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Summer 2010 (July 20, 2010)

Schiller Sign-Off

Colbert and Schiller 

Peter Gwinn ’93, writer for The Colbert Report, tells how Schiller recently made his TV debut:

“Several months ago, I was surprised to receive an e-mail to my private account from a sinister cabal claiming to be in possession of Schiller and asking if it would be possible for Schiller to make an appearance on The Colbert Report. Although they did not say this outright, I was under the impression that if I did not accede to their whims, I would be placed under some sort of curse.

“Thus began one of the most difficult challenges of my entire life: explaining to a bunch of non-Carleton television producers why chasing and fighting each other for possession of a statue of an obscure philosopher is cool. But I was successful, and they agreed to have Schiller on the program.

“Through means I am not at liberty to disclose, Schiller was transported to our New York studios, appeared on the show, and was autographed by Stephen Colbert—a mark that future generations will use to verify Schiller’s authenticity. Unless the signature rubs off. 

“Stephen was going to say a joke about Schiller, but the show ran long and it was cut for time. The original script was: ‘Well, that’s it for the Report. In the words of the famed German philosopher Friedrich Schiller: “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.” Must have been right or they wouldn’t have shrunk his head and dipped it in plaster. Good night.’ What he had time to say on air was only, ‘In the words of the famed German philosopher Friedrich Schiller, good night.’

“After the taping, I returned Schiller to his secretive custodians, and I assume he is, by now, back on campus. I have to give a tip of the hat to the guardians. I am impressed by their imagination, initiative, and dedication. And I thank them for my kick-ass ‘Honorary Guardian of Schiller’ T-shirt. If only I had learned their names or seen any of their faces.”

Web Extra: See a video clip of the Schiller sign-off.

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