The Greatest Gift of AllAs a devoted fan of Stephen Colbert it would be easy for me to say that his newest offering - a 45-minute, self-indulgent song-and-dance Christmas special – is perfectly, Colbert-ly, hilariously, awesome and leave it at that. And, honestly, that would be a fairly decent summation of this Christmas special and everything else that Colbert gets involved with. But for the sake of filling space here I’ll go a bit deeper than just reaffirming what most Colbert fans are expecting to hear about their winking, smarmy, cooler-than-thou talkshow host and his holiday special.

So here’s the basic premise: Stephen Colbert, talkshow host extraordinaire, is preparing to leave his cabin in the woods to head into New York and record a magical Christmas Special with special guest Elvis Costello (and a large collection of goats disguised as reindeer) when he realizes that there is a bear outside his back door. Obviously, bears being Colbert’s nemeses, Colbert finds himself trapped in his cabin wracking his brain for a way out so that his Christmas special can go on as planned. Obviously, Colbert finds plenty of entertainment in his own cabin with numerous celebrities stopping by to help him along the way. Appearances are made by Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, John Legend, Feist and even Colbert’s very own BFF Jon Stewart.

Each guest is featured for about a five-minute segment and offers a fresh Christmas ditty playing into their public persona: for example, Toby Keith sings “Have I Got A Present For You,” a rousingly tongue-in-cheek country tune fighting back against the war on Chirstmas, with such stirring lines as “Separate Church and State, that’s what some liberal said / maybe it’s time we separated him from his head” and Willie Nelson (with backup vocals provided by Colbert) sings an emotional piece aptly titled “The Little Dealer Boy” (three guesses what that one’s about). Each song is as fresh and funny as the one before it and the variance in the musical guest’s musical styles help keep the tempo of the show constantly changing.

Colbert maintains his self-aggrandizing persona throughout the special, talking directly to the camera and constantly flashing his gleaming grin. With the mix of subtlety and over-the-top cheesiness that has made Colbert’s brand of humor so popular for so long, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! is a fresh take on the Christmas special, calling up images from past specials while also maintaining the expected Colbert spin on everything.

The DVD includes a solid amount of special features, each worthwhile to check out. There are three alternate endings (worth a viewing), an additional Christmas video (a good country tune performed by Colbert called “Cold, Cold Christmas”), a 25-day video advent calendar (featuring 25 days of Colbert – but only ONE a day, Colbert reminds viewers on the first), and a yuletide fireplace for your television (featuring books burning with a yule log).

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! premieres on Saturday, November 23rd on Comedy Central and will be available for purchase on  Monday the 25th.

Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: Members of the Colbert Nation looking to fight back against the “war on Christmas”
Stay Away if: Your Christmas special is watching It’s a Wonderful Life again

To purchase A Colbert Christmas, visit Amazon

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