From Brian: Five Things About Appearing on The Colbert Report

Thursday, November 07, 2013 - 08:57 AM

On Wednesday night, Brian was invited to the Colbert Report to speak with Stephen about the New York City mayor's race and more. A few of Brian's takeaways:

  • The entire staff is gracious and professional. Some are even listeners!
  • They pre-interviewed me on the day before, which I guess helps Stephen and the producers write jokes. 
  • Stephen himself was very nice, touching base with me out of character before the taping.
  • It's a real trick to be a guest on that show, because you're there to deliver some kind of real information or opinion, but wrapped in the context of talking to the fake blowhard character.
  • The best advice I got from his producers was to talk to him like he was some rich drunk idiot at a bar.

Below is video of the appearance, and a few behind-the-scenes pictures taken by the BL Show staff, who also got to attend the taping.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive


Brian's Note in the Guest Book (Dr J Was On The Day Before)


Art in the Green Room

The Spread in the Green Room



More in:

Comments [47]

Susan F.

You couldn't have done a better job, Brian. And in the process, you did manage to convey the gist of what de Blasio's election means for most New Yorkers. Two very different masters of very different media collaborating brilliantly.

Dec. 20 2013 02:44 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Brian was smart enough not to talk too much, not to fall too deep into Colbert's comedic traps and get his "tuchis" handed to him.

Nov. 19 2013 10:51 AM
John from Wantagh

Okay, inquiring minds want to know - when is Colbert going to return the favor and appear on TBLS?

Nov. 13 2013 11:28 PM
stan chaz from Brooklyn

I guess we have different definitions os "shine"....

Nov. 13 2013 08:30 PM
Eileen Ryan from New York

A sustaining member could not imagine my
Morning without Brian but yeah could loosen
Up a little

Nov. 13 2013 06:09 PM
Morty Sklar from Jackson Heights, Queens

Love you, man—long time listener (not a long time host, though).

Nov. 13 2013 06:00 PM
Laura from Park Slope

Two of the most duping figures around, seemingly liberal and open, but both fostering the complacency and acceptance under the guise of inquiry and critique that well serves the empire.

Nov. 11 2013 02:57 PM
esther shin from NYC

I Heart Brian Lehrer. Pinko. HA!

Nov. 10 2013 08:36 AM
Irene from Westchester

I was really proud to see our own Brian Lehrer on Colbert. It's a token of Stephen's respect for him that he was invited. BTW, great job, Brian, though at times it looked a little like you really thought he WAS a rich drunk.

Was that all the food there was in the green room? Looked pretty skimpy.

Nov. 09 2013 11:15 AM
Ottawa Dave from Ottawa, Canada

Wow! Stephen Colbert truly is a national, world, and generational treasure. He finds the most wonderful people to expose, and I am glad I now know who Brian Lehrer is. What a great interview, and a great man to have at WNYC.

Nov. 08 2013 09:19 PM
Joe from Oyster Bay LI

That was great! Nice job. Thank you WNYC for the clip from the show which I go to bed too early to watch. Having now actually seen Brian Leher, I'll never be able to listen to him the same again! :-)

Nov. 08 2013 12:07 PM

Good job! At first you looked a little stiff -- perhaps wary of what he (his character) might throw at you. I would imagine a guest really needs to think fast for a Colbert interview.

Nov. 08 2013 11:40 AM
Jessica Bram from Westport, Conn.

I hadn't the slightest doubt that Brian would ace this completely, with his usual brilliance and articulate poise. And thank you for sharing that terrific advice, that I'm going to now use when encountering most people throughout my day: to approach a person "like he was some rich drunk idiot at a bar."

Nov. 08 2013 09:53 AM
Nick from UWS

Holy cow, that looked tough, when you have a basically serious and earnest guy like Brian in the hot seat with Colbert, an unbelievably sharp, fast and aggressive wit and consummate actor, without a glimmer of character uncertainty. I've seen Colbert make people stammer, or sink into complete silence, so overwhelming can he be. Brian did a great job.

Nov. 08 2013 09:06 AM
Stoney from Flatbush from Flatbush

Great job by both of playing "straight man" (in the comedic sense) to each other.

Nov. 08 2013 09:06 AM
James D'Addio from nyc

We all love Brian wish he could loosen up however because he is brilliant and quick witted..

Nov. 08 2013 08:49 AM
Nick from UWS

Brian, this is terrific! Thanks so much for your great appearance on Colbert, and this fascinating glimpse behind the scenes! I love this page.

Nov. 08 2013 08:47 AM
witchhazie from Central NJ

I am so used to listening to Brian's voice, it was a little strange to the system to actually SEE him while he spoke. His performance only makes me happier than ever I support WNYC, which not only provides superlative news coverage, but now is totally cool!

Nov. 08 2013 08:11 AM
Mindy from Pittsburgh

What a great surprise to see you on Colbert! I'm addicted to WNYC (also a sustaining member)!

Nov. 08 2013 07:32 AM
LP Spagnoletti from Maine

As someone else has said, it was a real treat to see two of my all-time favorite public figures on one show... Well done Brian and Stephen!!!

Nov. 07 2013 09:41 PM
jim blann

you are the best. i love your show and listen to it whenever i can. you bring dignity and depth to many subjects. thanks so much for being who you are. you are one of the big reasons that i support wnyc.

Nov. 07 2013 09:37 PM

Well done!

Nov. 07 2013 09:29 PM

Great fun. You comported yourself well. Not an easy task with someone as fast and funny as Colbert.

Nov. 07 2013 08:16 PM
Naomi from Washington DC

Two of my heroes! So wonderful to watch you together.

Nov. 07 2013 07:53 PM
TR from NJ

I loved it! Great job, Brian! We really need to see more of you!

Nov. 07 2013 04:49 PM
Cathy from NJ

That was the best!!! Great job, Brian!

Nov. 07 2013 03:40 PM

W O R L D S C O L L I D I N G ! !

Nov. 07 2013 01:15 PM
jym from Brooklyn


Nov. 07 2013 01:09 PM
Martin from NJ

The questioning looks much easier than I suspect it really is to handle. Nice job.

Nov. 07 2013 12:49 PM
Mary Aileen from Scranton, PA

My favorite guys!

Nov. 07 2013 12:44 PM
David from Brooklyn

That was great, but weird. It was basically watching my radio and tv make out.

Nov. 07 2013 12:28 PM
dChill from Staten Island

Been a regular listener for years. Love Brian's gentlemanly demeanor and thoughtfulness.
So happy to see Brian get national recognition.

Nov. 07 2013 12:26 PM
Chantal from NY currently in exile in DC


Nov. 07 2013 12:12 PM
Eric from San Francisco

I was curious how you were going to handle Colbert and you did a great job!!! Was great seeing you on TV. I listen from SF every morning.

Nov. 07 2013 11:47 AM
Lincoln Ramirez from Woodside, NY

I watched TCR last night and as long time fan was pleasantly surprised to see Mr. Lehrer as the guest. Well done, Sir! You held your own brilliantly!

Nov. 07 2013 11:43 AM
William Magruder from Hoboken

I was so glad to see that Stephen shares the RESPECT we all have for Brian.

Nov. 07 2013 11:41 AM
Helen Stavrou from Murray Hill

Great going, Brian. You parried the professional parrier wurth aplomb.

Nov. 07 2013 11:37 AM
Anne from New Jersey

You were such a great straight-man for Colbert, yet he let you get your poinst across. It was fun to see you in the reversed role as "interviewee" rather than your normal role as interviewer.

Nov. 07 2013 11:33 AM
Teddy O. from NYC/Palm Springs


Congratulations! I love your radio show. I love catching your TV show when in New York. But seeing you with Colbert was a classic for all the ages. How I laughed! You two had such chemistry. And best of all -- you held your own. No easy task with Colbert.

You staggle me!
From a fan.

Nov. 07 2013 11:24 AM
Meg from Stamford, CT

Handled like a pro-it looked like BL was trying really hard not to burst out laughing with joy.

Nov. 07 2013 11:20 AM
Robert from NYC

You done good Brian, You might now get the Colbert bump. Was one of the better interviews I've seen on Colbert.

Nov. 07 2013 11:14 AM
Robert Henrichs from Long Island, NY

Outstanding interview!

Nov. 07 2013 11:13 AM
Jean Marie from Queens


You and Colbert are the new Lewis and Martin. (Who? Look it up.)

You've got a brilliant future on TV as a straight man! It was fun to see you control your desire to laugh out loud and stick to the message. Colbert is so canny and on point.

Great job.

Nov. 07 2013 11:08 AM
janny1006 from jersey city

Colbert usually never lets his guests finish a sentence or a thought, but that was not the case here! Great job Brian!

Nov. 07 2013 11:04 AM
Tim from Nyack, NY

It's funny... Even through that blow-hard character he plays, one can sense he's a decent person.

Nov. 07 2013 10:55 AM

Great appearance Brian! But that's some messy handwriting. It kind of looks like you're left handed and tried to write with your right hand. Kudos to your staff who have to decipher that writing daily.

Nov. 07 2013 10:53 AM
Pete from Queens

Love it!

Nov. 07 2013 10:20 AM

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