REP. CONYERS TO FUNNYMAN: 'I'm asking you to leave the committee room completely, and submit your statement'... MORE... Rep. Lofgren steps in: 'Many are eager to hear his comments' ... Colbert mugs: 'I'm here at the invitation of the chairwoman, and if she would like me to remove myself from the hearing room I am happy to do so. I'm only here at her invitation'...What a screwup!
Here's Colbert on his show last night horsing around about it.
UPDATE: Colbert did go on. Here's his 5 minutes of testimony... in character as a right-wing blowhard ninny:
It's quite hilarious to look at the faces of the members of the committee as they don't laugh at his jokes... because they have to take these things seriously. It's all so painfully awkward. Colbert looks pretty awkward too. He's not hamming it up comically as he normally does on his show.
Now, the point of his testimony is something that you used to hear said a lot more: that illegal immigration fills jobs that Americans won't do. Colbert, of course, doesn't want to be a farm worker. (The joke is that he tried that work for a day.) The reason you don't hear this argument so much anymore is that unemployment is so high. Is Colbert's effort to revive the old argument effective? I don't know. I think it's really creepy to talk about non-Americans as good for demeaning or brutal labor that is beneath us.