It's not much of a stretch to say that Stephen Colbert fears things for a living. After all, his half of this weekend's much-discussed joint rally with Jon Stewart is called The March to Keep Fear Alive. But Colbert's not a man to hide from what terrifies him, and on Thursday's episode of The Colbert Report, he held a roundtable with representatives of his worst fears: Muslims, Mexicans, gays, bears, and robots.
Specifically, Colbert's guests were Khalid Latif, Imam and executive director of NYU's Islamic Center; Efren Barajas, vice president of United Farm Workers; Aaron Hicklin, editor-in-chief of Out magazine; David Garshelis, Bear Project Leader at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; and Daniel Lee, an artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Pennsylvania (who "could be a robot"). "Gentlemen, thank you all for being here," said Colbert, "to help me keep fear alive by scaring the crap out of me."
What followed was a good eight or nine minutes of vintage Colbert silliness, as the Comedy Central host flung deadpan accusations at his remarkably patient guests. "Robots don't feel emotions," Colbert said at one point. "What about Mexicans? Do they feel emotions? ... Cause I know Muslims feel a lot of anger, and gay people are often very sad."