The 10 Best Quotes from Stephen Colbert’s Congressional Testimony

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This morning, Stephen Colbert continued his foray into real-life politics with a mega-hyped appearance before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Security. As anticipated, he spoke entirely in character, and — after a weird moment in which John Conyers tried to get him to go away — Colbert managed to keep us in stitches while still driving home some important points in support of migrant workers. After the jump, watch his five-minute statement and follow along as we break down his 10 funniest quotes.

“I am to happy to use my celebrity to draw attention to this important, complicated issue. I certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to C-SPAN 1.”

“As we’ve heard this morning, America’s farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables. Now, the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And, if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you’ll see that many Americans have already started. Unfortunately, my gastroenterologist, Dr. Eichler, has informed me, in no uncertain terms, that they are a necessary source of roughage. As evidence, I would like to submit a video of my colonoscopy into the congressional record.”

“We all know there is a long tradition of great nations importing foreign workers to do their farm work. After all, it was the ancient Israelites who built the first food pyramids.”

“This is America. I don’t want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian.”

“My grandfather did not travel across 4,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this country overrun by immigrants. He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland.”

“I participated in the UFW’s Take Our Jobs campaign, one of only 16 people in America to take up the challenge. Though that number may increase in the near future, as I understand many Democrats may be looking for work come November.”

“When you’re picking beans, you have to spend all day bending over. It turns out, and I did not know this, most soil is at ground level. If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we make the earth waist high? Come on, where is the funding?”

“Normally, I would leave this to the invisible hand of the market. But the invisible hand of the market has already moved over 84,000 acres of production and over 22,000 farm jobs to Mexico and shut down over a million acres of U.S. farmland due to lack of available labor — because apparently, even the invisible hand doesn’t want to pick beans.”

“I’m not a fan of the government doing anything. But I’ve got to ask: Why isn’t the government doing anything? Maybe this Add Jobs Bill would help. I don’t know. Like most members of Congress, I haven’t read it.”

“Maybe the easier answer is just to have scientists develop vegetables that can pick themselves. The genetic engineers over at Fruit of the Loom have made great strides in human-fruit hybrids.”