I know I’m a little late to this party (h/t Dave Weigel). But I must join the chorus marveling over the Tim Pawlenty who showed up on “The Colbert Report” last night. He wasn’t the fella using Hollywood-style videos to get our attention. Pawlenty was being Pawlenty. And he was funny.

When asked by Stephen Colbert if he could have learned to juggle to get more attention, Pawlenty responded, “I thought about shooting sparks up my butt.” Not the normal banter we’re used to hearing on the presidential campaign trail. Although, according to Weigel, this Pawlenty humor was readily seen at his events in Iowa before he dropped out.

Presidential campaigns have a distorting quality on anyone’s personality. But they do a number on those with a sense of humor or blessed with a dry wit. They never seem able to translate the ability to get a laugh into an ability to get votes.