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A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All - television series DVD / comedy DVD / parody DVD / holiday special DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Elvis Costello, Feist, John Legend, Willie Nelson
Director: Jim Hoskinson   Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
DVD release: 25 November 2008   Runtime: 43 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
Features: Audio tracks (English - 2-channel PCM Stereo), Song performances ("Another Christmas Song" - Stephen Colbert; "Have I Got A Present For You" - Toby Keith; "The Little Dealer Boy" - Stephen Colbert and Willie Nelson; "Can I Interest You In Hannukah" - Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart; "Nutmeg" - Stephen Colbert and John Legend; "Please Be Patient" - Feist; "There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In" - Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello; "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" - Stephen Colbert, Elvis Costello, Feist, Toby Keith, John Legend and Willie Nelson), Video Yule Log of Burning Books, Stephen's 25-Day Video Advent Calendar, Shocking alternate endings, Portion of DVD proceeds benefit the charity Feeding America

Stephen Colbert is holed up in his mountain cabin, writing new Christmas songs he won't have to pay a royalty for. Soon he'll have to leave to tape his Christmas special with Elvis Costello and goats dressed as reindeer. As he prepares to leave, he comes face-to-face with the #1 threat to America: a bear! Left to his cozy cabin, he must do everything in his power to try and get to the studio.

Soon he is visited by a gun-toting Toby Keith. The two lament the loss of Christmas traditions while stringing popcorn. Keith gets so riled up, he bursts into song. So it goes in the holiday specials of yore. Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope - they all followed this time-honored tradition.

After Toby leaves, Stephen is visited in turn by Willie Nelson, John Legend, Feist, and Jon Stewart. They each sing a song with Stephen, and throughout, Stephen feels too threatened to leave his cabin. All of the originally-produced songs are fun and amusing, if not entirely catchy. I love Willie Nelson's "Little Dealer Boy," and though I can't really stomach country music, Keith's "There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In" was enjoyable.

I won't say if Stephen works out all of his bear problems, but I will say that all the musicians and Stephen crank out a pretty heartfelt rendition of Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" before Santa (George Wendt) makes an appearance.

DVD extras include a book-burning yule log loop, which runs about 18 minutes before starting over. Nice touch! There is also a video advent calendar in which Stephen gives us 25 short videos to be viewed as the days pass. While I can't promise that this Christmas special will become a classic, it's worth seeing and sharing with those you love.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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