It was downright cozy. Me and about 4000 other fans of comedian and TV host Stephen Colbert surrounded a stage yesterday morning, under a blue sky. The setting was perfect. Downtown Vancouver was the backdrop, the weather was crisp and the sun shined brightly. The show producer gave us the ground rules on when to cheer, and when not to. Colbert's stage looked like a mini-Canada Pavilion, with old skis, our flag and a big stuffed moose. I took a bunch of photos which you can see in a slideshow here.
It was a pleasure to chat briefly after the show with Vancouver native Eric Drysdale (seen here), who is known to fans of the Colbert Report as "Bobby" the floor director. Eric left Vancouver to pursue a comedy writing career in the USA in 1992. He's been a writer living in New York for years, working for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart before leaving for Colbert's show.
Eric took a two year hiatus from the show to revive himself from a burnout schedule, and returned to the show last October. You can credit Eric for a lot of the best gags about Canada on the show.
To warm up the crowd a Dutch brass band called Kleintje Pils played old songs by Queen, before everyone assembled on Thursday morning were asked to join in a rousing rendition of O Canada (see the video). The tapings took place down at the corner of False Creek next to Science World (aka Sochi House) over two mornings, and the grass underneath was pretty torn up by the crowds. If you saw someone with mud on their sneakers yesterday, chances are they were down watching the Colbert Report.
At the end of the show the crowd chanted "Ride the Moose!" Stephen Colbert obliged the crowd's request. The programs taped in Vancouver air on the Comedy Network next week.