The Laughs Are on Comedian Stephen Colbert at the 20th Annual Roast for Spina Bifida

Late-night comedian Stephen Colbert returns to Washington for the 20th Annual Roast for Spina Bifida and this time the laughs are on him.
By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stephen Colbert came back.

Right here to the same room where he made official Washington so cranky back in '06. Here to the Hilton Washington ballroom, where his speech at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner got few laughs and was panned because it skewered -- not so artfully, many thought -- President Bush and the media.

But here he is up on the stage. And this time, finally, Colbert is getting laughs.

"The one and only -- and one is too many -- Stephen Colbert!" Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington's delegate in Congress and one of Colbert's favorite foils, declares.

This is the matchup everyone has been waiting for in the buildup to the 20th Annual Roast for Spina Bifida. Their snippy, prickly -- utterly hilarious -- confrontations on "The Colbert Report" are Internet sensations.

It was Colbert who noted on his show that Norton helped write federal sexual harassment guidelines during the Carter administration.

"Then, why are you undressing me with your eyes, congresswoman?" Colbert asked her.

"You flatter yourself, sir," Norton shot back.

"It looked like you just raped me with your eyes just then," Colbert parried.

But tonight is different. Norton has the mike.

"Watch out, Colbert," she says. "Let's see how tough you are without your writers. . . . What do we call 'The Colbert Report' with funnier material? 'The Daily Show,' sir!"

The crowd loves it.

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