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Stephen Colbert Sheds His Hair for Freedom

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Didn’t we spend all last week talking about something having to do with late-night TV? Some guy got a show and another guy left it but got another one? Their names were Cono and Lennon or something like that, right? 

It’s hard to remember already, because back in the world of late-night TV, Stephen Colbert reminded us why what Comedy Central puts on the air every night is miles more relevant than what any broadcast network is doing. On the first of his USO shows from Iraq, Colbert got a closetful of shoes thrown at him, donned a crisp desert-camo suit and interviewed General Ray Odierno, who received a hilarious satellite message from Barack Obama—fresh off plugging Conan O’Brien for Brian Williams: “As Commander in Chief, I hereby order you to shave that man’s head!” Watch it: 

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I’ll admit I was curious how his performance would go over, given that The Daily Show and the Report have not exactly been boosters of the war in Iraq. But comedy’s comedy, and Colbert played it bipartisan, bringing a message from John McCain (“Make sure to always take the time to clean your musket. I learned that at Valley Forge.”) and giving the troops props: “No alcohol? If anyone deserves a beer, it’s you people!” It was proof through action that you don’t have to support the war to support the troops.

And there’s no better way to show solidarity than getting your head shaved. Thomas Jefferson once said that the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots. From time to time, it must also be mulched with the hair of patriots. For that, Stephen, I salute you.