Stephen Colbert slayed the competition in a "Shred Off" with the Decemberists -- or at least he claimed to have. Last night's (Dec. 20) "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central was dedicated entirely to a g

Stephen Colbert slayed the competition in a "Shred Off" with the Decemberists -- or at least he claimed to have. Last night's (Dec. 20) "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central was dedicated entirely to a guitar-solo contest between the mock-news pundit and the indie rock band, who were represented by lead guitarist Chris Funk.

The special grew out of a tongue-in-cheek feud begun by Colbert when the Decemberists asked their fans to add in the background of a music video they filmed in front of a green screen -- which Colbert claimed "rode on the coattails" of his show's earlier "Green Screen Challenge."

Decemberists singer/songwriter Colin Meloy countered with a proposed guitar duel, which yesterday attracted an absurd array of guests.

The show was opened by Morley Safer of "60 Minutes," and included appearances by Henry Kissinger, New York Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer, Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, rock critic Anthony DeCurtis, producer Jim Anderson and the Apples In Stereo's Robert Schneider.

When it came time for Colbert to showcase his six-string prowess, he comically donned a five-necked guitar and promptly faked a cut on his hand. His call for a guitarist to stand in for the Colbert Nation was answered by Frampton.

After judges DeCurtis and Anderson split in their decision and Spitzer recused himself because of an attempted bribe from Colbert, the contest turned to Kissinger to break the deadlock. "Tonight, I think the American people won," the diplomat said via satellite.

Colbert, whose character considers himself the voice of the people, took that as an endorsement of victory. While the celebration began, he apologized that the star-studded affair didn't have time for all of its guests.

"I would also like to apologize to Nelson Mandela and J.D. Salinger," he deadpanned. "I'm sorry we did not have time, gentlemen. Please join us another night."


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