Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

I Am America

Rate this book
Congratulations--just by opening the cover of this book you became 25% more patriotic.

From Stephen Colbert, the host of television's highest-rated punditry show The Colbert Report, comes the book to fill the other 23½ hours of your day. I Am America (And So Can You!) contains all of the opinions that Stephen doesn't have time to shoehorn into his nightly broadcast.

Dictated directly into a microcassette recorder over a three-day weekend, this book contains Stephen's most deeply held knee-jerk beliefs on The American Family, Race, Religion, Sex, Sports, and many more topics, conveniently arranged in chapter form.

Always controversial and outspoken, Stephen addresses why Hollywood is destroying America by inches, why evolution is a fraud, and why the elderly should be harnessed to millstones.

You may not agree with everything Stephen says, but at the very least, you'll understand that your differing opinion is wrong.

I Am America (And So Can You!) showcases Stephen Colbert at his most eloquent and impassioned. He is an unrelenting fighter for the soul of America, and in this book he fights the good fight for the traditional values that have served this country so well for so long.

Please buy this book before you leave the store.

About the Author
Stephen Colbert is America.

Description from book jacket

230 pages, Hardcover

First published October 9, 2007

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Stephen Colbert

29 books1,264 followers
Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American comedian, satirist, actor, and writer known for his ironic style, particularly in his portrayal of uninformed opinion leaders and deadpan comedic delivery.
Colbert originally studied to be an actor, but became interested in improvisational theater when he met famed Second City director Del Close while attending Northwestern University. He first performed professionally as an understudy for Steve Carell at Second City Chicago; among his troupe mates were comedians Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris, with whom he developed the critically-acclaimed sketch comedy series Exit 57.
Colbert also wrote and performed on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show before collaborating with Sedaris and Dinello again on the cult television series Strangers with Candy. He gained considerable attention for his role on the latter as closeted, gay history teacher Chuck Noblet. It was his work as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news-parody series The Daily Show, however, that first introduced him to a wide audience.
In 2005, he left The Daily Show to host a spin-off series, The Colbert Report. Following The Daily Show's news-parody concept, The Colbert Report styles itself as a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows such as Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor. Since its debut, the series has been successful, establishing itself as one of Comedy Central's highest-rated series, earning Colbert three Emmy nominations and an invitation to perform as featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2006. Colbert was named one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2006. His book, I Am America And So Can You was No. 1 on The New York Times Bestseller List.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
25,373 (31%)
4 stars
30,241 (37%)
3 stars
19,532 (23%)
2 stars
4,721 (5%)
1 star
1,705 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,536 reviews
Profile Image for Nathan.
233 reviews187 followers
November 11, 2007
Most Americans are familiar with Stephen Colbert and his viciously partisan antics. He makes Ann Coulter, that hateful, Republican attack-hermaphrodite, look like a kindly grandmother. More recently, this lifelong right-winger attempted to subvert and sabotage both the democratic process and the Democratic Party by running as a Democrat for president in the state of South Carolina. Colbert has proven himself, time and again, to be a self-satisfied stooge less concerned with reality than with his ratings and status amongst the Republican elite. His "logic" extends to asking such unanswerable non-questions as "Don't you want to win the war on terror?" He sees the world in black and white, with no shades of color or gray, and he expects the world to answer to his limited understanding of it. In I Am America (And So Can You), Colbert attempts to translate the uniquely twisted logic of his TV rants into a book of socio-political commentary. That he should write a book is shocking, if for no other reason than its hard to imagine he even reads them. (First sentence of the book: "I'm no fan of books.") From the start, his ego is the boat with his partisan agenda at the helm. The introduction is more like an instruction list, guiding the reader in how to "read" the book. (Don't highlight anything; it comes with Colbert approved stickers to notate moments of utter worship.) He then proceeds to lecture about the family. As one can expect from the admitted sexist, Colbert's view of the family is right out of the 1850s. As with any political tome, one eventually stumbles upon moments of seeming coherence amid all the partisan stupidity. Colbert may be absolutely correct in his suggestions for dealing with the elderly, and whether one agrees with the end result or not, he does issue the most coherent argument yet provided by the right on why homosexuality is dangerous. Most times, however, Colbert veers toward hysteria. He attempts to make the absurd case that God loves America more than he loves anyone else, and proves it by covering God's involvement in America's foreign wars. He also pushes an agenda of views that could only come from Colbert's deep involvement with the American quack right: abstinence, anti-abortion, the homosexual recruitment agenda (he even gives page space to a testimonial from a religiously "reformed" homosexual), and the long-held Christian Conservative view that bears are a vehicle for demons. And of course Colbert misses the irony in his hateful ridicule of actors who promote "liberal" causes. He viciously attacks Sean Penn, Tim Robins and Barbra Streisand without even acknowledging that he, with his TV show, brewing publishing empire and Republican connections, is absolutely no different from the celebrity activists he attacks. Overall, a loosely held-together quilt of facts taken out of context, Republican talking points, opinion packaged as news and prejudicial ignorance. And it's not even written very well. Colbert makes up for what he lacks in literacy by inventing whole new words. The result is both accidentally hilarious and utterly confusing, but certainly not literary or substantive. One need go no further than the title to learn that Stephen Colbert is someone who talks first, and thinks later. Expect his show to move to the FOX Network very soon, and expect many, many more books like this.

Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
769 reviews3,498 followers
October 30, 2019
Because conservative and intolerant characters are full of potential for parody, nothing lies closer than to caricature them by showing their mentalities in exaggerated situations.

There is so much potential with all kinds of racists, bigots and simple dump people of all ages, genders, income classes and social backgrounds. For instance an old grandma, young stupid politicians, an LGBT person hating himself because of conditioning, kids shaped to sick mentalities (probably better as a cartoon as usual, because of the protection of the innocence or with the text added after a benign script was used together with the kid,...)

Shows like this have such a deep social commentary that their worth should be appreciated by masses of prices.

The great thing is that the shown behavior gets more and more outdated, ridiculous and obsolete, as social development moves on and society gets more and more progressive and tolerant. The ones that are unable to learn and rethink their mentality don´t just self- determinate themselves by proclaiming stupid ideas, they give their opponent mass and mass of ammo to use against them. They are forced to do so, because as soon as they would get more flexible and open to innovation, the whole, not existing sense, of their ideologies would collapse. Because there is not more behind them than the reverberation of the thoughts of evil, old, mentally fragile and sick, misogynic, racist, etc. men from centuries and millennia ago.

Tropes show how literature is conceived and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,209 followers
August 24, 2017
I set out with the intent of quoting my favorite passages from this book. By the end I realized there was only one: "I am America by Stephen Colbert." What, you ask? I'm saying the whole frickin' thing is quotable!

I Am America is hilarious from start to finish. I snorted, I chortled, I laughed so hard I accidentally drooled. This is everything I hoped it would be. I'm glad I finally got around to it.

My only quibble is a minor, half-serious one. I worry about the people out there who actually take this seriously. "Oh that's ridiculous," you say, "no one's stupid enough to take Colbert seriously." Wrong. When I was writing for newspapers back in the day, I would occasionally do satirical pieces. They were thinly veiled as such. I didn't want anyone mistaking my sentiments for my true feelings. And yet, some people did. I was astounded. It was a real reality check for me. There are still people in the world that take everything they hear at face value. I fear these people and I fear for these people. How is it they haven't all already been accidentally run over by buses?

EDIT: Holy shit, when I originally wrote this review back in '12, I didn't realize exactly how prophetic the above paragraph would actually turn out to be!
Profile Image for David Katzman.
Author 3 books446 followers
April 6, 2013
Really really funny. I listened to this while driving...don't recommend that. It made me laugh too many times, which could have endangered those driving near me. Glad I survived I Am America. The audio book is essentially one long standup/sketch routine. Colbert has done a fine service for America creating the Colbert persona--what's so disturbing is how it is only a slight exaggeration of the right wing Conservatives of America, the Rush Limbaughs, Glenn Becks and Ann Coulters of the world. He slightly revises their actual opinions...to be more honest and straightforward. He outs the subtext; he reveals the barbed wire lining to their cloudy viewpoints. And then throws some extra wacky bits on top of it just for laughs. It's good. At times, I did find myself scared because I felt like many right wingers would listen to this and either 1) agree with it without recognizing the irony, or 2) not think it reflected their party's views when in fact it does. But even while it is terrify to recognize the small-minded bigotry and arrogant selfishness that undergirds the Republican Party (and much of the Democratic party as well), there is still laughter that can and should be had at their expense. The humor arises from a recognition and appreciation that Colbert feels ... just like I (you) do. That is, it's funny because we both recognize that the Emperor wears no clothes even while millions of American's don't. That at least is a wonderful thing.

