So I was catching up on the many episodes of the Colbert Report that I have missed recently (as well as the Daily Show, you can't watch one without the other) and I came across the most interesting thing. For those who have been following the Colbert Report recently you already know about this, but the whole story struck me, and in an attempt to procrastinate I ended up writing an article about it... which I thought I might as well share with you! Enjoy!
Colbert: A God Maker?
Raj Patel becomes deified through Colbert Report
For those of you who follow Stephen Colbert's show The Colbert Report as much as I do, you have most likely heard, or witnessed the well documented phenomenon titled “The Colbert Bump,” however you may be unaware of just how powerful that bump really is. For those who have not heard of this strange occurrence let us refer to the entry in Stephen Colbert's own version of Wikipedia - Wikiality, The Truthiness Encyclopedia. It explains that the “Colbert Bump is the curious phenomenon whereby anyone who appears on The Colbert Report gets a huge boost in popularity, causing them to win elections, receive massive increases in money in, receive major awards and even get laid.”
During the 2006 Midterm Elections in the United States, 30 candidates who had an interview with Colbert, ended up being elected for office. Being on the show also increases book sales by 10 times on average according to the statisticians from juiceanalytics.com, and according to the Chicago Tribune it also gives a financial benefit to political candidates, as they end up raising on average 44 percent more than the candidates who do not come onto the show.
Now that we've established what the Colbert Bump phenomenon is and how it has been seen thus far, we can begin to understand the latest event that has been unfolding in the Colbert Nation. On January 12th, 2010 Raj Patel, a writer and activist, was interviewed on the Colbert Report. Lately, this author has been receiving more press than usual as he is being increasingly seen as the next Messiah, or rather the Maitreya as it is called for Buddhists. But apparently, it was this appearance on the Colbert Report that has convinced many that he is indeed the Chosen One.
Share International is a small religious group dedicated to finding the next Maitreya. Their leader Benjamin Creme has been predicting the return of the Maitreya over the last 30 years and has clues that will help determine who this man really is. He will be dark skinned, born in 1972, he will have traveled from India to London in 1977 and he sometimes speaks in a stutter. Raj Patel was born in 1972 in India and he has traveled to London in 1977 on a holiday with his family, so he has been viewed as a potential candidate for a while now. However, it was not until his January 12th interview on the Colbert Report, when he stuttered throughout the interview, did people become convinced he was the Maitreya.
Benjamin Creme announced several days later that the “Maitreya recently gave his first interview in America. The Master of All the Masters came onto a well known television program.” The television program? The Colbert Report. The stuttering on the show has been seen as the final sign. Raj Patel has been denying these claims and even returned to the Colbert Report on the March 15th episode to explain that this was untrue.
Understandably, Colbert is taking credit for this turn of events, claiming that he has personally deified Raj through the awesome power of the Colbert Bump. Raj has written several entries in his blog claiming that his stuttering was in fact caused by his nervousness stemming from his profound admiration for Stephen Colbert, and nothing to do with godly qualities. He ends his latest blog with a quote from Monty Python's relevant movie “Life of Brian,” where a normal man is misinterpreted to be the Messiah, “sadly, I’m not the Messiah. I’m just a very naughty boy.”
However uncomfortable this situation may be for Raj, he is definitely receiving more free publicity than he could have imagined. And in terms of Stephen Colbert? He seems quite pleased with this turn of events that seem to prove once and for all the Colbert Bump.