The Best Part of the RNC Has Already Happened

By Peyton Carper on July 17, 2016
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Anyone even remotely following the 2016 presidential election knows that it’s definitely one for the history books in many ways; a female candidate is being seriously considered as a nominee for a major political party, Bernie Sanders has had an unprecedented following of youth voters, and, well,  Donald Trump in general. But Sunday evening, the day before the start of the Republican National Convention on July 18, a show-stealer appeared on stage at the site of the RNC in Cleveland, and it was someone not vying for the presidency – Stephen Colbert.

Around 6pm on Sunday evening, a video from the RNC was posted to YouTube by a user called Tom Cahill, which can be seen here. In the video, Colbert can be seen in character as a Caesar Flickerman-esque character who flaunts an outrageous blue wig and a sleek black suit. This character has been seen on Colbert’s shows as the host of the “Hungry For Power Games,” performing a monologue each time a candidate dropped out of the race, and even has his own playlist of 14 videos on YouTube.

In the video, Colbert can be seen shouting about Trump’s “alliance” with Mike Pence, and announces the commencement of the Hungry For Power Games. An RNC official can be seen attempting to drag Colbert off the stage, during which time Colbert can be heard saying, “I know I’m not supposed to be up here…but neither is Donald Trump.”

It’s easy to say that this is just a publicity stunt for Stephen Colbert’s talk show, especially considering that he and former “Daily Show” host and frequent Colbert collaborator Jon Stewart will be presenting live shows after each night of the RNC. But if this is supposed to be a publicity stunt, it seems to be a very badly executed one.

Colbert’s interference has been covered by only two news sources apart from ULoop, even hours after it occurred. US Uncut published an article about Colbert’s hijinks seemingly only minutes after the video was posted, and RawStory.com posted a similar article roughly 3 hours later.  No other mention of the event can be found besides a photo on Stephen Colbert’s official Twitter page, which features him seemingly backstage at the RNC in costume messing with electrical equipment. Colbert’s caption on the photo reads, “At the center of power at the RNC”, and is posted below.

Image via Twitter.

The only video proof of the event so far was posted by a YouTube user with only 26 subscribers, and at 9pm EST the video only had roughly 2,400 views. No major news sources have covered the event, which begs the question, “why not?” This prank by Colbert not only pokes fun at the Republican Party, namely its front runner, but seems to be entirely Colbert’s idea. So why on Earth isn’t anyone talking about it? Fox News, a strongly conservative network, has shown radio silence in the face of the mockery of Donald Trump. CBS, Colbert’s home network, has made no mention of it, which leads us to believe that they are not in on the joke. It will be interesting to see whether Colbert’s network stands behind their man or caves under pressure of retribution.

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Peyton Carper is an Editing, Writing, and Media student at Florida State University. She is a former staff writer with the Beaches Leader Newspaper in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She is a fierce advocate for the awareness and prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence. She hopes to one day write biographies and own many dogs.

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