Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Tribue to the Colbert Report: My Colbert Writing Packet, August 2013

Back in August 2013, I had an opportunity to apply for my dream job:Writer for the Colbert Report. With the Colbert Report ending this week, it seemed like the right time to post my writing packet as a tribute a show that made me laugh, inspired me, made me dream, and made me laugh some more. Here is my 2013 writing packet featuring: The Word, Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger, and an interview.

The Colbert Report Submission Packet 
By
Noah Berkowitz

THE WORD:

De-funned

NATION, I’M A PERSISTENT GUY. IT’S WHY I NEVER STOP SINGING THE SONG THAT NEVER ENDS. (HUMS TO HIMSELF) I’LL FINISH YOU SOMEDAY SONG!

PERSISTENCE IS WHY I ADMIRE THE
[TAKE: OTS: HOUSE GOP LEADERSHIP]
REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS. ON FRIDAY, THEY UNSUCCESSFULLY VOTED TO REPEAL OBAMACARE FOR THE 40TH TIME.

(SOT)
[TAKE: SOT: VOTE AFTER VOTE ON OBAMACARE, MONTAGE CSPAN: ERIC CANTOR: Do you support the new healthcare law? Yes or no? (FLASH) CSPAN: The bill is passed. (FLASH) CSPAN: This Amendment is adopted. (FLASH) CSPAN: The Amendment is adopted. (FLASH) CSPAN: The Amendment is adopted.]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/house-obamacare_n_3288283.html

(ON CAM)
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, FAIL ANOTHER 39 TIMES, THEN TRY AGAIN.

DESPITE THEIR FAILURE, THE
[TAKE: OTS: HOUSE GOP LEADERSHIP]
REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS ARE STILL FOCUSED ON REPEALING OBAMACARE. IT’S THEIR MOBY-DICK. AND ONCE THEY CATCH IT, HOPEFULLY, THEY WON’T NEED OBAMACARE TO TREAT THEIR MOBY DICK.

WITH SUCH LASER-LIKE DETERMINATION, IT’S NO WONDER THEY CAN’T SEEM TO GET ANYTHING ELSE DONE.
(SOT)

[TAKE: SOT: CHRIS CILLIZZA 08/01 WASHINGTON POST: So, as Congress heads out of town for its August recess, here’s how unproductive they’ve been by the numbers. This is fascinating stuff, Jackie. Twenty two bills have been passed into the August recess and sent to Barack Obama. At this point, the last Congress, the least productive Congress ever, prior, twenty-eight bills had been passed. T=:21] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/08/03/surprise-this-is-the-least-productivecongress-ever-video/

(ON CAM)
REPUBLICANS DON’T EVEN HAVE A SIMPLE MAJORITY IN THE SENATE, MUCH LESS THE 67 VOTES NEEDED TO OVERTURN A PRESIDENTIAL VETO. IT’S A BASIC PROBLEM OF MATH, BUT LIKE I ALWAYS SAY, MATH IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER.

BUT NATION, THAT WON’T STOP
[TAKE: OTS: TED CRUZ, SENATOR TEXAS]
TEXAS SENATOR AND LOVE CHILD OF BERT AND ERNIE, TED CRUZ FROM TRYING.
HE HAS AN INNOVATIVE STRATEGY TO DEFEAT OBAMACARE AND IT BRINGS US TO TONIGHT’S WORD:
(SOT)
[TAKE: SOT: WORD OPEN]
DE-FUNNED
[TAKE: DE-FUNNED]

FOLKS, FOR YEARS, REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN ASKING ONE QUESTION:*
[TAKE: ARE WHITE PEOPLE REALLY GOING TO BE A MINORITY?]

HOW CAN THEY STOP OBAMACARE? NOTHING HAS WORKED, BUT IT HASN’T STOPPED THEM FROM TRYING. WHEN IT COMES TO SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF OBAMACARE, THESE GUYS WILL BANG THEIR HEADS AGAINST THE WALL NO MATTER THE CONSEQUENCES. EVEN IF IT MEANS THEY WON’T HAVE THE HEALTH INSURANCE NEEDED TO TREAT THEM FOR BANGING THEIR HEADS AGAINST THE WALL.

