Barack Obama has hope? "I hope I can get through this script," Stephen Colbert declares in the intro to Wednesday night’s show. Something he learned? "Reading is a muscle. And it can go soft on you." Also? "I was able to shave my strike beard. (pause for laughs) Downtown." And just as I wondered when any of the late-night guys were going to publicly acknowledge their writers, Colbert introduces them onstage one by one, handing them pens in some weird spin on a graduation processional, and somehow Tiki Barber is included in the mix. So, too, Kevin Bacon. And The Met! All of the actual Colbert Report writers got their proper due, as well. "I got my prompter back," Colbert said. They cut to the prompter: "Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow." And then onto the news to be spun. Would he already have a "Word" ready? Colbert has said previously that this is the most writer-intensive part of the show (I’ve heard him say it). But first, a guest. Then a new segment, "Stephen Colbert’s Fallback Position." It’s about backup careers in case he’s no longer wanted as a pundit. Taped segment, most probably. Still funny, though, because it allowed Colbert to exercise his improv muscles learning astrophysics at the Hayden Planetarium. No need to rush a new "Word" out of the writers. Enough to celebrate them and give them their due.

Will update with video when available. UPDATE! Watching it again, I also spotted Mikhail Barishnykov and Judith Miller getting their Colbert pens for good measure. Actual writers? Roll credits! Tom Purcell, Bryan Adams, Michael Brumm, Colbert, Richard Dahm, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Peter Grosz, Peter Gwinn, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Laura Krafft, Frank Lesser and Allison Silverman.