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The Michelle Wolf controversy forced Stephen Colbert to resurrect Stephen Colbert

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We are on stage (checks math) six of the backlash to Michelle Wolf’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner? It’s hard to keep track. The point is, after making some extremely appropriate and well-tuned jokes about our dumb administration and media apparatus, Wolf has been under siege by faux-outraged Republicans, leading to 1) a completely spineless railroading by the White House Correspondents Association itself, and 2) a flood of support from fellow comedians. Last night her old boss Seth Meyers went to the mat for her, Dave Chappelle has said she “nailed it,” and Jimmy Kimmel and Kathy Griffin have also offered words of support. Wolf has also, of course, ably “defended” herself, as much as a comedian who did comedy things needs to be defended.

But Stephen Colbert, sensing a fellow comedian in need, had to call in the big guns. While others merely said words, Colbert went one step further, and brought out ... Stephen Colbert. With eyebrow arched, glasses on, and falcons of liberty screaming overhead, the acclaimed host of the 2006 Correspondents Dinner decided to “pump it down the truth hole,” fitting in some Kanye jokes while he “stevesplained” everything Wolf did wrong. “How dare you besmirch the okay name of Sarah Huckabee Sanders?” Colbert’s rightwing avatar cried, before ending things with a well-timed plug for Wolf’s new Netflix show (The Break With Michelle Wolf, premiering May 27).


When it was all over, the real Colbert reemerged as if from a fugue state. It’s good to see that, even as his Late Show handily trounces Jimmy Fallon’s toothless Tonight Show, Colbert’s still got his Colbert eyebrow muscles in good working order.

Here’s his own legendary hosting stint from 2006, by the way: