Satirist Stephen Colbert must have been nervous before the moment when, standing within spitting distance of George W. Bush the other night, he let fly with this blistering condemnation of the president. But you'd never know.
On video he is totally composed. And keenly accurate. Mere seconds in, he begins:
Somebody pinch me. You know what? I'm a pretty sound sleeper—that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face. Is he really not here tonight? Dammit. The one guy who could have helped.
Some of the comedy is broad, some subtle. My favourite bit seems to be about Jesse Jackson, but then at the last second it isn't:
Jesse Jackson is here, the Reverend. Haven't heard from the Reverend in a little while. I had him on the show. Very interesting and challenging interview. You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.
Sharply written and brilliantly executed. We'll see if Colbert gets excommunicated or declared an enemy of the state. Or, more probably, simply ignored by those who disagree with him.