Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Colbert Report - Election Night

When I scored tickets to see The Colbert Report live on election night, I knew I had to go.  I'd tried to get tickets a few times in the past, but the servers always crashed and I never got any tickets.  But, amazingly, for the week of the election, the servers behaved very well, and I accidentally got two seats to a live broadcast.  Typically, the show is taped in advance, but a live show on election night sounded like way too much fun to pass up.

My son and I boarded the train only a couple miles from home on election morning.  I'd already voted that morning and been to the doctor's office.  Whatever illness I'd had for the prior week had settled into my lungs and I was coughing a lot.  I was honestly concerned that I'd be kicked out of the show if I coughed a lot during a live broadcast.

Our train trip to Manhattan was long (8 hours), but very comfortable and relaxing.  I tried to get as much election info as I could, but I knew nothing meaningful would emerge until after 7:00 EST.  We got to Penn Station around 6:30, walked a mile uptown to our hotel (very close to that crane that self-destructed during the hurricane), checked in, and headed out for some dinner before the show.

Since we were in Manhattan, finding decent food was not a problem and we had a really nice meal in a "gastropub" in midtown west.  I had a great salad, and bison meatloaf topped with a gravy made with Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  The mashed potatoes that came with the meat loaf were amazing.  My son's dinner was equally good and we were on our way to the studio by 8:30 or so.

By 10:15 or so, our phones had to be turned off.  So, just about the time that PA was called for Obama, and with VA and Ohio very much undecided, we lost contact with the outside world.  We were surprised by how small the studio was once we were inside.

Stephen Colbert's roots are in improv, and the staff really emphasized to us that the audience makes the show in many ways, and Colbert feeds off the energy of the audience.  They even sent out a comedian to warm up the audience.  Then, Colbert did a Q&A session, out of character, although out-of-character didn't seem far from the role he plays in the show.

The show itself was fantastic.  I got to see exactly what I'd hoped to see - his satirical character lamenting the loss of the election to the evil Obama.  It was genius.  During an interview with Andrew Sullivan, he even threw out the "we weren't conservative enough" and "I never really liked that flip-flopper anyway" story lines.  In 30 minutes, he basically previewed all of Fox News' story lines for the next week.

And just that quickly, the show was over.  We watched some returns on TV for a while, including the concession (it's hard for me to really call it a concession speech, but that's a different topic) and acceptance speeches.  Early the next morning, I walked to CrossFit Hell's Kitchen and got in a good workout.  The night before, not wanting to have to use the bathroom during the show, I'd vastly under-consumed liquids, and I was a little dehydrated for the workout.  I was even cramping a bit late in the workout.  After a shower and a cup of coffee, my son and I walked around Central Park for a while and we then walked down 5th Avenue to Penn Station.  We grabbed some pizza, boarded our train, and by dinnertime, we were home.

We both agreed that despite the whirlwind nature of the trip, it had been well worth the cost and time.

Since then, I've continued to recover from whatever illness got a hold of me over two weeks ago.  I'm still not 100%, but managed four workouts last week and tonight will be my third this week.

This coming weekend, Sugarbush opens for the season, and I'll have my first day on snow on Sunday.  I just got a new pair of skis yesterday and I can't wait to take them out for a spin.

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