Here you can download a copy of the poem I wrote to honor Stephen Colbert as the greatest pundit. Visitors to the web site can download a free version of the poem (for personal use) and buy merchandise decorated with art commissioned for the poem.
I finished writing the poem on September 24, 2010 and emailed it to a website for Stephen’s rally in Washington D.C. Stephen presented his own “greatest poem ever written” at the October 30, 2010 rally. Stephen copyrighted his poem, which Sam Waterston performed at the rally. Not only did my poem predate Stephen’s, but I was disturbed to see that certain traits in my poem preceded the appearance of those specific traits on Stephen’s show. After watching this occur, I decided to obtain an official copyright. I hoped to hear the poem performed on Stephen’s show, and had reason to believe that would happen. To request more information, please use this contact form.
Artwork portraying Stephen Colbert
To illustrate the poem, the artwork needed to be similar to art used to portray earlier Popes. A review of images of Popes during September 2012 uncovered a portrait of Pope Leo XIII suitable for adaptation. Pope Leo’s reign began in 1878, a time of more traditional values, before the Progressive Era started. Also, Leo was not as heavy as some predecessors were, so his outward appearance was closer to Stephen’s.
In adapting the portrait, some religious symbols and emblems representing the Vatican needed to be replaced. Rather than giving the sign of the cross with his right hand, Stephen is shown giving his thumbs up gesture. Rather than resting his left arm like the frail Pope Leo, Stephen is shown with an enthusiastic, clenched fist. The ornamental fixtures, known as finials, at the top of Pope Leo’s chair represent the Vatican. These emblems on the chair were replaced with twin, ornamental bald eagles. Fastening the two sides of his vestments (or robe) together is an embroidered, oval brooch. Now the top of that brooch is decorated with a 24K gold capital C with a huge ruby at the center. Stephen’s fans will recognize the capital C on his chest and the eagles as familiar symbols.
Stephen is shown wearing a triple tiara, one of dozens worn by past Popes. This seemed appropriate for various reasons. First, Stephen is a prominent Catholic whose faith is integral to his work, and Stephen was bold enough to wear a tiara on his show. Also, as I discovered before creating this website, Pope Paul VI abandoned the Papal tiara 50 years ago, just a few months before Stephen’s birth! No subsequent Pope has reintroduced the tiara. Could it be that the Pope recognized that Stephen Colbert was the rightful heir to this tradition? We may never know. Pope Benedict removed the tiara from his coat of arms, and Pope Francis is too humble for a tiara. However, in centuries past, Popes wore the tiara when they were inaugurated into office. I hope we will see Stephen’s inauguration as Pundit Maximus someday. This tiara is also known as a triple crown or triregnum in Latin, with great symbolism in the history of the Catholic Church.
Additional enhancements were made to the portrait of Pope Leo XIII, which came from the Vatican album of the Ecumenical Council. The colors and lighting in the image were adjusted to make it more vibrant. Parts of the chair were fixed, as were the vestments that Stephen is wearing. A curtain was added to provide an elegant background. To execute the design and create the finished artwork, I chose BizzyBzzz Graphic Design.
I am extremely pleased with BizzyBzzz’s work, and am happiest about three aspects of the artwork. First is the seamless combination of painted images from 1878 with painting from 2012. Secondly, Stephen’s face is a remarkable likeness, as if a 3D mask had been created for this occasion. The iris in the eyes reflects the gold in the room where Stephen sits. Finally, Stephen appears to be having a great time in the portrait. And when Stephen is happy, his fans are happy.
Most items discontinued in 2015.
Initial plans to sell one poster were expanded to include several products available through print-on-demand technology. The portrait is available as a poster, and in a larger poster that combines the artwork with the text of the poem. You can order high quality photos and now art prints too.
If you want a print or poster to decorate your workplace but your workplace discourages religious symbols, the poem is available without the painting.
Fans who want to display Stephen to the world can order custom made shirts and vinyl stickers portraying him in regalia fit for a Pope. These shirts are made in America, not in sweatshops, and are designed to be washed in cold water, with significant energy savings and dollar savings over hot water washing. You’ll also be getting a custom made product for the price of a mass produced one.
A cool company called Redbubble produces these items individually in response to your order. You can click here to visit my store at Redbubble’s site, where they have extensive information on the ordering process, shirt sizes (in over 200 style and color combinations), shipping and anything else you need to complete your order. Becoming the Pope seemed to be one of Stephen Colbert’s fondest wishes. Show that you share that vision of him.
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