So the world watched and waited. How would Stephen Colbert respond to the online-driven drive to #CancelColbert?
Not very seriously. Or, perhaps, very, very seriously, since he responded at the very beginning of his show last night, and then a bit later, and then with a special guest—in fact, for the entire show. But also: Before that, Jon Stewart, his former boss on "The Daily Show" and partner in his current Comedy Central show, did his own commentary.
Responding to the effort to #CancelColbert because of a joke in the Twitter feed for his show (where he adopts a rightwing blowhard persona) making fun of "Orientals" —this related to the Washington NFL owner not dropping "Redskins"—Stewart took this route: He referred early on in his show to the Gov. Chris Christie administration’s treatment of former aide Bridget Kelly as a hysterical woman, suffering from man trouble and yet needing approval from men. Stewart's graphic was headlined “Bitches Be Crazy, Right?” (Watch video here.)
At the bottom a new hashtag: #CancelStewart. (Not so new, however, since fans had already started one.) “How did that get in there?” Stewart asked. A quick check of #CancelStewart at Twitter for early responses found most backing him and/or opposing the "Twitter fascists."
And then Stephen Colbert responded in the opening to his show, and later, with more mockery: "Folks—I’m still here. The dark forces trying to silence my message of core conservative principles mixed with youth-friendly product placement have been thwarted!"
B.D. Wong, the Asian actor, appeared to help him along. Stephen did urge viewers to stop attacking his main antagonist Suey Park. And he blamed it all on Comedy Central, since it was the network, not his personal feed, that put up (and then removed) the tweet that sparked the controversy. But he declared: “The Interweb tried to swallow me whole. But I am proud to say that I got lodged in its throat and it hacked me back up, like a hastily chewed chicken wing.”
Watch videos here. One re-cap described the conclusion:
After announcing he was shutting down his cringe-inducingly named faux foundation and firing its one staffer, but before blowing up Comedy Central’s real @ColbertNation so as to give Park’s followers something to crow about, Colbert brought out tonight’s guest.
“Here to apologize – the co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone.”
“I am not here to apologize,” Stone insisted.
“I accept,” Colbert responded.
“Will we get a chance to talk about my new book?” Stone wanted to know.
“Yeah. When you founded Twitter, did you do it to attack me?”