Stephen Colbert is not what he seems. Sure, he plays the part of an over-the-top conservative pundit, but his deception goes well beyond that. While he cracks crude jokes and stages silly stunts, he is simultaneously duping his viewers. You see, we are all unsuspecting rubes in his master plan to educate and enlighten us about our own political system. Night after night, he dissects complex issues while parodying the absurdities of our times. And in the process, Stephen Colbert has become this country’s greatest political satirist.
To be fair, I can’t fully appreciate what Lenny Bruce and George Carlton did in their day; much less gauge the importance of Will Rogers or Mark Twain. That being said, I don’t know of another comedian who has so completely embraced a single character, or so thoroughly mastered the art of sarcasm. It’s almost hard to imagine Stephen Colbert not being the megalomaniac who feeds on applause, trust his guts over his brains, and never backs away from a challenge. That willingness to push the boundaries of his one man show has won him legions of loyal fans, otherwise known as Colbert Nation. (more…)