Stephen Colbert | "American Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't"

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 11.12.2012

ERIC SCHMIDT: Welcome to Google.
STEPHEN COLBERT: A pleasure to be here in the flesh.
I watch you guys online all the time, really great show.
It's slow, but you just never know where the plot's going.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Jim DeMint has just announced--
STEPHEN COLBERT: Jim DeMint, yes, yeah.
Jim's a friend, but go ahead.
ERIC SCHMIDT: He's just announced that he's retiring.
And it occurs to me that you might want to-- you're from
South Carolina originally, I think?
I'm from South Carolina, the palmetto state.
ERIC SCHMIDT: You might want to run for Senate.
STEPHEN COLBERT: No, I do not want to run for Senate.
I want Nikki Haley to just appoint me to senate.
That's the great thing, people are asking me, are you going
to run for Senate?
And like, no, why would you run?
She just gets to say, it's you.
So, yeah, while I'm honored by what you're implying and by
the groundswell that I've felt.
But obviously, that's something I have to take up
with my family and my pastor before I decide whether to
take that position.
Is there another question, Senator?

ERIC SCHMIDT: Do you think Bill O'Reilly would be a
better choice?
STEPHEN COLBERT: He's not in South Carolina.
But he's a very talented man.
And I sincerely admire his broadcasting abilities.
ERIC SCHMIDT: But, you know, you're locked
in a deathly battle.
STEPHEN COLBERT: With Bill right now?
STEPHEN COLBERT: Oh, you mean over the--
STEPHEN COLBERT: Over the book, exactly.
Bill's got a book called "Killing Kennedy." And I
admire his obsession with terrible things happening to
He's got "Killing Lincoln," "Killing Kennedy," "Sodomizing
that's a kids' book.

He was on John Stewart's show.
And he said his next book is going to be called "Killing
Colbert." And it broke my character's heart so much to
hear Papa Bear say that.
So we launched operation Killing "Killing Kennedy."
Where I'm just telling my audience out there--
I'm not telling you to buy my book.
I don't want to abuse the relationship.
But I'm just reminding them, if you're going to buy my
book-- and you are--
if you're going to buy my book, just do
it all in one week.
So we can leapfrog at least one of his killing books.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Which week do you want us to all your book?
STEPHEN COLBERT: Right now, as we speak.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Right now.
This week.
Go right now.
Go to a local bookstore, a small bookstore, a big
bookstore, online,
ERIC SCHMIDT: Your book is on Google Play.
STEPHEN COLBERT: What does that mean?

ERIC SCHMIDT: It's our online store.
You're going to end up being your best--
STEPHEN COLBERT: I know all about Google Play.
STEPHEN COLBERT: So go to Google Play.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Absolutely.
STEPHEN COLBERT: And what happens there?
ERIC SCHMIDT: People are going to pay you lots of money to
buy your book.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Well, then it's a wonderful service.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Excellent.
STEPHEN COLBERT: So you go there, and you
can click on it?
It's like going to, it's like that one that's named after a
You go to that one.
ERIC SCHMIDT: You click on it and you get it?
It's the competitor to the rainforest.
ERIC SCHMIDT: And further more--
STEPHEN COLBERT: Because we got to preserve that
We got to stop making books out of that rainforest.
Do you get a physical book from you guys?
Or is it all the ebook thing?
ERIC SCHMIDT: It's an ebook thing.
STEPHEN COLBERT: It's only ebook?
ERIC SCHMIDT: You can get a physical, too.
We'll sell you one of those.
ERIC SCHMIDT: We'll get it through your publisher.
ERIC SCHMIDT: At list price, no less.
At less price?
ERIC SCHMIDT: At list price.
STEPHEN COLBERT: At list price?
At list price.
So go to Google + for no deal.
If you're willing to pay list-- which you should.
Because if you pay list price they include more book.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Understood.
STEPHEN COLBERT: I'm not going to give this
stuff away for free.
"America Again, Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never
Weren't." Has to be written this way, because clearly our
country's in trouble, yes?
STEPHEN COLBERT: OK, you can tell because I am the country.
And I'm all beaten up on the cover here.
We want to re-become the greatness, right?
But if I said we never were, then that would mean America
was never great, right?
STEPHEN COLBERT: But if I said that we presently aren't, that
would mean I'm criticizing America, which you
mustn't ever do.
Therefore, it's America again, re-becoming the greatness we
never weren't.
Unless you've got something bad to say about
America, Eric Schmidt.
Do you have something bad to say about America?
Because let me know.
Because I'm sure all these people and YouTube would love
to know what problem you've got with the US of A, mister.
Because I don't.
And I've proven it with a title that makes no sense.
ERIC SCHMIDT: In this doctrine of American exceptionalism,
right, which is I think what the book is actually about.
STEPHEN COLBERT: It is about and that's the first chapter.
It is the thesis statement, American exceptionalism.
Rules don't apply to us.
ERIC SCHMIDT: OK, so if that's true, how does America become
great if the rules don't apply to us?
STEPHEN COLBERT: Buy the book.
Every chapter tells us how to return to what we already know
is the right thing, is to reject socialism, reject
collectivism, and go with the gut.
We even have a chapter just on food.
Why America is the crispest, crunchiest, most corn-fed
nation on earth.
And if you are what you eat, then just put a stick up our
butt, and we're all corn dogs walking around.

