Neil DeGrasse Tyson interviewed by out-of-character Stephen Colbert

The Kimberley Academy in Montclair, New Jersey hosted a fascinating, one-hour chat between Neil DeGrasse Tyson -- Hayden Planetarium director, TV science host, and all-round good guy -- with Stephen Colbert in a rare, out-of-character appearance.

Stephen Colbert Interview - Montclair Kimberley Academy (via Kottke)


  1. Neil posted this link a day or so ago and the Hayden Planetarium servers had trouble coping – he’s since linked to a youtube version.  The Planetarium servers seem to be handling it okay at the moment, but in case they go down again, here’s that youtube version:

    It’s a long interview (at 1hr30), but well worth anybody’s time – if you can’t fit it in, there’s a great bit on increasing scientific literacy (in his final Q&A question) from 1:12:20 onwards which is probably the highlight of the whole thing, in as much as it’s possible to pick one.

  2. I’m already plenty interested in physics, science, etc…  But I make a point to watch anything that has Neil in it because he does a great job explaining, is fun to listen to, and generally forces new information into my head without me noticing.  Our society needs to target THESE people as stars and listen to what they have to say – not the morons on Jersey Shore or worse [looking at  you foxnews, cnn, msnbc, etc…].  Rant and soapboxing complete.

  3. I am sold on “Colbert out of character”.

    That man makes Sacha Baron Cohen seem like a talentless hack, I declare.

  4. Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s rant toward the end (on building up scientific literacy) was one of the most compelling things I’ve watched in a while.

  5. “with Stephen Colbert in a rare, out-of-character appearance” needs to lose that comma. It is not appearances that are rare for Colbert, but rather being out of character.

  6. This was my wife’s introduction to NDT and she is totally into him. I showed her his wikipedia page and she told me that he’s the most interesting man in the world. Good thing he’s married.

  7. It’s fascinating to contrast his style with Carl Sagan’s, isn’t it? Both brilliant men, very good at off-the-cuff discussions of complex science, but where Carl had an almost elegiac style Neil seems to radiate more of a football coach enthusiasm. As inspirational as Carl was, bless his turtleneck, I think Neil might draw more kids into the field. And we need them so badly!

  8. You’ve got to love a smart funny man who is actually a rocket scientist. Put together with another smart funny man… MAGIC.  If I wasn’t so old and he’s married already..NDT would be my dream husband. 

  9. I now want think geek to sell a printed Tee with Neil in a Wrestling suit and a utility belt, Belting opera for Science. He is my hero.

  10. I just watched this yesterday night. Very fascinating, best hour I spend in front of youtube in a long time, beaten only by the excellent Thorium 2011 Remix (otoh that was two hours)

    1. I would say he was definitely out of character.  While they are both funny, Stephen Colbert is a smart and thoughtful guy.  “Stephen Colbert” otoh is clearly an idiot. 

  11. One of the best interviews I’ve ever seen. Whatever you’re doing tonight will not be as interesting as this.

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