Friday, September 24, 2010

Stephen Colbert to testify in Congress in character

Stephen Colbert is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill tomorrow.
Fresh off farm gig, comedian Colbert set for House hearing
(CNN) -- Stephen Colbert shined his comedic light on farm labor and immigration for his TV show. Now a House subcommittee is about to have him draw attention to the issues on Capitol Hill.

The Comedy Central funnyman, fresh off Thursday night's "The Colbert Report" episode showing him packing corn and picking beans on a farm as part of a challenge from a pro-immigrant-labor group, is to appear before a House subcommittee on immigration at 9:30 a.m.
In wrestling, kayfabe is the art of preserving the illusion that wrestling is real. Obviously this can be easily managed within the realm of wrestling but harder so when the larger than life characters interact with foreign parties or migrate to other forms of entertainment. I've spoken previously of the awkwardness of the hypermacho Bill O'Reilly persona when positioned in lightweight programming.

This will be an interesting exercise in hyperreality - seeing an earnest caricature of a conservative bloviator invited by a Democratic Congress to testify on the serious matter of illegal immigration. Since everyone in Congress should be across the Colbert brief, it shouldn't play like a 'Borat sketch'. But that's not to say reality won't be muddled at all.

Watch Stephen addressing the concerns of Fox and Friends' Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fallback Position - Migrant Worker Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Watch one of the rare occasions Stephen Colbert breaks kayfabe and unpacks his art.

VIDEO: The Real Stephen Colbert (Out of Character)

Read a discussion on Colbert's in-character appearance from Conservative blog, Newsbusters - Stephen Colbert to Testify to Congress About Illegal Immigration

Watch happens when staying in character can go wrong. I've shown and discussed this infamous clip between John Stossel and Dr D David Schultz previously. Here it is again being unpacked below:

VIDEO: Schultz VS Stossel - When keeping it Kayfabe goes wrong documentary (1 of 2)

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