Study Shows that Conservatives Don’t Know Stephen Colbert is Joking


A recent study conducted by researchers at the Ohio State University has proven something I’ve wondered for years: Conservatives think Stephen Colbert is for real.

This issue cropped up a few years back when Stephen Colbert was asked to speak at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, where he proceeded to tear the President apart with his typical hyper-rhetorical satire while he was standing just a few feet away. I thought it seemed very un-Bush-like to allow dissent in that close of a proximity to him, so I wondered if going in, did Bush and the event planners really think Colbert was on their side?

Well, now science says yes:

“Conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.”

They think he’s being serious. I’ve seen Republican’s cluelessness in action before, but this has to be a new all-time record. I mean look at the picture I’ve used for this post! It should be a mural you’d see in Rush Limbaugh’s personal hell, and they’re actually taking him at face value?

Next news bulletin: The Onion: America’s Shining Journalistic Paragon

  • dan

    i dunno, somehow i doubt that even the right is stupid enough to believe that hes for real.

  • Ian

    Very interesting, however to clarify about the correspondents dinner I believe the speaker was chosen by the New York Times’ white house correspondent.

  • Mark

    I don’t understand. He’s joking?

  • Along these lines, is Rush Limbaugh joking? He is a joke after all.

  • kyle

    bush took it because hes not a pussy like obama who cries if anyone makes fun of him, and no most conservatives know that Colbert is joking (he endorsed obama for pete’s sake) its just that he does make some conservative jokes and things that are pretty funny and if anything he is more tolerable that Stewart

  • kj

    Kyle, may I call you Kyle?

    please, and I cannot emphasize this enough…

    Do not reproduce.



  • John

    Colbert isn’t remotely funny, a preschool child could think of better jokes. When it was aired on FX in the UK I had to force myself to watch it for five minutes just to make sure I wasn’t missing the part where the funny Jokes actually kick in

  • George


    I don’t know who they polled, but no conservative I know thinks he is being serious. Hell, most of us think he is hilarious because that is how liberals actually view us. We aren’t that over the top, insane, or ridiculous, and we can laugh when people act like we are.

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  • It is good to see that my home school homies at Ohio State are continuing to do research that makes a difference in our world. 😛

    Also, I was not aware that Stephen Colbert was joking… What a dick.

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  • Alex

    If you look at the quote:
    “Conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements.”

    It states that both sides think what they want. Conservs take it as pretend, libs take it as joking, and Colbert makes the cash. Smart man that colbert

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  • Hank

    This just in: Poll-takers don’t know that conservatives aren’t being serious when polled about Steven Colbert.

  • Arariel

    I do know someone this stupid, but I think this study wasn’t performed very well. First of all, they polled in a single state, at a university. That’s a very small portion of the population. To compare conservatives to the 44(?) at OSU, would be like comparing Americans in general to the 20% who still believe Bush did a great job. Second, the poll was a bit… unintelligent in itself, because I know if I had been polled, I would have said, Yes, I’m a conservative, and yes, Colbert is serious, just to make conservatives in general to look like idiots. I’m not a very nice person, and I’m also not bipartisan or conservative.

    @kyle: Follow kj’s advice. For humanity’s sake. Please.

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  • ron

    What do you expect from people who think the earth is only 6000 years old? Critical thinking skills based on evidence?

  • Jay

    This guy is is to funny. you huys should have seen the jokes he made when obama was coming up the ranks in the election he compared him to brownies and iphone i know..

  • Jonny

    Arariel: The poll was done by researchers at the Ohio State University, not solely at the University (which is the largest in the world BTW).

    Kyle: Take the others’ advice…

    Otherwise, I find it hard to believe that most conservatives believe that Colbert is serious…although if they do maybe natural selection will weed them out…

  • Steven C Wilson

    For years I’ve noticed a lack of awareness about comedy from many conservitives (okay, I’ve laughed at one or two Republican jokes). Liberal and conservitive brains are different, and that is not opinion but actual research.