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Colbert Countdown: Getting the Colbert 'bump'




Still from U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas's appearance on
Still from U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas's appearance on "The Colbert Report."
Comedy Central
Still from U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas's appearance on
Screenshot from Gregory Rodriguez's appearance on "The Colbert Report."
Comedy Central
Still from U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas's appearance on
Author Edan Lepucki on "The Colbert Report."
Comedy Central
Still from U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas's appearance on
The cover of Edan Lepucki's debut novel, "California."


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As we count down the days to the Dec. 18 final episode of "The Colbert Report," we're taking a look at guests who had memorable appearances on "The Colbert Show," and a couple who got the famed Colbert "bump.

U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas

How could we talk about Colbert and politics without discussing his famed ‘Better Know a District’ series? He’s had up-close-and- personal encounters with members of the House since his show’s inception. Early on, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cautioned members not to go on the show. Her attitudes clearly changed as she ultimately appeared herself.

Earlier this year, first-term L.A. Democratic Congressman Tony Cárdenas went on The Colbert Report. He represents the San Fernando Valley district famous for being a hub for the production of porn movies. That naturally gave Colbert plenty of fodder.

 

Gregory Rodriguez

Gregory Rodriguez is the publisher of Zócalo Public Square, a website dedicated to culture and current events. He’s also an author who had his turn in the Colbert hot seat back in 2008.

He was promoting his book, “Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans and Vagabonds," a history of Mexican immigration to the United States. Needless to say, the topic gave Colbert plenty of fodder for his trademark absurdist questioning.

As a first-time author, her dystopian novel, "California," became a New York Times bestseller this summer, in part due to getting the Colbert "bump" — or, as Lepucki calls it, "a Colbert mountain." But it wasn’t simply because she was a guest on the show. It was the result of a deliberate campaign that Stephen Colbert waged on behalf of his publisher, Hachette, which also published Lepucki’s book.

Earlier this year, the online retailer Amazon was refusing to stock Hachette books. Colbert fought back by rallying the "Colbert Nation" to buy Lepucki's book via Powell's Bookstore and put "California" on the best seller list. The strategy worked. 

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