Stephen Colbert's showdown Thursday morning with the Federal Election Commission wasn't much of a showdown at all.
The FEC approved the TV comedian's request to create the Colbert Super PAC, a political action committee dedicated to, well, himself.
Colbert left the theatrics outside the FEC meeting room and seemed serious as the commissioners noted their caution in this case. But for their part, the commissioners played it straight, too.
FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub smiled as Colbert entered the room in front of an audience of more than 30 people from the public and just as many press. They could have treated it as political humor and a parody request, but they didn't, even though that would have been easier, she said.
"There will be other commentators on other shows who feel that the advice we give to you also applies to them," she said.
Colbert celebrated his victory just outside the FEC, where dozens had gathered.
"I, for one, don't think participating in democracy is a joke," he said. Then, of course, he told a joke.
The crowd gathered around him to give him cash (less than $50 so he doesn't have to report who gave it to him!) and to allow him to swipe their credit cards.
HOH gives props to the FEC commissioners, who welcomed the public and kept noting that they've never had this many people come to a meeting before.
"You know, we have other things on the agenda today," Commissioner Donald McGhan said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.