Audio Version of Colbert's Speech Tops iTunes

Posted on May 22, 2006

The New York Times reports that an audio version of Stephen Colbert's WHCA speech has topped the charts on iTunes.

An audio version of the roast of President Bush by Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central rose to the rank of No. 1 album at Apple's iTunes store on Saturday, three weeks to the night of the White House Correspondents Dinner. Also in the Top 10 were new releases by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and Paul Simon.

The audio version of Mr. Colbert's speech was delivered to iTunes through, a company that provides audio content for downloading, including books, radio shows and shorter performances, and costs $1.95 to download. Neither C-Span nor Audible was able to say how many downloads there had been. Mr. Colbert was traveling and could not be reached.

By many accounts, Mr. Colbert's performance landed with a thud among his influential audience of journalists and politicians, who were more overtly enthusiastic about a comedy routine involving Mr. Bush and a professional George W. Bush impersonator. But the broadcast of the speech is enjoying a lucrative afterlife online, an unusual development for its owner, the nonprofit cable network C-Span.

The video and audio are still very popular but the blogs have quieted down since the large number of posts following Stephen Colbert's performance earlier this month. At one point there were several thousands post about the comedian each day. The "Thank You Stephen Colbert" site (no longer available) shows nearly 60,000 thank yous.

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