The Colbert Report

Season 4 Episode 77

David Hajdu

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Jun 11, 2008 on Comedy Central
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David Hajdu
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Tonight Stephen welcomes journalist and author of The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, David Hajdu.
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    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (4)

      • Stephen: Well, the airline industry may have found a solution, which brings us to tonight's Word: U.S. Airweighs. The airlines have tried just about everything to deal with increased fuel costs: fees for checked baggage, flying slower, but now they might take an even more drastic measure.

        [Video: Dana Kozlov: But in addition to baggage, passengers can be told to stand on a scale like this one and then they might be charged based on their weight.]

        Stephen: Yes! Pay by the pound just like ground round! I assume they'll then just slap a price sticker on the passenger's thighs. (UPC stripes very slimming) This is great, not just for the airlines, it's also great for the passengers. It's about time we Americans took a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror. (Better be a wide mirror) You see, according to the American Obesity Association: "Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight." And if the news is any indication, none of them have heads. So sad. Imagine how much they would weigh then. Being forced to weigh in every time you want to travel would be a great motivation to lose that spare tire. (Not to mention your surplus ass) You see it's embarrassing enough when your doctor tells you to get on the scale, now replace your doctor with a ticket agent, (Your HMO is about to) then add 50 people in line behind you watching. (And blogging) And you know, who better than to dish out tough love than airlines. From scanning our bodies to making us sit on the tarmac for hours with no bathroom breaks to subjecting us to The Lake House at 30,000 feet, they have a lot of experience at making our lives miserable.

        And this proposed plan could be good for the entire country, it could set off a domino effect. (If we stop eating at Domino's) You see to lose weight in order to fly we're going to eat less and that will lower the demand for food. (Or whatever it is Americans eat) Now if there's a lower demand for food we're using less petroleum to grow it and transport it from modern, automated factory farms. (With a bleep blorp here and a bleep blorp there) Then if we eat less we'll use less oil and that could bring fuel prices down. (Hello $3.99 a gallon!) And you know if fuel costs go down airlines won't have to charge us by weight, which is good because we can't let them charge by weight. I couldn't think of anything more horrible. (Except give us a middle seat in coach)

        And that's the Word.

      • Stephen Colbert: In the 1950s, with segregation and the fear of nuclear annihilation, where did these politicians find the courage to go after comic books?
        David Hajdu: Politicians are a fearless lot, then and now, and identified, I think rightly, something that was deeply influential in these comics.
        Stephen Colbert: Is there any chance that this entire book and your entire argument here is merely a rationalization for you not throwing out your old copies of Plastic Man?

      • Stephen Colbert: My guest tonight says that comic books changed America. Well, they certainly encouraged scientists to get sloppy with their radioactive experiments. Please welcome David Hajdu.

      • Colbert: "Die Tageszeitung" [German Newspaper] claims the headline was merely an attempt at satire. Now, as a rule, Germans shouldn't do humor.

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    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Stephen Colbert: As a rule, Germans shouldn't do humor. To date, their country's biggest box office comedy was Nosferatu.

        Nosferatu is a famous, very somber, silent 1922 Dracula film.

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