I go to Reddit for a lot of things, from stuff stolen from 4chan to stuff that's about to be stolen by Tumblr and everything in between. Well, you can add "a bunch of awesome junk about Stephen Colbert" to that list, because, as promised, Stephen has delivered answers to the top eleven questions submitted and voted on by the Reddit community. Here's the first of the Qs & As:
#1 by Killfile
To this day I'm convinced that your appearance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner was because the Bush Administration didn't understand your show.
Did they? What happened behind the scenes there? Was it more "non-alcoholic beer in the Roosevelt Room" or "Dick Cheney peppering your limo with bird-shot as you beat a hasty retreat?"
I was as surprised as the next guy that I was invited to roast the President and the press corps that spring.
Here's how it works. The White House Press Association (or some name close to that) actually does the inviting, not the President or White House. The president of the press association that year was a man named, I believe, Mark Smith, I think from the AP. He invited me. When all was said and done, I wrote to thank him and said I hoped I hadn't made trouble for him. He said there was zero fallout.
As for the backstage aspects of the night, the President has a nice, small gathering in a room near the banquet hall. The presidential seal is etched into the granite on the floor. A few news anchors, football greats, cabinet members and advisors (I remember Rove and Chertoff, there were others I think), Rich Dahm, Allison Silverman, my brothers and sisters and mom, my wife Evie, and the President and Mrs. Bush. Let me say that the President could not have been nicer, especially to my mother. I have some lovely pictures of her with him. The President and I had a brief conversation before we went on stage. There were in total maybe 60 people at the party, many of whom I should remember more about, but I was pretty focused on my job that night. There was no backstage event after the dinner, but several parties around town.
I had my family up to our room for a drink then hit a party, don't remember which one. We all had a great time. but I had no sense of public reaction until Monday at work.
The entire thing is definitely worth your time. And let's not forget that this was all a display of gratitude to Redditors who have raised more than half-a-million dollar for Donor's Choose. There are still a ton of classrooms that need your help, so be sure to get over there and make a contribution today.
The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30pm / 10:30c.
[Image via Alexis Ohanian]