I watched Stephen Colbert’s A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All last night, and today, every time I think about the show, it still makes me laugh. From start to finish, the show had an inspired lunacy that managed to mock Christmas specials without mocking the holiday itself. And oh, my, is it funny. At one point, I was so helpless with laughter that my spouse asked me if I needed a Heimlich maneuver.
‘Cuz here’s the thing. The show is filled with song, with lyrics to all written by David Javerbaum. And the songs skewer virtually every genre out there. There’s a patriotic country Christmas song, “Have I Got a Present for You,” sung by Toby Keith:
Christmas is as American as apple pie
It’s a late December version of the Fourth of July
And they may go by a different name
But Uncle Sam and Santa Claus are one and the same
Then, Willie Nelson, dressed as a wise man (!), sings a song that is so pretty that, until you hear the chorus, you would swear belongs in the canon of classic Christmas songs. But then you hear the words and you know that it must never be so (except in NORML households):
And like the child born in this manger
This herb is mild yet it is strong
And it brings peace to friend and stranger
Good will to men lies in this bong
There is also a lovely duet between Colbert and Jon Stewart, “Can I Interest You in Hannukah?” But my absolute favorite, the one that prompted the Heimlich offer, is the sexy ode “Nutmeg,” sung by John Legend. Probably not one to sing in front of the wee children:
Girl, I’m going to rock you like a cradle
You lick the nutmeg off my ladle
It’s pure, it’s refined
And it’s ready to grind
Nuttiness this good does not come around often. If you missed this Comedy Central special, don’t be sad. It will show again on Christmas day.
I will never drink eggnog again with the innocence I once did.