The Colbert Report presented an examination on Thursday of a dying breed -- the Hummer driver.
"These are trying times for our nation," Stephen Colbert said in introducing the mock-documentary, "but we cannot let our problems change the way we Americans live. ... Thankfully, there's a group of heroes who stand up for American values."
Hummer sales are currently half of what they were a year ago, but, explained the narrator, "one patriotic group is working to save our chariot of freedom. They are the National Hummer Club."
"It feels excellent ... a roller-coaster in the woods ... a lot of adrenalin," various club members proclaimed. But when the film of Hummers seeming to power their way effortlessly through roadless wilderness was slowed to down to "real time," it revealed the machines painfully creeping along uneven terrain, spinning their wheels, and getting stuck in ditches while bored passengers smoked or read.
"These men know what it means to be a patriot," the narrator continued, as club members showed off their hand grenade-shaped stickshifts and "Dixie" cellphone rings. "They don't just love America, they love America's earth."
"I love getting out, smelling the air," enthused one cigar-smoking driver.
"I'm not against the environment," objected another.
And a third explained, "Alaska's a big place, alright? We just want to drill a couple of little holes and we would have more oil than all of those stupid little Ay-rab countries put together."
"But like many planet-loving patriots before them," continued the narrator sadly, "they've suffered for their love."
"I've been personally attacked and vandalized just because of what my vehicle is," one driver explained. "I've had about nine notes left on my vehicle saying, 'You're such the bad person because you drive this.'"
"The Prius owners kind of stick their nose up at us," said another,
"thinking we're damaging the environment, we're just Republicans routing around."
The segment concluded with a look at the Hummer's high fuel costs and abysmal mileage.
"I will fill it up every two days to drive forty miles each way," insisted one club member. "I'm not giving it up."
"If we can save the Hummer, we can save America," concluded another, smiling sweetly.
This video is from Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, broadcast October 23, 2008.