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House Trembles When Colbert Comes Calling

Comic shines rare (and rarely flattering) light on representatives
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2009 10:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Members of the House generally toil in obscurity—unless they have the fortune, or misfortune, to run afoul of Stephen Colbert. With his would-be 435-part “Better Know a District” segment, Colbert has become, arguably, the only comedian to make the House of Representatives a major part of his act, Politico reports. “He’s discovered a wealth of material that most comics give up,” says frequent victim Eleanor Holmes Norton of DC.

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Colbert will grill representatives for hours, airing only the most damaging moments. “He is exceptionally good,” said one Utah rep. “Off-the-charts good. He had five pages, single-spaced, of background data.” Too good for some. As chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Rahm Emanuel forbade freshmen reps to take on Colbert. “There was a real sense that this guy will never help you,” says one House historian. (Read more Stephen Colbert stories.)

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