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Asked how he'd repel an Independence Day-style attack, the former GOP candidate has a stirring answer at the ready.

It's typically irresponsible to throw around conspiracy theories, but at some point one has to wonder whether Herman Cain's presidential campaign was in fact a creation of Comedy Central. That point is now.

Set aside the many moments of hilarity the Hermanator provided to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert throughout his campaign, from his quoting of PIkachu to archival footage of a pizza-themed parody of John Lennon's "Imagine." Since exiting the race he has seemed willing -- nay, eager -- to put himself forward as an object of mockery for the duo behind The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. In South Carolina, he appeared at a rally with Colbert, who mocked both the campaign-finance system and the erstwhile candidate mercilessly.

More evidence: Last night, The Daily Show aired an interview with Cain by John Oliver. There were awkward moments, such as when the he gamely watched as Oliver rolled tape of his complete failure to know anything about Libya. But the best moment came at the end, when Cain responded to the following prompt without hesitation:

You are president of the United States of America. Earth is being attacked by aliens. You are standing on the smoldering remains of what used to be the Oval Office. You have 30 seconds to address the earth's inhabitants to inspire them to rise up and repel their alien invaders.

Naturally, no transcription does Cain's answer justice. You'll have to watch.

But how have Colbert and Stewart convinced a man -- who, though eager to laugh, took himself seriously as a presidential candidate -- to debase himself so much? One can only assume they made the former Godfather's Pizza CEO an offer he couldn't refuse.

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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