Colbert’s TV persona is a cartoonishly ignorant right-wing zealot, whom the comedian himself has called “an idiot.” Plenty of his jokes might be deemed offensive, but all told they usually serve the higher purpose of exposing the absurdity of contemporary politics.
This time, however, some say he’s crossed a line. This is not a new phenomenon in the world of comedy, where such criticism comes with the territory. But it also reminds people that good will towards edgy humor lasts only as long as the audience is laughing. When the room goes silent, it’s wise to cut your losses – just ask Kramer.