OBVIOUSLY, THESE REPUBLICANS KNOW THAT SOMETIMES THE LAWS NEEDN’T APPLY TO US. SO, IS IT REALLY A LAW, IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH IT?*
[TAKE: STEPHEN STILL HAS A CRUSH ON HIS COUSIN]
MARIA!

AFTER 40 TRIES, IT’S NOT LIKE THEY CAN CAST OBAMACARE OFF TO A LAND OF HOPELESSNESS AND DESPAIR. DETROIT HAS ENOUGH OF ITS OWN PROBLEMS ALREADY.*
[TAKE: IT’S LIKE CLEVELAND WITHOUT THE MAKE-UP]

THAT’S WHY TED CRUZ IS ATTEMPTING TO PLUG UP OBAMACARE BY ENCOURAGING THE GOP TO TAKE A NEW POSITION.*
[TAKE: DOWNWARD FACING CLOG]

CRUZ’S IDEA IS TO DEFUND THE GOVERNMENT. YOU SEE, CRUZ KNOWS CONGRESS MUST PASS A CONTINUING RESOLUTION BY SEPTEMBER 30TH TO AVOID SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT. IT’S WHY CRUZ IS URGING REPUBLICANS TO OPPOSE THE MEASURE UNLESS IT PROHIBITS SPENDING ANY FEDERAL MONEY ON OBAMACARE. IF THE REPUBLICANS SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT, OBAMACARE WON’T BE IMPLEMENTED!

IT’S SO BRILLIANT, THAT ONE CAN ONLY ASSUME,
[TAKE: OTS: SENATOR RICHARD BURR]
FELLOW REPUBLICAN SENATOR AND “WHO SHOT, JR?” POSTERBOY, RICHARD BURR OF NORTH CAROLINA WAS BEING IRONIC WHEN HE CALLED IT
[TAKE: FF: PULL QUOTE FROM BURR, “THE DUMBEST IDEA I’VE EVER HEARD.”]
http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/31/ted-cruz-challenges-republicans-to-do-the-pretty-muchimpossible/
(VO)
THE DUMBEST IDEA I’VE EVER HEARD.*
[TAKE: STEPHEN STILL LISTENS TO ALANIS MORISSETTE]

NOW EVEN THOUGH SOME MEMBERS OF THE GOP HAVE OBJECTED TO CRUZ’S CALL TO SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT, CRUZ REMAINS STEADFAST. HE DEFENDED HIS CALL TO ACTION, SAYING,
[TAKE: FF: PULL QUOTE FROM CRUZ, “WE HAVE TO MAKE IT RISKIER TO DO THE WRONG THING THAN IT
IS TO DO THE RIGHT THING.”]
http://blog.heritage.org/2013/08/01/ted-cruz-wants-your-help-to-defund-obamacare-video/
(VO)
“WE HAVE TO MAKE IT RISKIER TO DO THE WRONG THING THAN IT IS TO DO THE RIGHT THING.”

(ON CAM)
YEAH, CRUZ IS SPOT-ON! WE HAVE TO MAKE IT RISKIER TO DO THE WRONG THING!*
[TAKE: LIKE VOTE FOR TED CRUZ]

SO WHAT IF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN? AS CRUZ POINTED OUT, THE GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN EVERY WEEKEND!*
[TAKE: WEEKEND AT BERNIE SANDERS’]

THAT’S RIGHT! EVERYONE KNOWS THE ARMY IS A MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY JOB. AND THE MAIL THAT’S DELIVERED ON SATURDAYS? WELL, THAT’S NOT THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE! IT’S OBVIOUSLY BEING DELIVERED BY RETIRED NBA HALL OF FAMER, KARL MALONE.
[TAKE: OTS: KARL MALONE AS THE MAILMAN]

YOU KNOW, I THINK SENATOR CRUZ IS ON TO SOMETHING. IF WE ALLOW GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT LAWS WE DON’T LIKE, THEN DEMOCRACY, AS WE KNOW IT, IS IN DANGER. AND NOT THE GOOD KIND OF DANGER THAT SEXTS ME PICTURES OF HIS JUNK.

IN FACT, WHY STOP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT? WE SHOULD DEFUND ALL OF THE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS THAT DON’T UPHOLD OUR BELIEFS.

