Sunday, April 30, 2006
This weekend's White House Correspondents' Association dinner features comedian Stephen Colbert addressing the very crowd -- President Bush, the journalists who cover him and the celebrities who joined them in Washington -- that he usually skewers on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." But Colbert is no stranger to the comedic potential of the nation's capital. He has interviewed more than a dozen unsuspecting members of Congress for his show's weekly "Better Know a District" segment. A selection of some of Colbert's finer exchanges:With Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.)
Colbert: What does it feel like to represent California's Canada?
Hooley: I represent Oregon.
Colbert: Right, which is the Canada of California. If you prefer, it is Washington's Mexico, if you want to put it that way.
Hooley: It is a fabulous state to represent.
Colbert: Your state is one of the few that has a medical-marijuana program.
Hooley: We do. It was something that the voters voted on.
Colbert: And you think those voters should just get what they want?
Hooley: Sometimes I disagree with them, but I respect their right and their vote has to count.
Colbert: Are you high right now?Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.)
Colbert: Did you take any money from Jack Abramoff?
Engel: No, I never met Jack Abramoff.
Colbert: Okay, how much money?
Engel: I never took money from Jack Abramoff. I do think the Jack Abramoff thing --
Colbert: Which way do you pronounce it?
Engel: I've heard both.
Colbert: Why a mustache?
Engel: Kind of makes me more sophisticated.
Colbert: Congressman, may I stroke your mustache?
Colbert: May I comb it?Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.)
Colbert: Do you have to take your toupee off when you go through security?
Colbert: Can you imagine something like that running free on an airplane? . . .
Colbert: Daytona is in your district.
Colbert: I assume you're a fan of driving in circles?
Mica: Well, I'm a fan of races, I'm a fan of Daytona Beach.
Colbert: Why do the girls go wild, Congressman?
Mica: They're just having a good time.Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)
Colbert: Are people ever shocked when they find out this mild-mannered man represents the largest porn industry in the United States?
Sherman: Sir, I don't know what you're saying. If you're claiming that the San Fernando Valley has a pornography industry, I have no idea where you got that. . . .
Colbert: What was the name of your first pet?
Sherman: My dog, Sandy. . . .
Colbert: And what was the name of the first street you grew up on?
Colbert: So your porn name is Sandy Teller. My porn name would be Caesar Honey Bee.
Sherman: Why would I want a porn name?
Colbert: Because you wouldn't want to be doing porn as Congressman Sherman.Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.)
Colbert: Do you support the NSA wiretap program?
Wynn: I don't support that.
Colbert: Explain why in 2004 the Montgomery Sentinel asked you which superpower you would choose: invisibility or flight. You picked invisibility, saying, "I would use my powers to fight crime by eavesdropping on criminal plots so to thwart them in advance." How is that different than the wiretapping?
Wynn: Superheroes don't require court orders.
Colbert: So you agree that Bush is a superhero. Maybe Bush's superpower is just the ability to ignore Congress. You will admit he does it better than anybody else.
Wynn: True, I agree.