Colbert Can't Mock Beck: He's Impossibly 'Raised the Stupid Bar'

On The Atlantic website, former Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren recounted a recent liberal panel discussion at a celebration of the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago. Comedy Central host and mock-conservative Stephen Colbert insisted Glenn Beck was too impossibly stupid to satirize:

As for Glenn Beck, the panel discussed the challenge of maintaining a separation between reality and satire when so many TV pundits are simply, premeditatedly over-the-top.

"I said, 'Let's start doing some Glenn Beck stuff but in praise of Glenn Beck,'" said Colbert. "But every time we do one, he will have done something dumber. He raised the stupid bar and now it's nearly inapproachable."

"I worry that if we use that as a model....if somebody doesn't believe what they're saying, it's very hard to out-stupid them," said a decidedly analytical Colbert. "Because then there's no place to sink our hook into, there's no mountain to climb there. I can't climb Glenn Beck since there's nothing there."

As for his own conservative character's stupidity, Colbert explained: 

"The character really means well. He's willfully ignorant of what you know and care about. He's not mendacious and stupid. He's innocent and stupid, like a puppy who's urinating on your politics, not destroying your politics."

Colbert also explained he was appalled that Antonin Scalia would like his routines.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis