Colbert gets a leg up on Chaffetz

Published: Thursday, Jan. 8 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

Freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, right, who represents Utah's 3rd District, leg wrestles Stephen Colbert on the set of (Comedy Central.com)" /> Freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, right, who represents Utah's 3rd District, leg wrestles Stephen Colbert on the set of "The Colbert Report" following an interview.
(Comedy Central.com)
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, literally went toe-to-toe with comedian Stephen Colbert on late-night national TV Tuesday — and lost, at least the leg-wrestling portion of it. So much for the strong leg of Chaffetz, a former place-kicker for Brigham Young University.
Chaffetz appeared on "The Colbert Report" on the Comedy Central cable channel as part of Colbert's ongoing "Better Know a District" feature interviewing (and skewering) congressmen around the nation.
Chaffetz smiled widely as he mostly listened to questions by Colbert that poked fun at Utah's 3rd District and Chaffetz's stands. Chaffetz ended by challenging Colbert to a leg wrestle but lost.
As an example of the questions, Colbert asked, "According to my research, Utah's 3rd District is one of the most diverse districts in the state. Tell me about your black person. Is he nice?"
Chaffetz laughed and said, "We have a much more diverse population than we get credit for."
Colbert followed up, asking, "I understand that your district contains both Republicans and staunch Republicans?" Chaffetz conceded, "That's true. We have a few token Democrats, but it's a very Republican district."
And Colbert asked, "What percentage of your district is made up of Osmonds?"
Chaffetz said, "We've got a lot of Osmonds. I was pumping gas at the local Maverik and Marie Osmond was pumping gas there. It was one of my big celebrity sightings." Colbert asked if the Maverik is a gay bar, and Chaffetz quickly explained that it is a gasoline station.
Colbert also took a shot at Chaffetz proposing last year to use tent cities to hold illegal aliens. Chaffetz explained on the show, "We have got to enforce the law. Right now we are just releasing people and saying please leave the country. So we're going to need detention facilities to take care of these people and make sure they are actually deported as required by law."
Colbert then asked rhetorically, "When did rounding up people you don't like in your country and putting them in camps get a bad name?"
Colbert then offered his own plans to fight illegal immigration: "Dip Mexicans in fluorescent paint so we can see them crossing the border at night ... fill the Rio Grande with acid ... poison pinatas." Chaffetz laughed and said, "That's a creative idea."
In the episode, Chaffetz also practiced telling Colbert, posing as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that she is not his boss. Colbert also prodded him into talking to Colbert's handgun, named Sweetness, to protect Chaffetz's "A" rating with the National Rifle Association.
The segment was taped in November. Chaffetz openly worried about it on Tuesday before it aired, joking on his first day in office, "It may be the end of my career. It was nice for a few hours, though."
Chaffetz also noted, "The scary part is we filmed for three hours for a five-minute segment. So I have no idea what's going to be cut and spliced to make me look like I said something I didn't say."
Chaffetz said about his appearance, "I think it's the right thing to do. It's fun. It's a way to speak to millions of people. If you can laugh with somebody, then when you discuss more serious issues, you have a chance to make your point."
The entire show can be viewed online at www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=215396

E-mail: lee@desnews.com

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company