Stephen Colbert's holiday special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All was conveniently timed to come out on DVD two days after it premiered on Comedy Central, which is fitting, because by the time you get to the end, you realize you've been watching an extra-long commercial for the DVD version all along. But with all of the hilarious extras on the disc, it's okay (in this case) to fall for the spiel hook, line and sinker. Hell, they should have advertised the soundtrack album, too, because that alone is worth having, if only for car-trip sing-alongs. Here's what you get if you spring for the DVD, instead of just watching it on the teevee.
Live Audience Track: For those who prefer canned laughter with their store-bought good cheer.
Alternate Endings: That's right, the special has alternate endings, endings that I can only assume didn't quite gel with the director's ideas about how a holiday special should end. The first one concludes with a pretty lackluster "It was all a dream" ending, and is barely worth the five seconds it takes to watch. The second (and best) has Jon Stewart returning to the cabin to tell Stephen that there's been an accident and that they're the last two people on Earth. Tempers flare, and a Twilight Zone ending results. The third starts off with the bear entering the cabin as Stephen begins to sing "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding," but this time the bear doesn't sing along, if you get my drift.
Burning Book Yule Log: This is pretty much just one of those video fireplaces, but every now and then someone throws a big stack of books on it. Perfect for your next literary society get-together!
Bonus Song: Cold, Cold Christmas For this song, which is completely outside the realm of the story, Colbert dons a cowboy outfit and sings a song about wishing for a cold Christmas, one that will match his ex-girlfriend's cold heart, and possibly freeze her new boyfriend to death. It's like Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas," but a lot more vengeful.
Video Advent Calendar: This really seemed like a good idea at first, to both Stephen and me, but after the introduction on Day 1, Colbert is stumped, and actually asks how many more of these he has to do... on Day 2. Day 3 had him wrapping himself up like a present, preparing to mail himself to the viewers at home, which seemed a little cutesy for Colbert. (He was very kittenlike.) I didn't watch any further, given the vehement instructions I received in Day 1 not to read more than one a day, but expect more brief vignettes.
Stuff your stocking by buying it now!