New York: Dude, I touched Stephen Colbert!   Leave a comment

I am a zombie.



Its 8:25, and I’m walking in a group of people all going the same pace. There are dozens of us; bleary eyed, tall and short, fat and skinny. We are all venturing to our respective jobs, lives and careers. We are the zombie nation.

I’m officially part of the New York collective. I’ve been living here for three days, which certainly hasn’t made me run to the rooftops and shout “I’m a New Yorker!” like so many do… but I’m starting to feel integrated. 


I think I’ll starve here if I don’t figure out a plan soon. First, I’m not sure what the popular supermarket is here. There are so many little corner stores (with sandwiches that sell for …oh …six bucks) that I’m started to get frightened. Gone are the days I could run down to the Giant and buy ten cans of tuna for ten dollars, and five packs of spaghetti for three dollars.

I went into a Chipotle yesterday and was shocked to see that a chicken burrito is $7.16. Even Mcdonald’s is marginally more expensive, with the usually combo deals a dollar to a dollar fifty over the prices I’m used to.

Then transportation… but I won’t get into that. These things don’t bother me ( at least for the moment since I have food in my stomach and a place to live) but should the day come that I actually live here, I can see how a large portion of your disposable income could be sucked into this nodoz city.

Since I just came back from France and Berlin, being in New York feels like the third stop of a really long trip I’ve been taking. I’ve already indulged in chatting to random people, including a few hot school teachers, some friendly Greek women and an actress that goes to NYU (and has a boyfriend of course).

As luck would have it, I ventured out for an hour or so last night and went to the most DC-esque bar I could find. I feel sad about this. My social radar is so attuned to the bars in DC (i.e lots of wooden panels, beer taps and filled with ivy-leaguers). It was then I noticed one thing I didn’t really like about DC …at least where I normally went.


It was a little too Ivy-league. A little too college.


New York is supposed to be a treasure trove of artistic venues, filled with open-minded and artistic people with artistic places and stuff to do! ( can I say ‘artistic’ again?)


So we’ll see what happens. I’ll report on the upcoming weekend. I will venture forth into some artsy spots.


The Col-bird report


I’m working at Comedy Central for the summer, which gives me certain advantages.  Like possibly meeting really cool people, and maybe getting the hookup for certain things. The nature of my internship is really really cool, meaning I can’t say much about what I’m doing.


For example, “ Yesterday I was assigned to ___________ for ___________ which is a ne__ tha___ fo__ on ________ hubba hubba!”


In other words, I can’t really say anything. Maybe one day in a tell-all book. But for now, I am a lowly intern… with his own desk!


So yesterday I got access to the Colbert Report and it was pretty cool.  First you wait in an little area before the show starts, and then we were seated ( I was right up front) and we were entertained for a little while by a stand-up comedian. He did a good job of warming up the crowd. Naturally, (as the only black person there) as some point he referenced me as “the black guy” in a joke. It was actually funny, but the second time he called me “the black guy” I said, “I have a name.”

He asked for my name and then said I look like Djimon Honsou. “But he’s bald.” I said.

The comedian continued. “Doesn’t he look like the actor from Amistad?” he said to the crowd. Apparently no one had watched Amistad in  New York. However, I knew I didn’t look like Honsou at all, so I made a mas o menos hand gesture. Then the comedian gave a name of a black actor I’m not familiar with. I helped him out.

“Sometimes I get the 7up guy.” I said. “Whoa, “ he replied. “I know him, do you know his name?” Godfrey flashed into my mind. “His name is Godfrey.” The guy said.

“Fine fine.” The comedian continued. “I tell the guy he looks like a good-looking celebrity and I get static!”

I laughed. Later he would walk around telling people where they were from. He pegged a few Aussies very well, took a while to figure out where this Lithuanian man was from, pointed out two gay couples (including one guy wearing an 80’s style headband) and then said I was an actor.

This is half-true… “acting” is a new addition to my list of talents… so I said. “Well… I’ve done some acting, but I’m a writer.” The comedian points on me and says, “Artist! See I know. Give it to me. Give it to meeeeee.”

That was his answer whenever he was correct.


At this point Stephen Colbert came out. By then we were rearing to go.  Colbert looks more well built to me in person, and not as tall as I expected, but he is relatively tall, at least six feet. (He seemed to be around my height, and I’m 6’1). The show went without a hitch.

Its always cool to see people in 3d when you haven’t seen them in person. Colbert seemed larger than life. He was very high energy, and naturally witty. Like most people in the audience, I was pretty excited to be there. We were instructed to laugh as loud as possible for jokes, which was easy, because the show is very funny. 

I touched Colbert three times. 

The first time he ran out like a gazelle, high-fiving everyone (including moi) to a roar of applause. Then, we have a few minutes to ask him some questions. I said to him, “I’m from Jamaica! What do you have to say to Jamaica?”. For a moment his large, tv-start face furrowed. Then he replied, ” I dunno… Top o’ the morning!” in an Irish accent. The audience laughed.

“I don’t know what i– IRIE RASTAFARI!” he shouted, leaning back like a rockstar hitting the high note. It was HILARIOUS. At that point, he walked over to me and extended his hand. “Welcome.” he said. 

I shook Colbert’s hand! Thats’ touch number two. 

At the end of the show, he shook my hand once more, as cameras captured random footage. Afterwards I left and headed home. I groaned at more expensive delis around and ended up dining at taco bell for dinner. 

Its cool to be in New York. More later. The search for finding cool artsy chick ensues.




Posted June 11, 2008 by marcusbird in Uncategorized

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