In 2010 Colbert testified before congress about his experience working with migrant farm laborers, mostly making light jokes while still trying to play the puffed up blowhardy character.
If you watch the video, you can see his whole demeanor change when Rep. Judy Chu asks straightly why he’s giving his testimony. He replies with heartfelt sincerity, explaining that he likes to speak for the powerless, the oppressed, and he quotes a verse from the Gospel of Matthew: “Whatsoever you did for one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me,” because his intentions are based on love and respect. Some though his performance was tedious, and the humor was effectively wasted in a congressional hearing. That may be, but the commitment to bringing attention to the issue (if nothing else, ‘Colbert Testifies in Character’ is an eye-catching headline), and the commitment to use one’s position to advance the socio-political awareness and activeness of citizens are indicative of a good, politically active citizen.
The same year, Colbert teamed up with friend and coworker John Stewart to form a rally in D.C. Stewart has said that he doesn’t expect, nor necessarily intend, to make social change –- he has insisted that America would really be best off without parties.