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About (Late) Last Night: Stephen Colbert, Steve Martin and Shepard Fairey talk art and commerce

December 9, 2010 |  7:23 am
The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Steve Martin Pt. 1
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog March to Keep Fear Alive

"Can you identify this famous European painter?" Stephen Colbert asked. He was giving Steve Martin an art quiz in honor of the multi-talented actor's new novel, "An Object of Beauty," about an art dealer in New York City. Martin admitted that he could not identify the work Colbert put on the screen. 

"Do you like this artist?" Colbert asked. "I don't really like that, no," said Martin. "Well, that's good for you," said Colbert. "Because this was actually painted by Hitler."

The absurdity of the talk between the two comedians should not be surprising. At one point, Colbert had Martin decide between Ellsworth Kelly's "Green" and a Sherwin-Williams paint swatch. But the pair's art world connections did eventually come through in a real way when Colbert welcomed to the show Frank Stella, Shepard Fairey and Andres Serrano, three famous artists, to help Colbert's case against his guest.

Colbert was trying to sell Martin a portrait. It was a painting of Colbert, in front of a painting of Colbert, in front of a painting of Colbert, and so on. "That's part of the problem," said Martin. Colbert was undeterred and welcomed Stella, "the father of minimalism," to bolster his sales pitch. Martin remained unconvinced. Later, Fairey called the work "beyond aesthetic redemption" before marking it with graffiti.

The final guest was Serrano. On Colbert's portrait-within-a-portrait, Serrano scribbled a mustache with a marker. "Oh, you made me Charlie Chaplin," exclaimed Colbert. Martin still wasn't buying it, but the audience was sold.

-- Joe Coscarelli

See Colbert, Martin and the art-world stars after the jump.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Steve Martin Pt. 2
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog March to Keep Fear Alive
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