There’s truth behind the ‘Colbert Bump’

Rico Gagliano Aug 14, 2008
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There’s truth behind the ‘Colbert Bump’

Rico Gagliano Aug 14, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: A couple years ago, Jim Webb appeared on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report.” That was the day before announcing his run for Senate. He won. Recently, when he returned to the show, he had this to say:

Jim Webb: I came here, I spent six minutes with you, and my whole life changed.

Stephen Colbert: That, sir, is called “The Colbert Bump.”

Actually, we did a little research on the “The Colbert Bump,” and our man, Rico Gagliano found this:


Rico Gagliano: Last year, Stephen Colbert fan James Fowler attended a bachelor party in Vegas, and found himself thinking about one thing:

James Fowler: All of this bluster on the Colbert Report, I wonder if he really does have the impact that his character says he has.

Toldja he’s a fan. He’s also a PoliSci professor at UC San Diego. So he downloaded campaign contribution data from the federal government, and discovered something surprising:

Fowler: For Democrats, they get about 44 percent more donations in the first 30 days after appearing on the show.

That’s compared to similar candidates who don’t appear on the show. Republican guests get no increase. It seems to prove the show’s power among Democratic voters. Fowler says it also has him thinking about politics and media.

Fowler: Now comedy shows have become sources for news about the candidates. And seems like regular news now, it’s become much more entertainment oriented.

Gagliano: You mean like business radio programs doing stories about the Colbert Report?

Fowler: Haha! Maybe so!

In Los Angeles, I’m Rico Gagliano for the Marketplace Morning Reporr.

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