Russ Lieber, Progressive Jew

David Cross’s most recent turn on The Colbert Report as “Russ Lieber, liberal talk show host” is one of his most brilliant and hilarious ever. Video links are split into Part One and Part Two. Following is a transcript of the main exchange:

Colbert: Thank you for coming on, Mr. Lieber.
Lieber: Yes, um – Shalom, Steven.
Colbert: Okay. That’s a good point. You’re Jewish, right?
Lieber: Yes, well, uh, I mean I am culturally, although my personal spiritual development is an ongoing exploration, mostly through a biweekly eco-kosher interfaith dialogue potluck hosted by my food co-op.
Colbert: Okay, close enough. Now, Mel Gibson, a reaction. Speak for all Jews.
Lieber: Well, Steven, I can only offer my own perspective as but one thread in the vast tallis of American Jewry — and, in my congregation, that’s a tallis that women are free to wear, should they choose.

Colbert. Okay. What is going on with your face?
Lieber: Well, Steven, as you know, I limit my diet to only organic, pesticide-free vegetables. So I’m often battling parasites. (chuckles) And currently I have heartworms.
Colbert: No, I’m talking about your Hitler moustache.
Lieber: Oh (chuckles) Oh, my schickelgruber. Yes, well, Steven, I am loathe to persecute anybody for their beliefs. So, in a sign of solidarity, I have grown this moustache in support of Mr. Gibson’s right to say these terrible, hateful things.
Colbert: Okay, I’m not so convinced he said those things, okay? I don’t prejudge. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Jesus, New Testament, read it sometime.
Lieber: Okay, well this speaks very much to Mr. Gibson’s anti-Semitism. I mean, consider The Passion of the Christ.
Colbert: Okay, Mr. Lieber, let’s consider it. People attacked him for Passion of the Chirst, but you know what, if he truly meant those hateful things he reportedly said the other night, then I’d say he showed some admirable restraint in making that film. None of thoese Jews had horns. I think the Jewish community owes Mr. Gibson an apology.
Liebert: Well, Steven, please, the Jews have nothing to apologize for.
Colbert: Not even all the wars in the world?
Lieber: Come on, that’s ridiculous.
Colbert: I know it’s ridiculous, obviously, but let’s clear this up. Name the ones you didn’t start.
Lieber: Alright, well, um, uh — oh, the Civil — no, no, uh — oh! The Rape of Nanking!
Colbert: Okay, we’ll check that out. What about Israel and its Arab neighbors? Who’s responsible for that little dustup over there?
Lieber: Well, I, you know, everyone and no one. I mean, it’s a complicated situation. Israel certainly has a right to defend her borders against an enemy sworn to eradicate her from existence. Although a case could be made that there’s been excessive force. And you know, certainly no one wants to see innocent people … (pause) The Wall I like! And – don’t like, at the same time. It restrains without killing, although obviously a sort of, uh, psychic murder takes place, uh … (pause) It could be prettier. Often aesthetics are ignored in warfare and that is really the true shame. Of war. Steven.
Colbert: Can you give me one unequivocal statement about the conflict in the Middle East?
Lieber: (pause) Absolutely. (pause) But (pause) unequivocal has so many shades to it. There’s —
Colbert: Alright, Russ Lieber, everybody. We’ll be right back.

5 thoughts on “Russ Lieber, Progressive Jew

  1. we are leigion. we speak as one voice.
    Russ Lieber IS Israel.
    “Vast tallis” my ass, that tallis is colored BLUE!
    Eco Kosher : the only Kosher!

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