Nation: if you're like us, you've been following the #CancelColbert brouhaha with a mix of profound sadness and fist-shaking ire. The idea that one out-of-context quote from a master satirist could be interpreted by ignorant people to launch a Twitter war while feeding the 24/7 news cycle for days is positively Orwellian.
So it was that with baited breath, we waited to hear how Colbert would respond to this ridiculous moment of cultural zeitgeist. Last night he did, and well . . . it was glorious.
In the course of one episode, Colbert managed to tackle all the issues entangled in the mess, including the breathlessly stupid cable news media and Twittersphere, conservative hypocrisy, racism, white-people responses to racism and satire itself (complete with a Jonathan Swift shout-out!). All the while, he managed to be downright gracious about his original opponent on Twitter, while maintaining the persona that was so woefully disregarded by his attackers in the first place. He even got super meta, pointing out in one particularly brilliant moment how he's playing a character and the "real" Stephen Colbert doesn't exist . . . or at least not in the minds of the general public.
Watching it, you realize just how tragic it would be if comedians like Colbert—those able to provide piercing social commentary while being funny as hell—didn't exist. As Colbert said last night, "We almost lost me." And that would be a tragedy indeed.
Click here to watch all the clips from the show. For the best social analysis and laughs, check out "Who's Attacking Me Now?"
Image: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons