Certainly more than a few people scratched their heads or worse today when they turned on the TV and saw that not only was Stephen Colbert testifying before Congress, but that he was doing so in character. Who's idea was this, anyway? Lots of online kerfuffling over this one, because it didn't make sense to make a mockery out of a serious situation. Or did it?
Roll the clip of Colbert's opening statement to the Congressional subcommittee on immigration:
Turns out Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren invited Colbert. Which makes a lot more sense when you realize that two nights ago, Colbert aired an interview with Lofgren about the subject of migrant farm workers.
And last night, Colbert aired the piece that included him working with the workers, in which he teased his Congressional appearance, and later referenced in front of them. Roll it!
Appearing before the subcommittee certainly made an impact. I'm not sure it was the right one, however, as opponents of reform likely will focus more on Colbert's sarcasm than on the actual issues facing workers and immigrants. Notice on that clip from today how the biggest laugh from inside the room came when Colbert suggested that Republicans and Democrats would work together to do the correct thing, because that's what they always do.
I also hope this does not undercut the planned rallies by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on Oct. 30 in D.C.