I met Colbert briefly, heard him read with Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello at an indie bookstore in Chicago that no longer exists many years ago upon the release of their very funny novel Wigfield The Can-Do Town That Just May Not. In person, he is rather like his persona--very big and presentational. But of course with the opposite political opinions from his character on the show. He was thoughtful and funny. I raised my hand during the Q&A and asked what he thought it reflected on America that he and Jon Stewart were actually the best sources of news on TV. He made a dry joke, something about..."You do know we're a comedy show, right?" which got a laugh. But then he went on to say that it was a sad state of affairs in the world of journalism that TV journalism especially was not about investigating and presenting truths but about trailing the winds of politics.

I'm glad there are still a few entertainers out there who find a way to shine a light on what is really going on. It's rather amazing someone so subversive would be allowed to even have a show. Comedy is one route to truth.
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.1k followers
March 5, 2011
Stephen Colbert is the highly entertaining comedian that has been mocking Republicans relentlessly at every turn. Not that they don't kind of take themselves seriously and could sometimes benefit from a good mocking.

I can say this because I'm not a liberal either. I'm Australian. I have no vested interest in American politics. You know what I do have a vested interest in? Funny.

Now, I generally find John Stewart funnier and I appreciate Colbert's moronic, dead-pan Republican act. I just can't take it for too long because then my brain starts to hurt.

Which was probably my downfall in reading this book. Colbert obviously knew that the schtick was going to get old and so peppered the book with many, many amusing images and captions. As a writer and reviewer, I would never do this.


I still struggled after a while. This book really belongs in the hands of a die-hard Liberal American. Those are going to be its readership because they're going to be the ones that enjoy every joke and twisted piece of logic.

As for me, meh. I agree with the sentiments but as long as no nukes get launched, I can't say that I care much what America does with its politics and therefor couldn't keep interested in the book.
Profile Image for FlibBityFLooB.
887 reviews133 followers
August 20, 2016
Things I learned from listening to this audiobook:

- Dos/Don’ts for defrosting Stephen Colbert’s cryogenically frozen head.
- Why ice hockey is training for the eventual war with glaciers
- Red means stop. Green means go. Purple means Wednesday.
- Why Kittens really don’t wear mittens.
- What to say to the evil robot overlord to explode its hive mind when it takes over

WARNING: Do not attempt to listen to this book on headphones in public while drinking anything. Not only will you laugh-out-loud maniacally at random intervals, you will likely spit water all over the people around you. Trust me on this one. My keyboard is the evidence.
Profile Image for Jackie.
761 reviews23 followers
June 26, 2019
This is one of the most hilarious books I've read in a while! :) this book is so much fun!
Profile Image for SheAintGotNoShoes.
1,557 reviews2 followers
September 21, 2019
I am relatively new to Stephen Colbert, he has a late nite talk show on here and I have seen him a number of times and I very much enjoy his mocking and imitation of Trump, who is not someone I like at all. ( putting it mildly )

He comes across on tv as someone hip and edgy, but somewhat restrained due to his Catholic convictions. I was surprized to see that in his book he had a lot of crude and crass language - but then you are not allowed to talk that way on tv here, so naturally some of the things in the book could never be said on tv.

It was quite amusing and I did enjoy it, but it was a bit too long, 100 pages would have been enough.

And oh........................Mr Colbert, if you are reading this, please do me a favor - write your next book without a page filled with actual pictures of male genitalia. Eek !!!!!!! 😲 😲 😲 😲
Profile Image for Stuart.
111 reviews13 followers
February 23, 2008
Rachel and I were in the audience for the Colbert Report a week before the writers went on strike. I highly recommend seeing it live! Before the show Stephen takes questions from the audience. Rachel's question was "what are you reading right now?" Stephen said "A Jesuit of Broadway". Rachel asked "what is it about?" Stephen said "it's about a Jesuit on Broadway". Stephen then asked Rachel "what are you reading?" Rachel stammered "uh, your book!" Stephen said "oh, don't waste your time on that garbage".

We bought this book when it first came out and the beginning was pretty funny. Getting farther in it though, it seems there is a lot of padding. Or perhaps it's just missing something in translation.

I'd recommend getting the Book-on-Tape (CD) version. I think it would be a lot funnier actually read by Stephen Colbert.

"Nothing the ladies like more than a big sack. I mean something a cartoon bandit would carry out of a bank."

Perhaps the best part of the book is the at the very end, the transcript from his address to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. This is the single greatest piece of political satire. Ever. Probably because he was roasting Bush while just 3 feet away from Bush.
Profile Image for Petertpc.
37 reviews24 followers
April 2, 2012
Some of the time, very funny
Much of the time, sorta funny to fairly amusing.
Occasionally, not funny at all.

Stephen Colbert is talented, and his political humor is entertaining, as long as it is in small doses. Here, the schtick got a little old a little fast and left me a little bored, at least when I wasn't laughing out loud. So it was good, but not as good I had hoped. I think I'll stick to him in on the TV.
Profile Image for Joe.
178 reviews93 followers
December 8, 2018
Hearkens to an earlier time when Steven Colbert ruled by 'The Word' and spoke pure truthiness. Back then, only true fans knew that the T was as silent as the moral majority. That was before Johnny Network caught him in an iron grip with promises of vegan lunches and politically-correct jokes churned out by a ham-handed army of limp-wristed Hollywood writers.

Now you might be saying; 'Joe, you just mixed a lot of metaphors in that preceding paragraph.' To which I say yes, like Shakespeare and Genghis Khan before me, I'm doing a lot of that thing I'm imagining you saying in my head.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is this book is good. But I do have one complaint; the stickers! At the back is a sheet of 'The Steven T Colbert Award For The Literary Excellence' stickers to put on books of your choosing in accordance with the free market. So naturally I slapped one on the side of my computer because the internet is the new books. But within hours it was peeling off and I had to use tape to hold it on.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So here's some free advice Steven (I KNOW you're reading this right now); get some better quality control and find your voice again and I mean the loud one.

Edited 12-8-2018
Profile Image for Jill Harkness.
9 reviews4 followers
October 3, 2017
Colbert is funny as hell. This book breaks the forth wall and I love it. The book does lose a little steam at the end, but it still was one of the funniest books to read out there, helps take your mind from all the bad out there.

Really needed a laugh and this book did it.
Profile Image for Tracy.
Author 30 books174 followers
February 29, 2008
I suspect that Stephen Colbert, the relentlessly egotistical headlining author of I Am America (And So Can You!), would protest if you called his book funny, but it most definitely is funny. In his mind, however, the book is an indispensable work of truth and advice about how to navigate your life. In the directions for how to read the book, Colbert mentions that his book can be used to swear in people about to give testimony in the extraordinary absence of the Bible. This sums up the esteem with which this work should be regarded, according to the author.

I Am America (And So Can You!) opens with Colbert’s declaration that he does not like books. He also hopes that his readers have not read any books before, presumably so that their minds will be pure and therefore most receptive to his truth.

The 230-page hardcover goes on to reveal Colbert’s wise opinions about such topics as the family, religion, sex and dating, higher education, the media, and science. In each chapter a multi-layered satire of right wing conservative values and points of view are presented in cleverly hysterical detail. The chapter titles easily decant the savory flavor of the book’s humor. (Please don’t add water!) For example the chapter about Sports is called “When It’s Okay to Shower With Men” and the chapter on Class War is named “Let Them Buy Cake For A Change.”

In addition to the American-as-apple-pie insight imparted by no less than 14 writers, I Am American (And So Can You!) is so fundamentally funny that the actual design of the book often made me laugh. The photography is truly brilliant, both in composition and the acting skill of the subject. Colbert’s distinctive facial expressions and flair for wholesomeness combined wonderfully with a variety of props ranging from a bouquet of flowers to dog poop. My personal favorite is the photograph of Colbert in front of Applebees, where he presumably became disillusioned with life. (I understand). Another nice touch with the book design are the red-dyed edges of the pages, so as to advertise its Biblical quality.

