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For Stephen Colbert, NYSE outage was 'Apocalypse Dow'

The late-night comedian lets the stress show over down time for the computers that move America's money.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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A calamity? Or a mere disaster? The Late Show With Stephen Colbert/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When the New York Stock Exchange ceases to function, does America cease to function?

We are money. And when that money doesn't flow, neither do we.

On Wednesday, the computers at the New York Stock Exchange simply stopped.

Stephen Colbert called this Apocalypse Dow. The comedian wafted straight to YouTube to lament the disservice done not only to our money, but also to our United Airlines planes -- they, too, were grounded Wednesday by computer snafus.

How tragic, he said from his bunker, that for several hours "America's bankers had no idea how rich they were."

This was, indeed, an awful event. If our bankers don't know how much much they have, they don't know how much money they can refuse to lend us. That is the core upon which the American financial system was built.

Colbert feared there was no celebrity left alive, but him. That would be heaping calamity upon disaster.

"We didn't know as we built our Internet and smartphones, and put that extra fridge in the garage, that they weren't strengthening us. They're weakening us," he said.

Frankly, I think Colbert is beginning to lose it. That's what happens when you have to follow David Letterman on "The Late Show" from September 8. (Disclosure: "Late Show" parent CBS is also the parent company of CNET.)

I'm not sure, given the comedian's parlous state after the computers came crashing down, that Colbert will ever make it out of his bunker.

Will he be taking talk shows underground?