11.20.2007

Pre-Holiday Roundup: A Report on Stephen Colbert at Times Talks, Wall Street Jitters and Parade Balloon Inflation Information

• Last Friday I went to see Stephen Colbert at the Times Talks series, sponsored by The New York Times at The Times Center. Colbert was interviewed by Deborah Solomon, a writer for The New York Times. Stephen Colbert showed up as himself, the nice and smart satirist and human being, as opposed to the bombastic right-wing nut he hilariously plays on TV.

In answering Solomon's questions, Colbert was relaxed, genuinely funny and keenly intelligent. Solomon tried a bit too hard at times to be funny herself, a mistake, and I think she missed a few opportunities to follow up on some of Colbert's comments. Some of the more interesting subjects of discussion included his Catholic faith, the rigorous work schedule of his Comedy Central show (that's now in reruns due to the writer's strike), and his admiration for Jon Stewart. As he clearly displayed a strong sense of ease with himself, I was struck, too, with his skills as an actor, as he can clearly differentiate himself from the Stephen Colbert character he plays on TV.

• Wall Street is woeful at the time of this posting. I've started to notice how many times the business writers use the word "woes" in describing downturns of the stock market.

• The inflation of the balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place on Wednesday, the day before the parade, on 77th and 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Ave. Viewing hours are from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Image: DN-0088666, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

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