Ed Driscoll

Colbert Marks The Final Days of the Comedy Central Congress

Back in 2003, in one of John McCain’s very few memorable quotes, he somehow managed to place the intersection of Hollywood and show business into context:

John McCain, Republican maverick, former POW and Vietnam War hero, cracked in his speech that if “Washington is a Hollywood for ugly people,” then, considering the remarks coming out of Tinseltown about Iraq, “Hollywood is a Washington for the simpleminded.”

Of course, the strangeness factor starts to multiply exponentially, when we go from actors who want to dabble in politics, to actors who portray newsmen who are invited to testify before Congress. In character.

Which brings us to Allahpundit on Stephen Colbert’s upcoming appearance there:

I thought the Daily Caller must have been suckered, but no, apparently, this is really and truly happening. Could be a fun way for Pelosi to spend her last days as speaker, though, yes? Have Colby in this week on immigration, Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld next week on health care, Sarah Silverman the week after that on abortion (a barnburner!), and so forth. Maybe have Franken come down the hall from the Senate to do some improv with them. Cancel the recess; held over by popular demand!

Of course, Congress has a long history of this sort of thing; arguably, it’s one of the more benign ways they waste taxpayers’ dollars. Back in April, David Boaz of the Cato Institute noted another two celebrity visits, one this year, one in 1986:

Today in Washington: actress Sigourney Weaver testifies before the  Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on the topic of ocean acidification. Because, you know, she played an environmental scientist in Avatar. It’s the best fit since Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, and Sissy Spacek — all of whom had played farm women — testified on America’s agricultural crisis.

On the other hand, it could always be worse: as Allahpundit mentioned, Elmo the Muppet tickled Congress with his warm and witty repartee back in 2002.

Related: In other news from the intersection of Big Hollywood and Big Government, at the Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis writes that Obama misread the lessons of the Godfather, one of the president’s favorite movies:

In the world of The Godfather, Barack Obama isn’t the brutal-yet-wise Vito or the coldly calculating Michael. He’s Fredo, and it’s showing.


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