ERIC SCHMIDT: In preparing for this book did you study the
amendments to the Constitution?
And did you have any opinions about the amendments?

STEPHEN COLBERT: I always have opinions about the amendments
of the Constitution.
I mean everybody's got their top, like what their top 10
amendments are.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Do you have a top you like?
STEPHEN COLBERT: My number one would probably
be the Second Amendment.
And my number two would probably
be the First Amendment.
And then probably my third would be the Seventh.
My fourth would be the 10th.
Fifth would be the Ninth.
Sixth would be the Eighth.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Is everybody writing this down?
STEPHEN COLBERT: Yeah, get this down, because I don't
have a rationale behind it.
No, but there's nothing about the Constitution in the book.
ERIC SCHMIDT: But the Constitution allows
this book to be.
It's free speech.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Well, sure, no, no, no--

STEPHEN COLBERT: The Second Amendment allows
this book to exist.
ERIC SCHMIDT: The First Amentment--
STEPHEN COLBERT: Because if anybody stopped-- no, no, the
Second Amendment.
Because if anybody stopped me from publishing this book, I
would shoot them in the face.

Do you understand me?
Do you understand me?
Are we clear?
ERIC SCHMIDT: That's very, very clear.
STEPHEN COLBERT: It does, the Second Amendment guarantees
all other liberties.
AUDIENCE: Why did comedy, kind of, become your
thing, do you think?
Or did comedy kind of pick you?
STEPHEN COLBERT: Well, that's a nice way of putting it.
That's a nice way of putting it.
I would say, I can't under emphasize how important comedy
has been to my life.
And how important certain opportunities that came along
to my life, and many of them seem sort of accidental.
I went to college to be an actor.
But an actor, actor.
I wore black and I had a beard.
I was like, let me share my misery with you, you know.
And then I accidentally met some people from Second City
and took some classes there and got invited to audition.
And accidentally, just sort of a happy accident, fell in with
some great people.
And I quit Second City four times.
I kept on returning to doing comedy.
And I was backstage one night.
And this is really the thing that made the decision for me.
Somebody was on stage, and they were supposed to do a
very simple blackout.
A blackout is a very short-- it's got one joke, and then
the lights go out.
This is Second City.
It's a pace keeper for the show.
She goes out there and the blackout is this, she goes--
you're supposed to say, I'd like to do a song for you now.
Welcome to the No Exit Cafe.
I'd like to do a song for you right now.
A song for the whales.
And then you tune up your guitar for a long time.
This is a song for the whales.
And then you go--
STEPHEN COLBERT: It's very simple.
You do whistle and clicks and everything.
It's fine.
Not a great laugh.
But it works every time.
She goes out there to do it.
I'd like to do a song for you right now.
I'd like to do a song for you right now.
She just goes into her whistling and her clicking.
And we're backstage waiting to go on for the next
scene, me and Dave.
And we said, it's not getting any laughs.
This is fool proof.
No laughs at all.
What's going on?
Something's wrong.
And then she goes, oh, I forgot it's song for whales.

And we burst into laughter backstage.
And we threw our arms around each other in the
agony of her failure.
And just laughing, we fell like a collapsing teepee.
We just fell to the ground.
And Dave's feet went out onto stage, like this.
As we held each other like lovers.
The most intimate, joyful experience at her pain, that
we all knew.
And she could hear it happen, and the audience
could see our feet.
And she started laughing at how wonderfully
she had just failed.
And I thought at that moment, this is what I want.
If failure of this scale can cause this much joy for any
one, then this is the healthiest thing that I could
do with the rest of my life.
And I will do nothing else.
And I've never looked back from that moment.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Stephen Colbert, thank you very much.