Stephen Colbert hit the Republican National Convention (RNC) with a bang and quite likely became the best part of the entire convention. In what has, for Stephen Colbert, become a long-running gag about the RNC, the talk show host hit the stage at the RNC dressed similarly to Hunger Games host Caesar Flickerman, complete with blue wig and eyebrows, according to U.S. News.
Stephen Colbert, in character, tweeted that he was “at the center of power” at the RNC, a huge grin on his face as he tried to fiddle with one of the stage’s power panels prior to his appearance on stage. Jezebel noted that Stephen Colbert at the RNC also joked that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had also “formed an alliance with Indiana Governor Mike Pence” before apparently being hit with narcolepsy.
A moment later, Stephen Colbert brightened and stared out at the assembled masses at the RNC.
After quickly apologizing because he “blacked out,” he said, “[I]t is my honor to hereby launch and begin the 2016 Republican National Hungry for Power Games!”
However, security appeared to intervene, and as Stephen Colbert was escorted from the RNC stage, he yelled, “Look, I know I’m not supposed to be up here, but to be honest, neither is Donald Trump.”
At the center of power at the RNC pic.twitter.com/R8kBtEI7Hq
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) July 17, 2016
According to Uloop, no major news sources had covered Stephen Colbert’s appearance at the RNC, and the only video proof of Colbert’s appearance was by someone who only had 26 subscribers. By the time 9 p.m. EST rolled around, though, the video had been seen some 2,400 times. As of this morning, the video has been viewed nearly a half a million times.
The Daily Mail reported that Stephen Colbert started covering the “Games” in September 2015 in the lead-up to the RNC, which Colbert has nicknamed the “Hungry for Power Games.” During the ongoing segments, Colbert has discussed the misadventures of such presidential possibilities as “Carson Eversleep,” “Dyin’ Ted,” and “May the Branch Be Forever in Your Face.”
Stephen Colbert did not stop at the “Hungry for Power Games” during the early stages of the RNC, though. As he made his way through the floor at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, he also brought the barbecue debate to the forefront, according to WNCN.
“North Carolina, I love you,” Colbert said, “but I’m sorry that barbecue is not as good as South Carolina.”
Uloop has theorized that perhaps CBS did not know about Stephen Colbert’s plans for the RNC, as the network has not commented on Colbert’s appearance as yet. Breitbart has offered speculation that perhaps the “Hungry for Power Games” stunt is an effort on Stephen Colbert’s part to bolster ratings for his show, which has been repeatedly trounced since it debuted in September 2015.
Breitbart offers Jon Stewart’s planned appearance during the two-week convention as further evidence that Stephen Colbert’s planned work during the RNC is designed to help boost Colbert’s ratings. Ratings for The Late Show have steadily hovered in third after Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, and while Colbert’s show did edge out Jimmy Kimmel’s for a short piece in June, it’s clear that Colbert has struggled to find his footing since taking over for David Letterman.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 17, 2016
Colbert tends to see his work go viral as a result of his political controversy, which ranked a new high when he drew a swastika on a chalkboard in an effort to draw comparisons between Donald Trump’s platform and Nazism. Hosts like Fallon, however, tend to draw viewers as a result of his news slow jams or his celebrity “Ew” segments.
More hosts than Stephen Colbert will be hitting the RNC, though. Also planned is coverage by HBO’s Bill Maher, TBS’ Samantha Bee, and current Daily Show host Trevor Noah.
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]