TV Review: A Colbert Christmas



Nothing says you've arrived as a mainstream TV star more than having your very own Christmas special, which makes this a sort of coming out party for faux news commentator Stephen Colbert.

The self-proclaimed genius of his own show stays in character for the Comedy Central special, right down to the motivation for doing this program. He was inspired, he says, by the idea of collecting royalties from his own music instead of paying them to others.

As an example, he offers, "Another Christmas Song," a hilarious sendup of the season that is, at the same time, "the heart of my retirement planning." The number, which also reveals Colbert's latent talent as a song-and-dance man, is by far the sharpest of the show. Other songs include Willie Nelson's "The Little Dealer Boy," about the fourth wise man who brought the baby Jesus something to toke, and a fun duet with Jon Stewart, "Can I Interest You in Hannukah?"

Also making appearances are Toby Keith, John Legend, Feist and Elvis Costello. Over the course of the hour, the songs become progressively more sentimental and silly. The concluding Colbert-Costello duet, "There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In," simultaneously signals an end to the show and the creative juices that inspired it.

Still, if you're looking for something to get you into the Christmas mood fully four days before Thanksgiving Day, here it is.