The genius of Stephen Colbert is he’s such a well-oiled subversive comedy machine that you can never quite tell when he’s being serious.
In these videos for its upcoming Super Bowl spots, Wonderful Pistachios offers a glimpse into the fine line between Stephen Colbert and “Stephen Colbert,” who’s been lured in to replace flash-in-the-pan pop star Psy as the face of healthy game-day snacking.
The first teaser gives us the Colbert we know and love: blissfully supercilious, presuming that Wonderful has organized a game in honor of his first commercial. His declaration of excitement is punctuated by the off-screen cry of his iconic eagle. In this, the age of the Super Bowl teaser, so far so usual.
It’s the behind-the-scenes Q&A that further intrigues. Assuming the position of a candid-on-camera confessional, Colbert begins with his usual schtick, revealing tidbits of what to expect: he’ll appear on camera three times, once in an edible form; he’ll cradle a giant nut like a football; and America will be the ultimate winner. But for true Colbert fans, this Q&A is a bit of a gift. Our intellect knows he’s fully in character, but little moments reveal a looser Colbert who breaks character ever so slightly and appears to be genuinely excited to be a Super Bowl star.
But lest he get too earnest, these fleeting moments are mere glimmers amid classic Colbert soliloquizing about 24-meat chilis, 84-layer dips, and coaching advice. Still, it looks like where last year Psy made us groan, this pre-game peek of Wonderful Pistachios’ 2014 effort gives us hope that its full game-day spot might hold a few bona fide laughs.
Behind the scenes Q&A with Stephen Colbert