Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC gag has earned more than just a little financial clout — his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report received a prestigious Peabody Award Wednesday for its segments poking fun at the political fundraising groups that allow unlimited contributions.
“What an honor! I am truly speechless. Luckily, thanks to Citizens United, my money can speak for me,” Colbert, who received his first Peabody in 2008, said on Twitter. Colbert created his Super PAC, Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, last year as a satirical response to the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United ruling.
The Super PAC parody garnered more than a few laughs. His group has raised more than $1 million in donations and is lauded as a innovative means of teaching American viewers about the landmark court decision.”Launching his own Super PAC as a satirical protest against megabucks politics, Colbert mixed cerebral comedy with inspired sight gags, interviews and preposterously funny monologues,” University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which awards the Peabody, said in a statement.
Colbert continues to illustrate the critical role Super PACs play in American politics, and more recently flexed his political muscle by enlisting the help of college students nationwide. Late last week the Comedy Central host introduced the Colbert SuperPAC Super Fun Pack, a do-it-yourself kit to help create your very own Super PAC for America’s next generation of donors. “All you need is a burning desire for civil engagement,” Colbert said on his show. “And $99.”
After receiving a letter from University of Texas student Paul Benefiel, who requested permission to begin his own arm of Americans for A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Colbert officially announced his endorsement of creating college chapters nationwide.
The box set includes the Federal Election Commission paperwork – in fact, the only requirement to create a Super PAC – along with an assortment of souvenirs including a dorm room door sign, tube socks and a T-shirt emblazoned with the words, “Turtles don’t like peanut butter,” a nod to a previous segment in which children raised money for the SuperPAC.
This week the comedian added a special decoder ring and complementing treasure map, which leads one lucky winner to a college visit from Colbert. To seek political advice, the pack now includes “Hamlet” Rove, a canned-ham Karl Rove lookalike. Colbert also includes the Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans to kick-start fundraising, as well as a trusty Allen wrench in case you decide to instead fashion a piece of IKEA furniture out of the kit.
Students at Duke University and several high school students are joining the ranks of Colbert’s Super PAC sensation, giving the youth a new (satirical) candidate to stand behind.