The Ambiguously Gay Duo
- "I was working for a show called The Dana Carvey Show. I had written some things for that show, that Robert Smigel – who was our executive producer – brought over to SNL. As a result, I got a short-term writing gig over there. I helped Robert put his cartoons over there, and I still do." -- Stephen Colbert, August 11, 2003
Before he broke out as a major star on Comedy Central, Colbert lent his voice to numerous cartoon programs. He began on The Ambiguously Gay Duo, an animated short that premiered on The Dana Carvey Show and eventually migrated to Saturday Night Live. It was produced by Robert Smigel's production company TV Funhouse, and followed the adventures of superheroes Ace and Gary, voiced by Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell respectively. The short was a hit, and led to more animated pieces being featured on Saturday Night Live.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law
- It's sad, really, the turn his career has taken. I ran into him the other day. He had a sign and was hanging out on Olympic and La Brea. I would like to say I rolled down the window and attempted to talk to him, but I just pretended I didn't see him.--Erik Richter, creator of Harvey Birdman:Attorney at Law, on Stephen Colbert
Colbert also voiced 2 significant roles in Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law: the characters of Phil Ken Sebben and Myron Reducto, which ran for three seasons on Adult Swim. The show recycled classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters in what could loosely be described as a "courtroom drama". The protagonist is Harvey Birdman of the classic 60's cartoon, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. He works at law firm Sebben & Sebben, defending other Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters who have gotten themselves into legal scrapes.
President and partner of the firm is Phil Ken Sebben, a man found sporting an eyepatch and usually not sporting pants. He is fond of delivering cheesy double entendres, puctuated with a trademark double laugh, "Ha Ha!". Of the character he voiced, Colbert was said to have most identified with him, being a "high-status person who's actually kind of a fraud". Perhaps a little like the loopy pundit he plays on his show, The Colbert Report.
He also voiced Birdman legal nemesis Myron Reducto, attorney for Freezoid, Zarog & Skon, a small man with green skin and armed with a trusty shrink ray gun.
Tek JansenIn early episodes of The Colbert Report, Colbert often trotted out his 1,000+ page science-fiction novel: Stephen Colbert's Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure. The book, described as "an every-man's tale, at least assuming that every man is an intergalactic swashbuckling hero", was advertised by Colbert as not able to find a publisher. Instead, he has slowly self-published sections of the book on the site tekjansen.com as well as producing short cartoons about some of Tek's adventures.
These cartoons usually find "super-awesome-spectacular-ultra-spy" Tek Jansen involved in battle with a supervillain. Along the way, being that he's "obviously had hundreds of girlfriends", he seduces a female, human or otherwise. He also is known to exclaim cosmic catchphrases such as "Star Jones!" or "Venus Flytrap!"
The concept and character have now been adapted to a comic book, The Tek Jansen Adventures, published by Oni Press.
- Harvey Birdman on Wikiality
- Tek Jansen on Wikiality
- Cartoons page on Colbertopedia
- Watch the final Harvey Birdman episode on Adult Swim.com
- Watch Tek Jansen on Comedy Central's Motherload
- Learn more about the Greatest Living American, Stephen Colbert