I recommend this book to people who do not read books and like to be told how to think by a male authority figure. Studies indicate this would be a large audience, which accounts for the best-selling success of this book.
14 reviews
April 26, 2008
It's always an experiment when a comedian with no literary history writes (or collaborates to write) a book. Everyone knows that the 80/20 rule even applies to humor: 20% is the joke and 80% is the timing or delivery. With someone like Stephen Colbert - who I have endless respect for after delivering his famous White House Correspondents Dinner speech, which is wisely reprinted in this book - whose humor is predicated on physical, visual humor, it can be quite precarious treading into the waters of a medium that doesn't play well with the 80th percentile of jocularity, and the results show.

After spending a few days cruising through this book I felt tired and worn out, not unlike the same mental exhaustion I experienced the last time I played a game with my 5 year-old nephew where the rules were made up on the fly, and seemingly known only to him. Worst of all was the feeling of forlorn, as if the clever, facetious, Democrat-in-sheep's-clothing, comedic juggernaut I had come to admire over many late nights, had decided I wasn't worth the effort to humor. I'm not even going to get into how painfully tedious it was to read all of the comments written in the margins, which were some kind of bastardized version of the genius "The Word" segment from Colbert's regular gig.

Even if this book fails to do what it set out to accomplish, after the Daily Show's "America: The Book", everything similar is doomed to pale in comparison. Luckily, Colbert’s real strength, television comedy, hasn’t suffered because of this troubled foray into more traditional media.
Profile Image for Steven.
524 reviews34 followers
May 28, 2008
Full disclosure, I am a huge fan of “The Colbert Report.” If I am awake at 11:30 p.m., I have to watch the show. Upon its first few viewings I thought that I might not like it as much as “The Daily Show,” but after a little bit of time in warming up to the character of Stephen Colbert, I quite frankly think that “Colbert Report” is in many ways the much funnier show.

Much to Mr. Colbert’s dismay, I checked this book out from the library and was unable to avail myself to the full extent of its features, such as the various stickers which allow the reader to indicate when they agree with Colbert the most. As one might rightly assume, if you are a big fan of the show, you are likely a big fan of the book. I thought the book was spectacular and the only element missing from the show/character of Stephen Colbert was his incredible interviewing talent, best evidenced on the show in segments like “better know a district.”

No real surprise that the various quips that Mr. Colbert uses so well on his show are also used to great effect in the book. A few that especially stood out were his belief that baby carrots are trying to make him gay, that the Hundred Years War was a terrible name for a war because you should never set a date for withdrawal, and the idea that sex is like the death penalty with one outcome and so many different ways of carrying it out. I also really loved some of the “Stephen Speaks for Me” sections, including those of “your soulmate” and “Thomas Bindlestaff, Executive Assistant to Stephen Colbert.”

Profile Image for treehugger.
498 reviews84 followers
May 24, 2008
Ok, so I was totally let down by this book, and I can't remember the last time I just wished the author who was reading the book to me on my commute would just SHUT THE HELL UP. I wasn't expecting that, being as how I'm a huge Jon Stewart fan, have loved the books of his I have read, and like the Colbert Report (although since I haven't had cable for years, I only see it sporadically while housesitting for other, more affluent individuals :)).

Anyway, it had no coherent plot, made not good points, was purposefully inflammatory to homosexuals, liberals, immigrants, and college grads, all at a yell, and all in a vain attempt at humor.

I liked the cameos by Amy Sedaris and Jon Stewart, but really, I'm glad this audiobook was only 3 CD's long, bc I made myself soldier on rather than giving up halfway through. I really can't speak for the print version of this book at all, since I feel it really must differ dramatically from the audiobook - a lot of the chapters were read by other people (he calls it a "full cast of characters") with accompanying sounds, music, and other effects that really did add to the fairly vapid humor found within the script...

So, all in all, watch the Colbert Report, but perhaps this is 3 and 1/2 hours you could spend listening to Madonna or something. I certainly can't get those hours back, but maybe I can save others from falling into the same trap...
Profile Image for James Thomas.
Author 1 book34 followers
November 10, 2022
I love it, I loved it, I loved it! The show was great but getting just pure Colber' for a few hours is just beautiful.

If you liked this you'll probably love Steve Coogan's We Need to Talk About Alan - pure genius! Or if you like your wit a little drier go for Ayoade On Top - great stuff.
Profile Image for Marc-Antoine.
419 reviews56 followers
April 2, 2017
Hilarious, but also a little saddening that a spoof on extreme right ideology has become today's reality...
Profile Image for Annalisa.
523 reviews1,341 followers
December 11, 2008
If you like the Colbert Report, you'll probably like this book. Since Stephen Colbert is one of my favorite celebrities, I did very much enjoy the listen. I listened to it audio knowing that most of Stephen Colbert's comedic humor is the delivery. I found myself laughing out loud a lot. So yes imagine we wandering aisles as I shop or sitting amidst the cheering parents of a soccer game laughing to myself. Colbert has a rare gift of making something funny he doesn't believe in without making it angry or offensive. He mocks many things I believe by arguing for them with the most ridiculous logic and I still laugh and think it's hilarious. His social satire really is genius.

But the humor did drag a little. There were times when I wished he'd move onto the next joke. Particularly long were his "Stephen speaks for me" characters who rattled on about nothing in particular but made sure to get a sailor's quantity of f-words in there. The thing about Comedy Central is they edit out those f words so I don't have to hear them. If I could skip the other voices, I'd probably give this a 4. Plus I didn't get one crack about bears being a threat to America. I'm disappointed. My favorite segment had to be on parenting, especially his dialogue that women should cater their lives to their children. He even got in Stephen-style praise of Mormonism, which as I explained above is not really praise at all. The first disc was hilarious, the second and third ones slower and not as humorous, but there's still enough wit in there for it to be worth it. Just skip the tracks where Stephen isn't speaking. It's a quick listen; it took a few hours.
6 reviews
December 5, 2007
This book is funny. Just by reading the title and the back cover (which incidentally only had about 15 words on it) I knew that this book would be funny. And it is, but it's not much else. The character that Colbert plays on his show (intensely-conservative-right-wing-republican) is not actually him. It's almost like this alter ego he has created. In real life, Colbert is a left-wing-liberal. But on his show, he's completely the opposite. So being a regular watcher of his show, and knowing what most of his opinions already were, I would have gotten more out of this book if it contained the real Stephen Colbert's views on politics, religion, sex and dating, sports, homosexuals, America, Immigrants, etc. (These are all names of some of the chapters.) But it didn't, it just contained his character's views and opinions. So while it was a flat-out hilarious book, it didn't have any other weight, in my opinion. That being said, disregard all of that and read the book. It's really funny, and it shows his comedic genius outside of television. Writing-wise, I don't know if it was because of the writing style, or his diction, but when I was reading, I could hear his voice dictating what I was reading. This made it even more enjoyable.
Profile Image for Derrith.
50 reviews23 followers
June 9, 2008
Not sure why it took me so long to finish this book. I would pick it up, read a bit, put it down and move on to something else. Maybe it's like when you save your Halloween candy and your siblings (who scarfed theirs before their costumes even came off) are jealous when you still have a Snickers fun size with your lunch well into December.
Now that I'm done, and my sides ache from laughing, I'm glad I doled it out to myself in small doses. It was less about savoring and more about the fact that Stephen Colbert, in large amounts, much like your Halloween candy, can give you a stomach ache.
And a note to anyone who actually takes him seriously as a "right-winger".... it's called satire. Look it up!!
Profile Image for Colleen.
771 reviews
June 22, 2008
There were a number of times in this book I was laughing out loud, not just a little chuckle, but a full belly laugh. I wouldn't recommend this book to someone who is P.C. sensitive (mom!) or you might just have a stroke before you get to chapter three; and maybe not for the uber-conservative, but even the moderate conservative thinker might find this amusing considering the state of politics today. If you like a good political farce, you are in for a good laugh. A warning on some of the language to the sensitive reader.
Profile Image for Marty Fried.
956 reviews92 followers
September 27, 2021
I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author, Stephen Colbert. It was a fun listen; his humor is unique and you probably know if you like it. If not, you probably won't be listening or reading the book.

I don't remember when I finished this, but it wasn't noted on Goodreads at all for some reason.
Profile Image for Lukasz Pruski.
921 reviews109 followers
August 29, 2020
"Now I know that there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in 'reality.' And reality has a well-known liberal bias."
(From 2006 speech by Stephen Colbert during The White House Correspondents' Dinner)

I have not watched television since mid-1990s so I missed the Colbert phenomenon: his work on The Daily Show, then his own The Colbert Report and The Late Show. The only two things I had known before reading Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!) was that my acquaintances tended to consider his TV shows very funny, and - way more important - that he is credited with coining the word 'truthiness.' In the dark old days statements could be qualified as true or not true. Nowadays, with the advent of social media, statements can be qualified as 'truthy' or not based on preconceptions and biases, intuition and 'gut feeling', guidance of peers, and own hierarchy of values rather than on evidence (facts) assisted by logical reasoning and scientific method.

