Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert is perhaps the most successful self-promoter in the history of the human race. All others are but pale copies of his masterful manipulation of the cosmic realm.
When he wanted to run for president, he got Doritos to fund his campaign; likewise, Doritos footed the bill when he wanted to spend a week in Pennsylvania during the Democratic primary. All Colbert had to do was munch Doritos on his set for a few days. If Doritos hadn’t been in the tank for him, they could have demanded he appear on stage covered in chips tastefully pasted all over his body with scantily clad men and women artfully pulling one after another off and eating them. Now that would have been a reasonable trade-off.
He whined for a year to get an Apple iPhone… and they finally gave him one. His DNA is in space, he’s got a spider, an eagle, a worm, a lethal virus, a terrorist group (Colbert’s Commies), and the Dalai Lama’s first kid named for him. He even had his picture hung in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.
I don’t know what he promised Marvel Comics, but they’ve become enslaved by the Colbert hypnotic gaze. Those who thought his presidential campaign dead might be surprised to find that Spider-Man thinks it’s alive and well.
In the Amazing Spider-Man #573, “Spider-Man & Stephen Colbert Team Up,” comes the line, "I might be wrong, but I don't believe Spider-Man's really into endorsing anyone for the White House," stated Peter Parker. "It shouldn't matter what Spidey thinks of the guy; it's up to the public to decide if Colbert can handle all the great power and responsibility that being President entails."
And for those of you who think Obama really won the election, here’s Marvel’s take on it:
When he won two Peabodies and an Emmy (for best writing, not best show… neener, neener, neener,) he not only displays them endlessly, he demands to know if guests, such as authors who can’t win Emmys, had won any. Then he proudly points to his. (Since Colbert will never read this, I will say it was a well-deserved Emmy; it may be the best written comedy show on TV.)
Not finally, but enough is enough, his website, Colbert Nation, isn’t even part of Comedy Central’s site — it’s a stand-alone one. What chutzpah. What arrogance. What brilliant promotion of his ever-rising brand… the rat.
So why am I, you might ask, a humble scribe in search of an agent — while Colbert’s book, I Am America and So Can You, hits the best seller's list — railing against the unfairness of so many doing so such much for Colbert for so little?
Blame Jameson Irish whiskey. For many months, when I was an editor, frequent contributor, and commenter on Blogcritics (BC), a self-described “sinister cabal of superior writers,” my tagline was In Jameson Veritas. It followed every post, every comment. I praised the virtues of this fine whiskey time and time again.
And I, modest and self-effacing, never asked for a sou in return, whatever a sou is. Had Jameson offered to make me its international spokesperson, I would have gladly accepted. Had they sent me a case of Jameson, or even better, Middleton, the sine qua non (Latin for "the best shit in the world") of Irish whiskeys, I would have gratefully accepted.
Even an e-mail from some low-level lackey saying, “Hey, thanks for the free plugs, sucker,” would have at least demonstrated that they recognized my devotion to their brand.
But no, nothing, nada, nihilism.
And then, for reasons known only to a few medical specialists, I left the warm world of Blogcritics and returned to my humble cave in the mountains just outside D.C. Many months later, I decided to check out my old friends at BC, and, to my amazement, shock, chagrin — okay, I’ll cut down on the hysterics — I found that Jameson was actually advertising on the site.
They were spending money trying to push their liver-melting brand of fire water, and there was not even the least recognition that I had been responsible. (While I’m ranting again, let it be known that I didn’t receive a percentage from BC for their new revenue. That would have been a generous gesture, don’t you think?)
However, when the Jameson execs realized that their product was no longer being promoted frequently and freely — since I wasn’t there — they pulled their ads.
But now I return, albeit slowly to Blogcritics. The Curmudgeon-At-Large still ends his posts and comments with In Jameson Veritas, but, let me warn you Jameson, I am taking a page from the book of the Great Stephen Colbert. Nothing is for free anymore. Make me an offer, or I may begin using In Bushmills Veritas.
So there. The die is cast. The glove has been thrown down. The lamb is being led to the slaughter.
I think this is going to work… unless, of course, Jameson and Bushmills Irish whiskeys are made by the same brewer. If that’s the case, I’m screwed.
Hmm. I wonder if The MacCallan single-malt scotch whiskey is looking for an international spokesperson?
In Jameson Veritas