AS A PARENT, I’M NOT ALWAYS COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT’S BEING TAUGHT IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I’M LOOKING AT YOU, GEOMETRY!
[TAKE: OTS: PERPENDICULAR LINES]

PERPENDICULAR LINES, DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO KEEP TOUCHING EACH OTHER? KNOCK IT OFF UNTIL YOU’RE MARRIED!

UNTIL THE SCHOOLS TEACH THE CURRICULUM WE DEMAND, WE CAN DEFUND THE SCHOOLS. IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO GUARANTEE OUR KIDS LEARN THE RIGHT VALUES AND SKILLS.*
[TAKE: SCIENCE + MATH = UN-AMERICAN]

AND WE CAN’T BE TOO CAREFUL FOLKS. WHAT IF OUR KIDS GO TO THE LIBRARY?*
[TAKE: MOM, DAD, WHAT’S A LIBRARY?]

(ON CAM)
WE’LL HAVE TO DEFUND THE LIBRARIES TOO. HOW ELSE CAN WE KEEP OUR KIDS FROM READING BOOKS ON DIFFERING RELIGIONS, POLITICS, AND LIFESTYLE CHOICES?*
[TAKE: OF MICE AND MEN AND MEN]

WE CAN’T ALLOW IT. AND DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN ABOUT PUBLIC TELEVISION. THOSE RABBLE ROUSERS ON SESAME STREET HAVE BEEN ABUSING OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FOR YEARS!
[TAKE: SOT: (1:10-1:16), SESAME STREET SINGS, “DOCTOR PLEASE!” T=: 06]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEqCZoKxXKo

(ON CAM)
ONCE WE’VE DEFUNDED ALL OF OUR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS, WE’LL BE LIVING IN THE TYPE OF WORLD THAT SENATOR CRUZ DREAMS OF:*
[TAKE: CRUZ CONTROL]

IT’LL BE GREAT! FINALLY, WE’LL BE LEFT WITH THE PEACE AND QUIET NEEDED TO SIT ALONE AND YELL AT OURSELVES.*
[TAKE: STEPHEN’S DREAM JOB]

AND ONCE WE GET TO DECIDE WHICH LAWS APPLY TO US, WHICH BOOKS TELL THE TRUTH, AND WHICH TELEVISION SHOWS PROMOTE OUR BELIEFS, DEMOCRACY, WILL NO LONGER BE AT RISK!*
[TAKE: BUT OUR FASCISM MIGHT BE]

EVERY DAY WILL BE PREDICTABLE. JUST LIKE THE REPUBLICANS CONTINUING TO VOTE ON OBAMACARE. AND WHAT’S THE FUN IN THAT?*
[TAKE: DE-FUNNED]

AND THAT’S THE WORD.

Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger 

TIP: China Lets Parents Sue Kids, Wag: Jeopardy enforces spelling error on 8th grader

NATION: VOLTAIRE ONCE SAID, “PREJUDICE IS OPINION WITHOUT JUDGMENT,” BUT I THINK THAT STATEMENT STINKS ALMOST AS MUCH AS THE FRENCH. THIS IS TIP OF THE HAT, WAG OF THE FINGER!

(SOT)

[TAKE: SOT: TIPWAG OPEN T=:05]

(ON CAM)

FOLKS, IT’S NO SECRET THAT AMERICANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SAVING FOR RETIREMENT. WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY OLD PEOPLE HAVE RESORTED TO ACTING CAREERS?

(SOT)

[TAKE: SOT: MONTAGE OF OLD PEOPLE IN COMMERICALS (FLASH) “THAT’S WHY I TAKE CIALIS.” (FLASH)

“I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP LADY!” (FLASH) TACO BELL VIVA YOUNG SUPERBOWL AD]

(ON CAM)

YOU’VE GOT TO EARN THE SCRATCH SOMEWHERE, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU CAN NO LONGER REACH THE PLACES YOU NEED TO SCRATCH.

ACCORDING TO A RECENT STUDY,

[TAKE: FF: “THE AVERAGE U.S. RETIREMENT AGE HAS CLIMBED TO 61.”]

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/average-us-retirement-age-61-205045352.html

(VO)

THE AVERAGE U.S. RETIREMENT AGE HAS CLIMBED TO 61.

(ON CAM)

IT IS TOUGH THESE DAYS FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN FAMILY! IT COSTS A LOT TO PROVIDE FOR A FAMILY,

[TAKE: OTS: PARENTS PUTTING FOOD ON THE TABLE TO LITTLE KIDS]

PUT THOSE KIDS THROUGH SCHOOL,

[TAKE: OTS: PARENTS WITH KIDS AT COLLEGE GRADUATION]

AND PAY FOR THEIR MOVERS WHEN THEY MOVE BACK INTO YOUR HOUSE AS ADULTS.

[TAKE: OTS: MOCK-UP: OLDER, TIRED PARENTS PAYING OFF MOVERS HOLDING BOXES]

WE GIVE OUR CHILDREN SO MUCH, BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR KIDS GIVING BACK TO US? WELL, ONE NATION HAS THE RIGHT IDEA. JIM...

(SOT)

[TAKE: SOT: CNN 07/02: “IN MANY WAYS LIFE HAS GOTTEN BETTER FOR CHINA’S ELDERLY...BUT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER WITH ELDERLY RIGHTS...UNDER THE NEW LAW, ADULTS ARE REQUIRED TO VISIT OR CALL THEIR PARENTS REGULARLY. PARENTS COULD EVEN TAKE THEIR KIDS TO COURT.” T=:19]

AND THAT’S WHY I’M GIVING A TIP

[TAKE: OTS: TIP]



OF MY HAT TO CHINA.

[TAKE: OTS: CHINA]

THIS IS THE PERFECT WAY TO ADDRESS RETIREMENT PROBLEMS! LET’S FACE IT, NO ONE WANTS TO ASK THEIR KIDS TO TAKE CARE OF THEM WHEN THEY’RE OLDER. JUST BECAUSE YOU CHANGED THEIR DIAPERS, DOESN’T MEAN THEY WANT TO CHANGE YOURS.

BUT NOW THAT CHINA HAS A LAW ENABLING PARENTS TO SUE THEIR CHILDREN FOR NOT SPENDING TIME WITH THEM, AMERICANS CAN FOLLOW CHINA’S LEAD. PARENTS, IF YOUR FUNDS ARE DEPLETED AND YOU ONLY HEAR FROM YOUR KIDS WHEN THEY CALL COLLECT, DON’T WORRY! NOW THAT YOU CAN SUE THEM, YOU CAN ACCEPT THEIR COLLECT CALL AND COLLECT IN COURT.

SO GET OUT THERE AMERICA AND SPEND AWAY! HEY, IT’S JUST A QUESTION OF TIME BEFORE YOU GET YOUR MONEY BACK VIA A LENGTHLY, BITTER LAWSUIT. SO PUT YOUR MONEY INTO GOLD, PUT YOUR MONEY INTO YOUR KIDS, HECK, YOU CAN EVEN COMBINE THE TWO IF YOU’D LIKE!

[TAKE: OTS: MOCK-UP: KID WITH GOLD GRILL TEETH]

AND, TO TOP IT OFF, CHINA’S NEW LAW IS A MITZVAH! SUING CHILDREN FOR NOT SPENDING TIME WITH THEIR PARENTS IS A BLESSING TO JEWISH MOTHERS EVERYWHERE! WHAT BETTER WAY TO LET LITTLE ABRAHAM AND SARAH KNOW THIS YEAR’S PASSOVER SEDER IS IN A NEW LOCATION.

[TAKE: OTS: MOCK-UP: PASSOVER SEDER IN COURT]

NEXT UP: GAME SHOWS. THEY PROVE WE’RE SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER, ENABLE US TO PEACEFULLY FEUD WITH OTHER FAMILIES, AND EVEN MAKE US BETTER AT TONGUE TWISTERS.

(SOT)

[TAKE: SOT: (:05-:26) CLIP FROM JAPANESE GAME SHOW, BALL BUSTER. CONTESTANTS REPEAT TONGUE TWISTERS. IF THEY GET THEM WRONG, THEY GET HIT IN THE BALLS. T=:21]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS3tjP6Yh1w

(ON CAM)

(TAKES DEEP BREATH) SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS BY THE SEA SHORE. UNIQUE, NEW YORK. UNIQUE, NEW YORK. (PAUSES) PHEW!

THAT’S WHY IT PAINS ME TO GIVE A

[TAKE: OTS: WAG]

WAG OF MY FINGER

[TAKE: OTS: JEOPARDY]

TO JEOPARDY.

THIS WEEK, JEOPARDY CAUSED QUITE A CONTROVERSY WHEN AN 8TH GRADER CLAIMED HE WAS CHEATED OVER A SPELLING ERROR. JIMMY, ROLL THE TAPE.

(SOT)

[TAKE: SOT: FINAL JEOPARDY FOOTAGE: TREBEK EXPLAINS “BECAUSE HE MISSPELLED IT BADLY” THE ANSWER IS INCORRECT. T=:37]

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/08/its-spelling-civil-war-jeopardy/67960/

(ON CAM)

[TAKE: SG: MISPELLED IMAGE OF EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION]

I’M OUTRAGED! BETWEEN AUTOCORRECT AND SPELL CHECK, WE DON’T NEED TO LEARN HOW TO SPELL ANYMORE. WITH TODAY’S ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY, WHAT’S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

(SFX: STEPHEN’S PHONE GOES OFF WITH A TEXT MESSAGE, HE READS IT)

OH, GOOD NEWS! IT TURNS OUT THE RASH ON MY PLEASURE ZONE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, IT’S JUST GENIAL HERPES.

FOLKS, DOES IT REALLY MATTER THAT AN 8TH GRADER MISSPELLED EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION ON JEOPARDY? SPELLING IS SO ANTIQUATED, THAT ITS PLACE IN SOCIETY IS IN JEOPARDY, LIKE NEWSPAPERS, MOVIE RENTAL STORES, OR A CHILD’S ABILITY TO COMPETE ON JEOPARDY.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS THAT WE LEARN THE LIFE LESSONS TAUGHT TO US BY HISTORY. A LITTLE SPELLING ERROR DOESN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT AN ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR BROUGHT AMERICA

INTO WORD WAR II, THAT NATIVE AMERICANS AND THEIR BEVERAGES WERE FORCED TO RELOCATE DURING THE TRAIL OF TEAS, OR THAT MARTIN LUTHER KING WAS A LEADER IN THE CYBIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

[TAKE: OTS: MOCK-UP: MLK WITH CYBIL SHEPARD]

BUT HANG IN THERE, YOUNG FELLOW. YOUR FUTURE IS BRIGHT. A SPELLING ERROR WON’T KEEP YOU FROM BEING ONE HEART BEAT AWAY FROM BEING THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

[TAKE: SOT: DAN QUAYLE MISSPELLS POTATO, T=:17]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdqbi66oNuI

WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.

INTERVIEW

Guest: Matthew Berry, author of Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, And Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN EXPERT ON FANTASY SPORTS. I’LL ASK HIM IF HE’D RATHER FANTASIZE ABOUT KOBE OR LEBRON. PLEASE WELCOME, MATTHEW BERRY!

1. AREN’T FANTASY SPORTS JUST DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS FOR THOSE WHO USED TO BEAT UP THE KIDS THAT PLAYED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS?

2. A CHAPTER IN YOUR BOOK IS TITLED, “FANTASY BRINGS FAMILIES TOGETHER.” HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE OUR KIDS TO SPEND LESS TIME RUNNING AROUND PLAYING SPORTS AND MORE TIME IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER?

3. ATHLETES WORK HARD IN THE OFF-SEASON TO IMPROVE THEIR GAME. WHAT DO FANTASY PLAYERS DO IN THE OFF-SEASON TO BETTER THEIR GAME BESIDES FINGER CURLS AND BELCHING COMPETITIONS?

4. YOUR BOOK SAYS FANTASY SPORTS BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER WHO WOULDN’T NORMALLY HAVE A REASON TO INTERACT. BUT ISN’T THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THE INTERNET TO CREATE A WORLD WHERE WE CAN AVOID THE PEOPLE WITH WHOM WE DON’T WANT TO INTERACT?

5. SOME ATHLETES HAVE COMPLAINED THAT FANTASY SPORTS MAKES PEOPLE TREAT THEM MORE LIKE MATH PROBLEMS AND LESS LIKE HUMAN BEINGS. HOW DO WE GET THESE RUNNING AND JUMPING MATH PROBLEMS TO STOP COMPLAINING?


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