Stephen Colbert’s Typewriter & Alton Brown tours MTE

I dropped by the Mesa Typewriter Exchange yesterday to catch up on what new machines had come in, and to ask Bill Wahl about his encounter with Alton Brown, who had stopped in the shop and poked around awhile before buying a nice early-60’s Olympia SM7. The funny part I found out was that Bill didn’t recognize Alton at all until he’d closed up the shop for lunch and saw his photo on a large marquee outside the Mesa Arts Center, so at the time, he was completely unaware that he’d had a celebrity visitor. :D

Alton Brown, Mastermind, with his Hermes 3000 and 1940's Smith-Corona Portable. Add to that his new SM7, and he's starting to look like he's got the bug bad!

Alton Brown, Mastermind, with his Hermes 3000 and 1940’s Smith-Corona Portable. Add to that his new SM7, and he’s starting to look like he’s got the bug bad!

alton-typer2Then of course, there’s the famous photo of Alton with his beloved H3k.

And did you see the Late Show? Did you notice something in the corner of the cold open shot? I did.

colbertstypewriter-1Yeah, a 1940’s Underwood Portable with a half-written letter in it. Is this Stephen Colbert’s home office? If so, then Colbert’s also a fan of letter writing on a typewriter. What else could we learn from the brick-a-brack on the desk behind him?

colbertstypewriter-2Make of that what you will.. It looks to me like Steve has all the things a Man’s Man would want in his office.

and on a cute note, I found this blog entry from 2008 about a kid gravitating naturally to a typewriter in a museum display. Kids know what typewriters are for!

Updated: June 15, 2016 — 12:09 pm


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  1. The Colbert machine just has some silly quote in it typed on a computer. Likely not a user :(

    1. huh, I suppose you’ve seen a closer shot then. I can’t read what’s on it.

  2. I’ll have to go hang out on the day Lyle Lovett is in town. Maybe he’ll decide to walk over and pick up a nice machine for writing lyrics…

  3. Of course the “real” mastermind is the cut kid. ;)

  4. I like trying to interpret other people’s office knick-knacks. I’m trying to understand the squirrel in a canoe.

    1. clearly he’s a fan of kitchy taxidermy. :D

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