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Defying Reality

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(Noise of a slamming door offstage. STEPHEN comes striding out into frame, furiously adjusting his tie. An exasperated JON follows.)

JON
Stephen, why couldn't you have kept things realistic for once, instead of being so demanding?

I hope you're happy!
I hope you're happy now
I hope you're happy how you've scared off our investors
With things not market-tested

STEPHEN
I hope you're happy!
I hope you're happy, too
I hope you're proud how you would stomp on my ambition
Confine it with tradition

BOTH
So though I can't imagine how
I hope you're happy right now

JON
Stephen, listen to me. Just say you'll fact-check.
You can still have your own news show
What you've worked and waited for
You can have all you ever wanted

STEPHEN
I know
But I don't want that
No – I can't want it anymore

It's time to change the business; some things can't stay the same
I'm through with playing at the old-school journalism game
Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my gut here, close my eyes...and leap

It's time to try defying reality
I think I'll try defying reality
And you can't pull me down!

JON
Stephen, try to understand. You're having delusions of grandeur....

STEPHEN
I'm through accepting limits 'cause science says they're so
They say to check your facts, well, I can make a No Fact Zone
Too long I've been afraid of muddling truth and losing trust
Well, who needs truth? If my opinion's loud enough...

...it's not a lie, just defying reality!
Watch me each night, I'll defy reality
And you can't pull me down!

Jon – do it with me. Think of the ratings we'd get...together.

Unlimited
Together we're unlimited
We could do the greatest punditry that's ever been
Think, Jon!
Think of how we could boast

JON
With me as your co-host

BOTH
Of the ratings we'd bring in!
Just you and I, defying reality
With you and I defying reality

STEPHEN
They'd never bring us down!
Well? Are you coming?

JON
I hope you're happy
Now that you're choosing this

STEPHEN
You too
I hope it brings you bliss

BOTH
I really hope you get it, and you don't live to regret it
I hope you're happy in the end
I hope you're happy, my friend

STEPHEN
So if you care to find me, just turn on your TV!
Wait for eleven-thirty: there's a show that's all to do with me!
And if I'm hosting solo, there's nothing in my way
Of those who'd ground me, I have just one thing to say
Who cares? Not I, defying reality!
I'm flying high, defying reality
And soon I'll match Fox in renown
And no execs on CNN, no storied solemn-voiced newsmen
Are ever gonna bring me down!

JON
I hope you're happy

COLBERT NATION
Have you seen this new show?
Watch it!

STEPHEN
Bring me down

COLBERT NATION
With such loud opinions
We could let him lead us

STEPHEN
Oh-whoa-ah-oh!

COLBERT NATION
Down!