Stephen Colbert, "conservative pundit" extraordinaire, is out to save Christmas. And one of his first salvos was to pen "Another Christmas Song," which last week kicked off his incredibly modestly titled special, "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All."
Comedy Central is hoping to start a new tradition with "The Greatest Gift of All." The network gifted the show to viewers so often last week, it reminded me of how "It's a Wonderful Life" used to be on continuous loop on some network somewhere during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. After airing it first on Sunday, Nov. 23, Comedy Central aired encore performances Tuesday, Wednesday, Thanksgiving night and Friday afternoon.
Unlike "It's A Wonderful Life," which we imagine draws a lot of moms and grandmas, "The Greatest Gift of All" was a hit with young men. Overall, 2.3 million viewers tuned in on Sunday night to give it a 1.1 rating, but its rating among young men ages 18-24 was a 2.4.
And Comedy Central is hoping many of those viewers will buy the DVD edition of the special (which includes an 18-minute book-burning Yule Log), and download the album, available on iTunes. The digital album includes the nine songs featured in the one-hour special, sung by a surprisingly good Colbert and guests Elvis Costello, Feist, Toby Keith, John Legend and Willie Nelson. (The other surprise is the singing chops of "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, who sings about Hanukkah.)
But don't worry, Colbert definitely remembers the reason for the season, and a portion of the sales of the DVD and album will go to a charitable organization, Feeding America, a nationwide network of member food banks. So no need to feel guilty about this pleasure.
Go ahead, do as Stephen's new ditty instructs us:
"Make it part of your holiday planning, make it the heart of my retirement planning. Do sing another Christmas song!" (copyright Stephen Colbert).