According to the USO, in the history of television no one has ever done a week of shows from a combat zone that is until Steven Colbert announced on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report that he is taking his show to the Persian Gulf. Colbert’s announcement is great news for the troops who get too little live entertainment.
Here is the funny video of Colbert’s announcement:
Colbert’s bit in the video above about not being allowed to disclose where he will be filming is actually true. Here is the official announcement,”The Colbert Report will be the first TV show in USO history to produce more than one episode in a combat zone. As part of the tour, the series will shoot a week of shows at an undisclosed location to be broadcast on COMEDY CENTRAL (dates TBA).” This is a terrific idea not only for Colbert’s show but for the troops.
It is no big secret that celebrities have gone on USO tours to meet the troops, but few of them, except for comedians, have gone to entertain the troops. The USO has struggled to get top talent to go the Gulf. So far in 2009, the biggest singer that the USO has featured has been James Taylor, and he didn’t go to the Persian Gulf. The NFL tour is scheduled to be there in 2009, Gary Sinese and the Lt. Dan Band will be there. In fact, most of the acts listed on their schedule are not going to the Gulf. Trace Adkins and Toby Keith were the biggest singers to perform for the troops in the Gulf last year.
This is why Colbert’s taping in the Gulf is such a big deal. The WWE is the other big entertainment event that has made a yearly tradition out of going to the Gulf. I don’t mean to demean anyone who takes the times to go meet the troops, but as far as actual entertainment goes the USO slate has been pretty weak over last couple of years. We all know that it is dangerous in Iraq and especially Afghanistan, but don’t the people who are serving over there deserve a little quality entertainment? I am sure that Colbert will put on a heck of a show, but it would be nice if more entertainers followed his lead.