Stephen Colbert Reports for 'GMA' in 1997

Stephen Colbert reported on a Rube Goldberg machine competition at Purdue University in 1997.
3:00 | 10/01/12

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Transcript for Stephen Colbert Reports for 'GMA' in 1997
For a microwave ovens to cellular telephones modern engineers have produced marbles of technological complexity. In an effort to make our lives easier. Well this morning we're going to take you to a contest where the goal is to make a seemingly simple task complex. It is the ninth annual national Rube Goldberg machine contest at Purdue university in West Lafayette, Indiana. Joining me from there is our Steve col Baer Steve for those who don't know you ought to remind people who Rube Goldberg was and what he did. Well good morning Charlie Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist who made his career satirizing modern technology -- drawings of incredibly complicated machines and -- simple household tasks. At the Rube Goldberg annual competition here Purdue University contestants have to create machines that are at least twenty steps along. And at the end this year at least load a CD and -- With me is finds -- Gary and a team from Hofstra university and their machines stereo madness. Frank as quickly cam. Elsewhere does. So people without ramp comes close ally releases -- -- comes across the tapes go across -- closed out his -- reflect -- up when it comes across parts of possible. This wolf rolls out for the cop pulls out his -- on the hit the -- toy cop falls down -- and -- rotates bikes are told not to be false senior falls into CD -- -- comes across closing playable balls and hit play. Sounds simple and up well it. The fight -- to get -- this material. My garage. What's the hardest part of trying to design one of these machines. Probably. Get every once again to get everything to work out. And laughter turns to tears and all right. Great job -- I think we have room for one more machine we have a team from the University of Texas at Austin Paul. -- -- How many hours of work are we looking at right now other six of us and probably a hundred man hours each somewhere -- 600. -- and while you were working on this -- were supposedly in school supposedly. We probably should lost few letter grades here and there. And how long how many how many months of work. Well we've been working on some of the stuff for probably 889. What's happening right now what poverty. Right now we have this compressed air fuel tank which is going to allow them and -- and they'll -- indicators and CDs then. Fabulous well once again science triumph. And I would not horrible but first we should -- both migrant workers who votes he needs this job are now in danger back to you Charlie. -- fact that you boost the how many entries are other by the way overall. I think -- -- five this year via that Texas one it was great to be able to follow that Hofstra Purdue I'm sure -- -- every -- -- many years. Thanks very much to all those students who have such inventive --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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