Conan O'Brien, David Letterman and Craig Ferguson all did yeoman's work keeping the lights on while their writers were on strike. But the most brilliant bit of strike-era late-night was this Colbert episode, which was really an essay in late-night-comedy form. Colbert brought out civil-rights legend Andrew Young to discuss the lessons of a 1969 strike by black hospital workers, which was resolved in negotiations between Young and wait for it Colbert's father, a medical-university administrator. In one stroke, Colbert rolled up African American history, a tribute to his striking writers, a tribute to his own father (who died in a plane crash when Colbert was a boy) and his own comic self-aggrandizement after which he joined Young, author Malcolm Gladwell and the Harlem Gospel Choir in singing "Let My People Go." An only-on-Colbert moment of surreal solidarity.
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