Late night TV hosts sometimes understandably like to make sure their viewers are still awake. John Oliver, for instance, delights in mislabeling his maps just to keep you on your toes:
Stephen Colbert is no exception. Once, while filling the screen with the faces of 2016 presidential candidates, Colbert threw in not one but two Romney heads just to see who was paying attention. (I’d throw up a link but CBS is unreasonably protective of its archive.)
And last night, for a moment, I thought Stephen Colbert did it again. While discussing the National Review’s recent issue Against Trump, Colbert listed a few famous conservatives who had contributed to the effort to discredit Trump’s conservative bona fides and throw him under the bus: “Bill Kristol, Michael Medved, Erick Erickson.” Those are all, indeed, conservatives who contributed to the issue — but let’s take a closer look at who showed up on-screen as Colbert recited those names in turn. First, Kristol:
I’ll include his image of Erickson for the sake of completeness but holy shit I can’t believe I managed to type this much of a sentence before pointing out the obvious: I know Michael Medved, and, Colbert — that new face is no Michael Medved. Here’s the most recent image of the conservative radio host I was able to find publicly available online (he’s the pictured male who is neither his wife nor Jeb!):
Admittedly, I didn’t look too hard, but I can’t imagine his appearance has changed quite so drastically since June of last year #gohawks
Now, this wouldn’t be the first time Colbert threw shade in Medved’s general direction:
So it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that Colbert meant to insult Medved by intentionally using the wrong image. But I don’t think that’s what happened here because a) the images of Kristol and Erickson are actually Kristol and Erickson, and b) Colbert never called attention to the switch, so there would seem to be little point.
Now there’s not much I love better than a good mystery, but this is one I’m having trouble solving. I reverse-searched a cutout of that face on Google Images, but it just gave me a lot of faces of old white men. So I image-searched every author to appear on the relevant cover of the National Review, but it doesn’t seem to have been a simple typographical substitution, either. I Google Image-searched “Michael Medved” just to see whether he had possibly been google-bombed, but no dice. I even repeated these experiments on Bing, just in case. And finally, I asked a few people who also know Michael Medved, and they confirmed: Not Michael Medved.
Which leaves this mystery wide open: How did Colbert manage to slap this face on Michael Medved? More importantly: Whose face is it? And why has no one else remarked on this rather grievous error anywhere I looked on the internet?* Is there really no overlap between “people who watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “people who know what Michael Medved looks like”? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
*For the sake of full disclosure, I looked all over Google, Twitter, and Facebook, but it’s possible this came up on today’s Michael Medved show. Archives are available online, but not even my curiosity could justify the loss of life expectancy that would inevitably result from three hours of listening to right-wing talk radio.