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December 14, 2005

Stephen Colbert: Formidable Opponent
by Larry Mahnken

A transcript of last night's Colbert Report debate on steroids:

Stephen 1: Last week Major League Baseball players unanimously approved new penalties for steroid use, and the WWE announced that it would randomly test wrestlers for steroids, recreational and prescription drugs. Will this crackdown on performance-enhancing drugs save the world or sports, or just rob it of its superstars? A question this slippery can’t be debated with just anyone, and that’s why joining me tonight is America’s toughest pundit:

Stephen 2: Me, Stephen Colbert. This is Formidable Opponent.

S1: Well, welcome back Stephen.

S2: Good to be here.

S1: Hey, you been working out?

S2: Little bit, little bit. Mon, Wed, Fri: Trats, Delts, Lats and Pecks; Tues, Thurs: Quads and Glutes.

S1: Well, you’ve really made some progress.

S2: Well, I’ve had a little help. THG.

S1: But… that stuff’s illegal.

S2: That just means the FDA hasn’t approved it yet. Tylenol and insulin were once “illegal”, but you wouldn’t deny them to a diabetic with a headache, would you?

S1: No, but these people are just trying to live a normal life. People who take performance-enhancing drugs are cheating to get ahead!

S2: Maybe so.

S1: Steroids undermine the spirit of fair play!

S2: I see your point.

S1: And growth hormones… hey, why aren’t you debating me?

S2: Why should I? You don’t seem to think it’s important for people to bring their “A” game.

S1: That’s not true! I’m the guy who says, “You’ve gotta give 110%!”

S2: Well, where do you think that extra 10% comes from? Let me give you hint: you inject it into your ass.

S1: But, steroids set a dangerous example. When kids hear about their heroes taking drugs, they think it’s okay to do it, too!

S2: Any kid with the attention span to make that connection is already on Ritalin.

S1: Okay, point taken. But, what about the liver damage, the severe mood swings, the testicular shrinkage?


S1: Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

S2: Hey, sorry. Sorry. That was just, that was just Roid Rage. Go ahead.

S1: But sports aren’t about chemicals. They’re about celebrating the human body at its best.

S2: Okay, but now we have the technology to re-define “best.” And, for that matter, “human.”

S1: I’m still not convinced.

S2: All right, let’s say you’re an athlete.

S1: Okay, I’ve said it before. What do I play?

S2: Baseball. You’re a major star, and your biggest fan, nine-year-old Freddie McGuillicutty, is laid up in the hospital, he’s very sick, and he’s got a request.

S1: Lemme guess: he wants me to hit one out of the park?

S2: No, he wants you to hit eight out of the park.

S1: Wait… has anyone even done that?

S2: He’s dying, Stephen!

S1: Okay! I’ll do it!

S2: Are you sure you don’t want any… help?

S1: No drugs! I’m just gonna give it my all!

S2: All right, you go for it! You hit seven home runs in the first eight innings, no one’s seen anything like it! Then you come up to bat in the bottom of the ninth, two outs on the board, you get set in your stance, the pitcher nods to the catcher and here comes a big fat fastball right down the middle! You crush it! The ball goes screaming down the right field line, it is high! It is deep!

S1: Get out! Get outta here!

S2: It’s going over the wall!


S2: Wait! The right fielder’s got a bead on it, and he’s on human growth hormone! He leaps like a kangaroo on crack, and he just snatches that ball, just as it’s about to land in a fan’s outstretched glove! Game over!

S1: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I’m so sorry Freddie!!!

S2: Stephen, he’s gone.


S2: Too bad you didn’t take HGH. Maybe he would have held on long enough for that neck transplant. One just became available.

S1: No! Why was I so selfish? Next time I’ll take the steroids, the acne and the balding and the man-breasts would have been worth it!

S2: Sorry. The government thinks you don’t deserve performance-enhancing drugs.

S1: Well, then they’re wrong! Wow. You make a strong argument.

S2: Well, I’m a strong man. And you, my friend, are a formidable opponent.