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You know it is not an average day when going on the Colbert Report is not the strangest thing that happens to you

So I survived my interview on the Colbert Report. He asked crazy questions. I smiled and did the best I could. At least I did better than this guy, which was my goal. Not much interesting to report really, except that before the show, Colbert introduced himself and made sure that I understood that in real life he is not a moron, he just plays one on TV. Also, in the spirit of the Daily Show, the Colbert Report gives out great goody bags. I can’t say everything that was in there because most of it will end up in my wife’s Christmas stocking, but they give you some pretty bizarre stuff, like enough Altoids to last a normal person two lifetimes.

Here’s a trivia question for economics buffs: what economic fact did Colbert unintentionally get completely wrong during the interview? You have to be a real geek to know the answer to this one.

The really strange part of the day, however, happened earlier. I agreed to be part of an ad campaign that will benefit my favorite charity, SmileTrain. (Just to be clear, this is not an ad for SmileTrain, it is an ad for a commercial venture, and in return for my participation, they are donating money to the charity of my choice.) As part of that, I had to have my picture taken. Couldn’t they just use a picture I already had? Nope. They needed a new picture.

They gave me an address to show up at. I ring the bell and the door opens and there are about 20 people there. I figured I had the wrong address, but they said no come on in. In addition to me and the photographer, there are 3 people helping the photographer, one “groomer,” two wardrobe people, 3 people from the ad agency, 4 people from the place where the ad will run, 3 people in charge of filming the whole thing for the “behind the scenes making of the ad video,” and 3 more people I never could figure out what they were doing there.

They told me I looked absolutely fabulous in what I was wearing, but how about if they just changed my shirt, sweater, and pants? Conveniently, they had two dozen shirts, a dozen sweaters, and as many pairs of jeans, all in my size. The two wardrobe experts found just the right combination. Then it was on to the groomer. Not only did she fix my hair and give me makeup, she clipped my nails and perfected my cuticles, just in case. Then on to the main course, the photographer, whose name is Platon. I was starting to get the idea that he was not just your run-of-the-mill photographer. Indeed, he has shot everyone from Bill Clinton to Pamela Anderson (dressed only in an American flag). CNN has a neat interview with Platon, although at least on my computer the visuals are about the size of a pinhead. Or, you can buy a coffee table collection of his works, cleverly titled Platon’s Republic.

Those of you who know me know that I hate to be photographed. I can’t stand looking at cameras and I get very grumpy very fast. Rarely, however, have I had more fun doing anything than I had with Platon. He’d put me in some kind of pose, and when he liked the way the shot looked he would scream “WICKED!” Every time he did it, I practically fell down laughing. But that was good, because it gave the wardrobe specialists and groomers the chance to fix my various problems. One or two times he really got excited and then he would yell “WICKED…WICKED…FUCKING WICKED!!!” Rudy Giuliani calls him, appropriately, “Mr. Wicked.”

After hundreds of shots we were done. I’m happy to say I kept my clothes on the whole time…no rolling around naked in the American flag for me, although I am a little disappointed that he didn’t even ask.