Lately I have been thinking about how someone on the Colbert Report or on the Daily Show can realistically survive an interview. It seems no matter what perspective one comes from, they look like a fool.
If you try and play straight man too much to Colbert's statements, you can end up looking like you are as much of a caricature as his character is on his show. If you try and play along and joke around too much, you look like a panderer at best. If you try and dish back to Colbert what Colbert and Stewart dish out to you, that gets you in trouble as well.
Here we have a couple of examples based on theology and church life. One video is of Bart Ehrman, a theologian who is also an agnostic. Colbert calls him a "atheist without balls" (ht Marko). Then you have Rick Warren, a Southern Baptist pastor who comes across equally as goofy, eventually trying to dish a little back to Colbert.
If you were on Colbert's show, how would you approach the interview?
Perhaps one who does this setting best as a Christain leader is Tony Campolo, who was on tonight. Here it is: