Wow, what an episode! The Ben Franklin bit was lame as always but aside from that this episode rocked. I don't know how they managed to get not only John Edwards, but Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama, but I'm really glad they did.
But lets start at the beginning. The show opened with one of the still not funny dialogs with "Ben Franklin". I get it, they are in Philly and want us to know it. (As if the massive graphics in the openening and the countless mentions weren't a clue!) Fortunately the rest of the episode more than made up for it.
Then there was a badly contrived scene with Hillary Clinton fixing Stephen's screen and pretty much taking control of the show. Loved it. Maybe it's just me, but I think Hillary Clinton is most entertaining when she's really forcing herself to be funny. Adding to that was the fact that she clearly had no idea what all the technical terms mean. Still, you have to respect her for trying.
It followed Stephen's review of the last Clinton vs. Obama debate. Meaningless questions for the candidates, the old "Does not wearing a flag pin make you unpatriotic?" and attributing other people's opinions to your own even though you barely know them. Not very new points, but highly entertaining.
Next up was the regular guest, Congressman Patrick Murphy. He is the only member of Congress to have served in Iraq. ("I don't want you to think that just because you served in Iraq that you have a better idea of what should happen there than me.") Sadly this guest probably did not get the attention he deserved due to the big names in this episode, but that made the interview not less interesting and funny. Next was my favorite part of the show. "The word". Well, it wasn't really "the word" but the "edWords" since John Edwards did it. I have to admit, that someone other than Stephen doing "the word" worried me, but it turned out really great. (But don't make a habit out of it, okay?)
He didn't take himself serious at all and let them get away with a lot more than the still running candidates. (for obvious reasons) Also Edwards may be the only person I know you can cover the different topics of universal health care, the working class, jet skies and his desire to become a spy in one speech. Gotta love him for that. *g*
Last but not least the Report finished up with Barack Obama joining Stephen via satellite. ("Won't Senator Clinton be happy that she fixed our screen.") They talked about manufactured political distractions. Obama even put "distractions" on notice and acknowledge grizzly bears as the number one threat to America. Well played. This episode worked as well as it did because they managed to maintain the format of the show and still include the "special guests" in regular segments. (Clinton in the off screen "Jimmy" bit, Edwards in the "edWords", Obama with the "on notice board")
If you like the show you really should watch this episode (the clips are all online on the Report's official site), if you don't know the show this is a great place to start and if you don't like the show, well, you won't like this episode either, because it's pure Colbert.