Huckabee on Colbert Report
January 10, 2008 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Was Mike Huckabee actually live on the Colbert Report last night (1-9-08) or was that interview just a bunch of spliced footage? I missed the intro, and I couldn't figure it out as it was going on.
posted by Science! to Society & Culture (18 answers total)
It did seem a bit spliced. Total guess,but maybe they cut it for running time? Occasionally on TDS there will be edits in the interviews (they are hard to catch but are there). Cut out the stuff that didn't hit and make sure the funny stuff stays in?

So it was probably live to the studio audience, but aired altered.
posted by UMDirector at 10:33 AM on January 10, 2008

CNN says that he was there.
posted by ND¢ at 10:44 AM on January 10, 2008

Watch this space (it's not up yet).
posted by mumkin at 10:50 AM on January 10, 2008

Oh, it's up under new videos on the Colbert Report homepage. And yeah, hard to say just how it was assembled—edited or not—but it was definitely a post-New Hampshire interview with Colbert.
posted by mumkin at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2008

I don't think it was live. It's hard to describe, but it seemed spliced together. I don't doubt that it was new, and it was probably "live" in front of the audience, but it certainly seemed like it might have been edited together afterwards for a tighter interview.
posted by nushustu at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2008

They also didn't do the "live" "toss" from Stewart to Colbert yesterday.
posted by smackfu at 11:12 AM on January 10, 2008

Response by poster: I was thinking that it was kind of stock footage of Huckabee giving answers to preset questions so local stations could splice in their own interviewer, and that Colbert just appropriated it for his own devices. Some of the questions were absurd, as to be expected, but some of Huckabee's replies seemed too non-PC and too raw to be believed. Like raising money with black market handguns, I wouldn't have thought a candidate would touch that, even as a joke.

But live or not it was meant for the Colbert Report?
posted by Science! at 11:16 AM on January 10, 2008

Piggybacking: Can someone explain to me how The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are producing new episodes (without being considered scabs) with the writers strike still going on? I only caught bits and pieces of them yesterday, but with all the references they both made to the ongoing strike, I'm profoundly confused.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:18 AM on January 10, 2008

Both Stewart and Colbert are known as outstanding improvisational comedians; they're working without scripts. (Also, it's no secret that their return is more about a threat from their superiors to fire their entire staff rather than a desire on their part to return to work and damage the strike.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:23 AM on January 10, 2008

Yes. They are scabs. But they are scabbing for one reason only: to keep their striking writing staff from being fired, as management has threatened to do.

I still can't watch scabs though, no matter how noble their intentions.
posted by luriete at 11:33 AM on January 10, 2008

Mod note: please do not continue this derail about the writers strike - take it to metatalk
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:40 AM on January 10, 2008

Nthing yes he was. And the video is now on NYT
posted by special-k at 11:53 AM on January 10, 2008

I'd say it's legit. The satellite interview with the Slate writer the night before also had a splicey-ness to it, as well. A bit jarring, maybe a bad delay or poor editing to blame.
posted by wowbobwow at 12:07 PM on January 10, 2008

I agree with wowbobwow. They probably cut out the pauses here and there (probably to save time) and this is why it appears "spliced". I would think however that Huckabee was reading from a prepared script via teleprompter or something.
posted by bitteroldman at 12:19 PM on January 10, 2008

Saw it too. I suspect that any weirdness is the result of the delay that affects many satellite interviews of this nature.

bitteroldman may be right that Huckabee is reading a script or something. But several times he can't keep a straight face, so I'm sure he's having a real conversation with Colbert.
posted by dseaton at 12:21 PM on January 10, 2008

It's definitely cut up. Look at the video linked by mumkin. Go about halfway through to where he's asking about evolution being a farce--right between that question and the next. Just watch how Colbert's body position changes suddenly between cuts. Other times, Huckabee and Colbert's facial expressions will suddenly change on cuts that are clearly meant to be "seamless" (they keep the laugh track going smoothly).

If they'd had writers, they would have had better questions written beforehand, making for a more entertaining interview. It seems they just had Stephen go through unprepared and then cut it up to try to make it funny and to fit the time slot. The funny part didn't really work too well. This was compounded by the fact that Huckabee himself isn't very funny and seemed to be trying painfully hard. It's hard to cut the unfunny out of something that's all unfunny. In my opinion, this is common with the politicians that come on TDS and TCR--they really, really want to nail it big. And Republicans in particular, for some reason, always seem to screw up the delivery on their most morbid jokes (like Huckabee's outsourcing joke), often leaving me to wonder if they actually do prefer the taste of baby flesh. So, I think a lot of the effect is just from the fact that Huckabee is an awkward politician.

Even given all that, the editing looks pretty bad to me. Where they removed video, they should have cut strictly between full screen shots of Colbert and full screen shots of Huckabee to hide the seam. Instead, they cut from a shot of one to a slightly later shot of both (or vice versa) so you can see that one man's position has suddenly shifted.
posted by dsword at 12:40 PM on January 10, 2008

Just wanted to point you to the derail followup I just posted--for anyone who is interested in the scab angle.
posted by paddingtonb at 4:08 PM on January 10, 2008

I just watched the rerun of the episodes tonight, and there was an odd feeling to both of them. On The A Daily Show, for instance, during the commentary on the New Hampshire race, it seemed like they went to a recording of Jon's voice whenever he wasn't on-screen. Hard to describe, but it's the same effect as when The Colbert Report goes from a live shot to Stephen's voice-over of a pre-recorded segment. You can definitely hear the difference.

The interview with Huckabee was definitely edited in some places, though. There was at least one shot where Colbert's posture in the side-by-side box with Huckabee didn't match the single shot of him alone an instant later.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:16 PM on January 10, 2008

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