The night before the Colbert super PAC revealed donations of more than $1 million, Stephen Colbert appeared to be sending a desperate message to me.
“We all endorse things we don’t know about. Like I have no idea how my face got on every package of Stephen Colbert’s Horsey Hoofsicles.”
How in the world did Colbert’s comedy writers come up with something so weird and random as Horsey Hoofsicles? Unless, it was not random at all. Could Stephen be sending me a message? Was he flattered by the caricature I drew of him after his rally with Herman Cain in Charleston, S.C.? Or, was it something else – our chance encounter in Charleston, perhaps?
Late on the night of the second Republican debate in South Carolina, I was checking in at Charleston’s historic Mills House Hotel. As I approached the front desk, I noticed a man in a dark blue suit and slicked-back hair, a familiar face from TV. It was Stephen Colbert. We exchanged glances, but no words. Was that where I went wrong? Yes, I’m sure he was dying for an autograph, but I was tired, eager to get to my room. And that needy look in his eyes was just a little unseemly. Still, I should have taken the time and given him the attention he clearly desired.
After all, Colbert is all about getting attention. His fake campaigns, his publicity stunts, even his vanity super PAC – everything the guy does is a not-so-silent scream for recognition. I should have given him a signature on a napkin, or maybe a quick sketch. Or at least a simple “howdy.”
So, Stephen, I want you to know everything is cool between us. There’s no need for this indirect pleading. Horsey Hoofsicles? Come on, you’re above that. In fact, you’re way above that. You are so good at what you do that we political satirists who continue using more traditional methods seem hopelessly archaic. Political cartoons are about as current as cave drawings when put up against the flash and glitz of the “Colbert Report.”
Yet, though you are putting me and all my colleagues out of work, I bear you no grudge. So, if you still want that autograph – or a caricature, or a freaking mint on your pillow – just give me a call. In the meantime, enjoy those hoofsicles.