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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tonight's word: Stocking stuffer

Colbert + Costello + Christmas = Santa's sleigh of freedom delivering gift-wrapped truthiness to patriotic boys and girls across America.

Though it can't possibly top "Larry the Cable Guy's 2007 Christmas Spectacular" -- and how could it with a holly, jolly roster that included A-listers like Tony Orlando, Flavor Flav and Jamie Kennedy? -- Stephen Colbert is busting out the red turtleneck of valor for his own one-hour holiday special.

The Comedy Central satirist will air "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All," on November 23.

The show follows the same loose narrative used on every sitcom in the history of TV -- Colbert gets snowed in at his cabin in upstate New York and is forced to pass the time sans spiked egg nog. But unlike that memorable "Who's the Boss?" episode where the snowed-in crew began reminiscing about how Tony Micelli became a housekeeper, Colbert promises to have more fun with musically inclined friends Elvis Costello, Feist, Toby Keith, John Legend and Willie Nelson.

Original songs have been written by David Javerbaum, the executive producer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and Adam Schlesinger from Fountains Of Wayne. The duo recently collaborated on the Broadway musical "Cry Baby."

Among the performances: "Another Christmas Song," by Colbert; "Have I Got a Present for You" by Keith; "Little Dealer Boy" by Colbert and Nelson; "Hanukkah" by Colbert and Jon Stewart; "Nutmeg" by Colbert and Legend; "Please Be Patient" by Feist; "There Are Much Worse Things To Believe In" by Colbert and Costello and "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" performed by the entire ensemble.

A DVD will be released just two days after, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the charity Feeding America. Extras include a "book burning Yule log," a video advent calendar and alternate endings.

Sadly, Colbert's inspiration, "Papa Bear" Bill O'Reilly, will not be making an appearance. That dude is all about preserving Christmas, though, so he'd likely approve of this project.

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,

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