Colbert "Better Knows" Michael Quigley

Corruption may be routine to Chicago, but funny to everyone else, comedian says

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, Feb 12, 2010  |  Updated 11:44 AM CDT
View Comments (
Two Illinois Pols Among Congress' "Most Corrupt"

Stephen Colbert profiled Illinois' 5th Congressional District, which includes most of Chicago's North Side.

Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

On last night's episode of The Colbert Report, the comedian and satirist profiled Illinois' 5th Congressional District, located in Chicago, "or as I call it, The Second City," said Colbert. "Because I only know two cities."

In the 61st installment of his 434-part series "Better Know a District," Colbert introduced his viewers to Illinois' 5th and interviewed its representative.

The district contains Wrigley Field and Wrigleyville, "where neighbors can watch ballgames from rooftops across the street."

The host also pointed out Boystown, Chicago's largest gay and lesbian neighborhood, only four blocks away from Wrigley Field.

"The difference between the two? Wrigleyville has the Cubs," Colbert explained, "Boystown has 'the bears.'"

The 5th district is also where Hostess Twinkies were invented, those desserts with "a spongy exterior and a center filled with beef fat and high-fructose corn syrup, just like many Chicagoans," quipped Colbert.

The district has had an interesting history of representatives, including Dan Rostenkowski (jailed), Rod Blagojevich (impeached), and current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Colbert interviewed current representative Michael Quigley.

Colbert noted the congressional seat's scandalous past, and Quigley said it was unfortunate that political corruption "is routine and boring to the Chicagoan who wants to see things change."

"Not to the rest of the world," said Colbert. "It's still funny and entertaining to them."

The comedian then challenged Quigley for co-sponsoring a bill prohibiting shooting wildlife from an aircraft.

"I want it to be fair," said Quigley. "If you really want to go out and shoot a wolf or something, put the gun away, get out of the helicopter, make it a fair fight. I want to see that fight."

You hear that, Sarah Palin? Get out there and wrestle those wolves down yourself!

Colbert brought up Quigley's reputation of being a GLBT-rights advocate. Quigley explained that he believed "all men are created equal" and that people are gay "from birth."

Colbert said he was uncomfortable with the notion of "gay babies."

"You have a point," Quigley replied. "It's not a good point, but you have a point." Zing!

Finally, in a discussion that migrated from the cost of prescription drugs for seniors to the use of recreational drugs, Quigley admitted that he had smoked "and even inhaled" pot in high school, but he didn't like it because it made him sleepy.

Yes, but how many Twinkies does it make you eat?

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District - Illinois's 5th
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy


The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District - Illinois's 5th - Mike Quigley
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out