Naturally, because of Colbert's dichotomy between truth and truthiness I expected that I will substantially share his worldview conveyed in the book. Indeed I do, particularly his scorn at people who disdain science and consider it elitist:
"So who gave some lab-coated pipette wielder permission to act like he knows more than I do about mitochondria, just because he spent twenty years of his life studying them in a laboratory? PhDs and 300-page dissertations don't make his opinion any more valid. I happen to have some mitochondria myself, and I can tell you that mine don't take their marching orders from Cal Tech."
What surprised me a lot, though about the book was that it was not as funny as I had expected. I cracked the first smile when reading page 45. The writing was bowdlerized to make most of the potentially funny passages "safe" for any reader. Unfortunately, some jokes must be offensive to someone to be funny, and I will stop here to make my review safe for PC adherents.

Luckily, in the later parts of Colbert's book there is some humor, like this gem coming from the author's take on Hays Code guiding the production of movies in Hollywood:
"If a scene includes a train entering a tunnel, the tunnel shall not be portrayed as enjoying it."
The chapter Sex and Dating tends to be funny too - in this cloying safe sense of humor:
"A Real Man is someone who walks through life the way a pilot walks through an airplane. Cool, calm, and checking out the sexy stews. No matter how tough the situation gets, a Real Man never lets on about the faulty landing gear."
It is really the Appendix that saves the book for me. Stephen Colbert was invited to give a speech at the traditional White House Correspondents' Dinner. In 2006 the author was roasting George W. Bush. The speech is (in)famous for the originally mixed reception in the media and its extreme popularity on YouTube. I can see two reasons for the original cool reception: First, Colbert's speech went way beyond safe humor - some of his statements could be construed as offensive - and therefore it was deadly funny. The other reason is that the speech contained, rather veiled, but very biting criticism of the press.

So yes, mild thumbs up from me, but mostly for the inclusion of the speech, which raises the rating by almost one star.

Two-and-three-quarter stars.
Profile Image for Griffin Betz.
25 reviews10 followers
April 26, 2010
First, I want to thank Mr. Colbert for saving me from a dim and meaningless life as a book-reading, thought-having, liberal. "I AM AMERICA (And So Can You)" showed me the light (not that I'm a fan of The Enlightenment) and released me from my prison of 'reality' and 'facts.'

Even better, Mr. Colbert taught me that books are useless objects that only make you think. Think of all the money I'll save now that I can stop reading! (Note to Amazon: Maybe you shouldn't carry this book, if too many people read it, it could cut into your profits...)

Evern though the words are only printed on the page, it's like I can hear Stephen Colbert reading them to me in my head. This book is just like watching "The Colbert Report" but I can read it at night without my wife telling me to turn down the volume!

After reading this book, I realized that every other book ever published pales in comparison, so I emptied out all of my bookshelves. (Even my cookbooks.) I piled them all in my front yard. When the garbage men didn't take them away, I couldn't figure out what to do with them. Long story short, my neighbors called the police when the bonfire started to catch their lawns on fire. I say a $500 fine and a scorched lawn is a small price for such a firey (ha!) act of patriotism.

READ THIS BOOK. In fact, read ONLY this book. Buy multiple copies and resell them to your friends. (Don't give them away - Stephen says "no free rides!") If every person in America would read this book, we'd save our nation from femiliberislamocommunoenvirofascism (and Bears) by the end of the week.
Profile Image for Brian.
680 reviews324 followers
January 18, 2016
"I am America (and so can you!)" is a funny satire, if one takes small bites.
I would not recommend sitting down and reading this book as your only reading material. If you do that you see that it gets repetitive and some of the jokes are variations of the same theme.
However, if you read this book in small bites, maybe reading a chapter at a time every few days, you can appreciate the humor and get a seriously good chuckle out of every chapter.
There are some genuinely funny moments in this book, and although it tends to skewer those of us on the right, I took it as an indictment against extremes in all sense of the word.
Small bites will yield big laughs and you will put it down no worse for the wear.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,536 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.