Stephen Colbert kicked off his week of U.S.O. broadcasts last night by attending boot camp to show solidarity with the troops stationed in Iraq, but that apparently wasn't quite enough, as Barack Obama ordered that his head be shaved.
Colbert, appearing on stage in a custom-made Brooks Brothers camouflage suit, is making history by being the first person in the history of the U.S.O. to film, edit and broadcast a non-news show from an active war zone. Besides going through a mildly simulated boot camp, Colbert took the liberty to declare victory in the Iraq War on his show last night, explaining his declaration to General Ray Odierno, commander of American troops in Iraq, by saying "we're not hearing a lot of stories about the war back home."
Colbert follows a storied tradition of entertainers, perhaps most famous among them being Bob Hope, who have volunteered to travel into hostile areas to assist the U.S.O. in its stated mission to "provide morale, welfare and recreation-type services to uniformed military personnel." While portraying a buffoonish character on his show, Colbert has personally demonstrated a history of support for American troops, having in the past raised money for school supplies for soldier's children, and helping disabled veterans through sales of WristStrong bracelets for the Yellow Ribbon Fund. He is also donating all proceeds from iTunes downloads of this week's show to the U.S.O. In short, some of Stephen Colbert's character's uber-Americanist character traits seem to be carrying over into his personal life, albeit for the best.
Below is the segment with General Odierno, with Barack Obama beaming in by satellite to order the shaving of Colbert's head, a pretty fun television moment, and one that was clearly loved by the troops in the audience.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Obama Orders Stephen's Haircut - Ray Odierno|