In a telling commentary about our time, Madame Tussauds in Washington on Friday moved dashing newsman Dan Rather to the gift shop to make room for faux newsman Stephen Colbert.
The unveiling of wax Colbert coincided with the DC museum renovating its Media Room, creating a replica set of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” Gunga Dan, therefore, got relegated gift shop territory. (The museum general manager assured us it’s just a temporary move.)
It was certainly a step down for the legendary CBS newsguy, noted Colbert, gleefully.
Meanwhile, surviving the cut — wax Oprah, wax Katie Couric, wax Al Roker and wax Larry King, who doesn’t look any different from the real Larry King.
Colbert arrived about 45 minutes late to the event — because he’s a big star these days. He stood dramatically in front of a black curtain that would fall to reveal his other self, in all its wax glory.
“I’m honored to be standing here next to my Man-Crayon, “ Colbert said triumphantly, reading a short speech from a piece of paper before the big reveal. “I learned this from the Madame Tussauds people just a minute ago — that on the color wheel, my skin tone is Semi-Gloss Romney Voter.”
Polite chuckles from the members of the media assigned to cover the event, crammed into a corner.
“I want to thank everyone at Madame Tussauds for the honor of becoming the latest Waxican American, because being cast in wax is true immortality — as long as the earth is not in any way getting warmer,” Colbert continued. “So without further ado, I present you all...the greatest American figurine since the Ken doll. And unlike Ken, this one is anatomically accurate.”
The curtain dramatically fell, giving way to Colbert’s wax self, sitting at his desk, dressed in a dapper Brooks Brother suit, making giving a thumbs up sign and sporting the most raised eyebrow in the history of raised eyebrows.
“I’m so beautiful!” Colbert gushed.
Colbert posed for photos with wax Colbert.
Colbert snuggled with wax Colbert.
Colbert began to lick wax Colbert’s face. (He stopped when the Madame Tussauds general manager told him licking the wax figures was not allowed.)
Then, and only then, did he take questions from the press. The headlines:
* Colbert indeed no longer has a Super PAC.
* Colbert has no message to deliver to congress while he’s in DC.
* Colbert’s wife is excited about the wax figure, especially because it will give her something to show the kids next time they’re in DC. Will it freak out his kids? “Of course,” Colbert replied. “It freaks me out.”
*Jon Stewart is not his frenemy, just one of his best friends, though Stewart is likely “burning with jealousy” about Colbert’s induction into Madame Tussauds.
* Colbert thinks Nancy Pelosi should be the next political figure immortalized in wax, or John Boehner, who “has a waxy quality to him” anyway.
*Colbert was actually posing for the Madame Tussauds artists when he learned about the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care this past summer — though his staff told him it had been overturned, since CNN had reported the wrong information. And when he learned it actually passed, he still couldn’t budge an inch, since moving meant the artists would have to start over.