Yes, this is a book about a man going back in time to change the course of history. It’s not the first, and it won’t be the last. There is a plethora of media covering the alternate history that would have occurred had Hitler been killed before he could become the leader of Germany, and another plethora speculating the opposite: what if Hitler and the Nazis had won World War II? Some stories are more serious while others are more of Quentin Tarantino’s farcical Inglourious Basterds ilk. And Hitler’s rise to power is far from the only event altered in such stories. Harry Turtledove wrote a series in which the Confederacy won the Civil War, and Newt Gingrich one where the south at least won at Gettysburg. Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen speculates on a United States that won the Vietnam War. Even fictional history has been changed, from Back to the Future to Doctor Who.
Yesterday I went into New York City to see The Colbert Report, my second time attending a live taping of the show (I’ve also seen The Daily Show twice). While it wasn’t as bitterly cold as it was when I went last January, it still wasn’t particularly pleasant to wait outside in line for almost an hour and a half. But the cold and the lines and the crowded waiting room are totally worth it once you get inside the studio.
The highlight of going to a taping is what comes before the actual show—after a stand-up comedian warms the crowd up, Stephen Colbert comes out to do an (out of character!) Q&A session. A lot of the questions are stupid, as they were last night (someone asked if there would ever be a Strangers with Candy film, to which Colbert joked “We clearly have a super fan up front here,” and someone else went on a long ramble about his mother once appearing in a segment on The Daily Show), but when they’re good, they’re great.