Before he started crafting his signature blowhard persona as a Daily Show correspondent from 1997 to 2005, Colbert starred in The Dana Carvey Show along with future Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell. The show lasted only one season, in 1996, but it featured a who’s-who of comedy stars, like Louis C.K. and Jon Glaser.
It also featured many memorable sketches, but this one, with Colbert and Carell, is dry-heavingly good.
GQ also has a great oral history of the show, which zooms out and gives it more historical scope. It was one of those sketch comedies that never caught on but attained cult status among comedy nerds.
Here’s more of Colbert in correspondent mode: