…To no avail. The steel diploma failed to burn despite Stephen Colbert’s enthusiastic attempt. Jane Carlson of the Register-Mail, recaps the June 11, 2007 episode of The Colbert Report.
Comedian and political satirist Stephen Colbert tried to burn his honorary degree from Knox College on Monday night’s episode of his Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report” in mock anger over the college’s decision to grant former U.S. President Bill Clinton a similar honor this year.
Calling Clinton a “coat-tail rider” and accusing Knox College of ignoring his earlier threats to burn the piece of paper on air, Colbert tried to torch his honorary degree, to no avail.
That’s because Knox College President Roger Taylor was serious earlier this year when he said he would send Colbert a fireproof diploma, after Colbert issued an ultimatum to the college stemming from Knox’s decision to invite Clinton to speak and receive an honorary degree.
While Colbert received an honorary doctorate of arts and Clinton received an honorary doctorate of laws, Colbert said he believed Clinton was “stealing his thunder,” so Taylor sent Colbert an honorary degree made of steel that wouldn’t catch fire.
“You win this round, Knox College,” Colbert said, noting that “those geniuses at Knox College are pretty smart.”
The story also appears in a Colbert Report fan site, No Fact Zone.