.” But it’s Jon Stewart’s role as the Jewish neighbor that is the greatest gift of A Colbert Christmas. In the song, “Can I Offer You A Hanukah” Stewart tries to entice Colbert to Judaism, piquing Colbert’s interest until Stewart is forced to summarize how Hanukah is traditionally celebrated.

As if taking over Christmas wasn’t enough, Colbert announced another merry goal for his album: humble Kanye West. In response to West’s epic (and not satirical) arrogance, Colbert begged his fans nightly to buy A Colbert Christmas and knock Kanye’s 808s and Heartbreak out of iTune’s top spot. Recently it worked, begging the question what will Colbert go after next? At this point anything seems possible, as Colbert still has yet to wrestle Christmas back from Alvin and the Chipmunks and Charlie Brown.

by Brian Loeper

  • Fleet Foxes: Shore

    After the dense and solemn Crack-Up, Robin Pecknold returns the Fleet Foxes to their roots…
  • Revisit: Idiocracy

    Just as Mike Judge’s lampooning of cubicle culture in Office Space feels like a relic fro…
  • Revisit: Donna Summer: The Wanderer

    A beginning, middle and end, this may not be Summer’s strongest album, but it contains all…
  • Fleet Foxes: Shore

    After the dense and solemn Crack-Up, Robin Pecknold returns the Fleet Foxes to their roots…
  • Revisit: Donna Summer: The Wanderer

    A beginning, middle and end, this may not be Summer’s strongest album, but it contains all…
  • Hen Ogledd: Free Humans

    This is a lot of trebly, upbeat music to stomach in one sitting, but Hen Ogledd has evolve…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also

Castanets: Texas Rose, The Thaw & The Beasts

Castanets Texas Rose, The Thaw & The Beasts Rating: 2.0/5.0 Label: Asthmatic Kitty Un…