A Look Back: The Life and Times of Ham Rove

Colbert News Hub A Look BackWelcome to “A Look Back,” where we review and celebrate select clips from the overwhelmingly voluminous video catalog and the many splendid works of Stephen T. Colbert over the years.


This past week the Report saw a savage end to a truly delicious political strategist, Ham Rove. More than just a ham loaf with wire rimmed glasses, Ham Rove was introduced to our homes and hearts as the doppelganger of his less forthcoming counterpart, Karl Rove. In this Look Back we highlight Ham Rove’s best moments.

Let’s begin with Ham Rove’s introduction to us in those heady months after Stephen got the SuperPAC approval from the FEC:

The best thing about having Ham Rove on is that my PAC can write it off both as a political consultant, and catering.

Ham appeared once again to break down the process of getting rid of that pesky donor transparency problem with the standard SuperPAC. It’s quite simple really, obtain one piece of paper and start up a 501c(4):

[A 501c(4)] is like a Secret Santa, if Santa wanted to weaken environmental regulations.

Clearly these 501c(4)s have created an unprecedented, unaccountable, untraceable cash tsunami that will infect every corner of the next election. And I feel like an idiot for not having one.

Evidently this segment finally struck a nerve with Rove, who had his lawyer fire off a letter to Stephen’s lawyer Trevor Potter, prompting to Stephen to issue a rare apology:

Hey media, I wasn’t talking about Karl Rove’s shadowy unaccountable organization, I was talking about MY OWN shadowy unaccountable organization….I can’t believe my show was deliberately misrepresented in the news. It’s supposed to be the other way around, guys.

I am going to apologize face to ham loaf with glasses….Ham Rove, I never meant to imply that you were a money launderer, okay? Please accept my apology.

In February 2012, Stephen thanked Ham Rove and the Colbert SuperPAC donors for their generosity, which amounted a to a staggering 7-figure sum. In the same segment, Stephen had high google aspirations for the search ranking on the word “SuperPAC”:

Stephen took the time to laud Karl Rove’s brave defense against those who might question the undisclosed donations to SuperPACs such as his, describing him as the Marin Luther King of our generation for doing so:

In April 2012, Stephen launched the SuperPAC Super Fun Pack, which featured an incredibly complex treasure hunt map, and Certificate of Presidenthood signed by Stephen and Ham Rove ham-self:

All the Ham Rove fun inspired some sight gags: Hamlet Rove (for the SuperPAC Super Fun Pack), and Clemson Ham Rove:

 

****
After the election, Karl Rove became the pariah of the Republican party, with his heavily coffered SuperPACs raking in hundreds of millions but failing to bring hardly any the election wins strategized. The time had come for Colbert SuperPAC to conclude its activities. Jon Stewart stopped by the Report for one last SuperPAC related visit, and hatched a plan to get Stephen out of SuperPAC and to get someone to be the fall-guy for their SuperPAC antics:

Jon: You’re not pinning this on me!

Stephen: I am not taking the fall, Jon! You had control of the SuperPAC-

Jon: For a week!

Stephen: Well now they are going to kill one of us, Jon.

Jon: They want a head on a platter.

Stephen: Wait, a head on a platter…then let’s give them…

Jon: The Ham.

Finishing the Ham

With the SuperPAC now dissolved, and with Ham Rove’s political strategery no longer needed, Ham came to meet an untimely end- as a tasty snack for Riley, who gulped him up with reckless abandon. It was the most destructive demise of a prop since Drinkee.

So, with heavy hearts, we present to you, in memoriam:

Ham Rove (2011-2012)

It was heartening to see that Rove’s strategy and millions of dollars didn’t influence politics this election cycle as intended. Did Colbert SuperPAC have anything to do with Rove’s SuperPAC’s failure? It’s unclear, but one thing is evident: Stephen’s SuperPAC, the ensuing constant media attention thus paid to their controversial existence, and a ham-prop that resembled Karl Rove a little too convincingly, certainly didn’t help that much. I would say in our politics, that is a good thing.

Feel free to sign the condolence book (i.e., the comments section) below.

  • lockhart43

    I so love that you put this post together! It’s also hilarious that there have been so many Ham Rove segments. I’m incredibly thankful for all of the Ham Rove/SuperPAC segments, and while it’s still deplorable that Citizens United and all of it’s subsequent loopholes still exist, I’m thrilled and relieved to know that ultimately, all of that SuperPAC money did not have a prominent impact on the election.

    I will forever think of Karl Rove as a cheap man’s Ham Rove. And I totally forgot about Stephen’s SuperPAC definition – it still fits!

  • CN Helper

    @lockhart43 Thanks lock, you rock! (as per usual.) In doing this assignment, I too was surprised at how many Ham Rove segments there were. I think we all lose track in watching the show day to day. It was kind of neat how Ham Rove became symbolic of the SuperPAC at the end, imploding in step with the Republican’s 2012 ambitions.