The writers of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” make sure their faux pundit’s opinions are as strong as they are ill-informed. “We tell everyone who comes on the show he’s a high-status idiot and they are welcome to disprove his wrongheaded theories,” Silverman says.
A veteran of “The Daily Show” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” Silverman says with outsized personalities like Bill O’Reilly, Nancy Grace, Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes becoming ubiquitous, “you have to stand back and point out the ridiculousness of it.”
Silverman and co-writer Dahm are too busy to actually watch the shows themselves but have a staff watching hours of cable news for material. “One of our biggest tasks has been to develop a voice and a history for him,” says Dahm, a fake-news veteran who used to work for the Onion.
Each morning they begin writing scripts based on how they believe Colbert would react to the headlines of the day. During the Day Without Immigrants protests, for example, they decided he would be oblivious.
“He had no idea why his housekeeper and driver and gardener weren’t around,” says Dahm.