So Stephen Colbert is getting an honorary degree from Northwestern, his undergraduate alma mater (along with pioneering computer scientist Barbara Liskov, opera great Jessye Norman, and human rights/death penalty expert William Schabas). It’s well-deserved; he’s come a long way since Take Me Out to the Balkans, the Second City revue—also featuring Steve Carrell and Amy Sedaris—that inspired T.J. Jagodowski to be an improviser. And since “How Not to Communicate,” circa 1990 (audio’s a little scratchy; also, he looked like Robert Downey Jr.):
It’s nice to see him recognized by Northwestern, but I can think of a much greater honor that, to my knowledge, has never been bestowed on Colbert. Despite having a bug named after him, he hasn’t sung “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley. And on the weekend he gets hooded, the Yankees will be in town. Hmm….
He knows the mythology:
He knows the district:
And unlike many of the seventh-inning-stretch singers, he can actually sing:
Heck, why not the national anthem too?
PS: As much as I love the Colbert Report, and his performance at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, my favorite Colbert work is “Even Stevphen,” his old Daily Show series with fellow Second City alum Steve Carrell. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a masterpiece.