The Colbert Report started off with a bang last night–Gwen and I were laughing so hard our sides hurt. You don’t get that very often with TV. Most of the talking-head news shows are bad enough that they should defy parody. Colbert manages anyhow.

Colbert’s guest for the opening episode was Stone Phillips. This was especially apt: Some years ago, the Daily Show aired a special episode–that is, old clip retreads–all introduced by Colbert. He did the whole thing in an unmistakeable and dead-on Stone Phillips impersonation. Phillips, who I’ve always considered an empty shirt who only gets work because of his reassuring voice, was a good sport, and comported himself admirably throughout the gravitas face-off.