He's rewriting the comedy/satire playbook.
Last night's ploy to have people vote for Herman Cain as proxies for him in South Carolina is borderline genius.
For those who haven't been playing along, Stephen started his own Super-pac last July, signed it over to Jon Stewart last week so he could run in South Carolina. But alas, write-in votes are not allowed down there--God knows why not. But just as it is too late for Colbert to get on the ballot, it is too late to take Herman Cain's name off the ballot. So Stephen announced last night that he is running in Cain's name, and that a vote for Cain is a vote for him. He also mentioned that since SC's primary is an open primary, Democrats might want to consider packing the ballot boxes for Cain/Colbert. Hysterical.
Then this morning Colbert's Super-pac (now Jon Stewart's Super-pac) started running ads down there (without consulting Colbert, of course), urging people to vote for Cain while showing a picture of Colbert with an arrow pointing to him and the words "this guy" written in crayon in the corner of the screen.
I always thought that guys like Stan Freberg were the kings of satirical advertising, but what Colbert and Stewart are doing really tops all of what's happened before. To anyone who's paying attention and who "gets it," this exposing Super-pacs as idiotic, immoral, and damaging to the nation in the extreme is absolutely brilliant.
Whether he's actually "too sharp for the room," remains to be seen.