Colbert BeckStephen Colbert explained why it's so difficult to mock Fox News' newest celebrity at the Second City 50th anniversary event in Chicago last weekend. Colbert told a panel that Glenn Beck "raised the stupid bar and now it's nearly inapproachable."

The Atlantic's Jim Warren was there.

As for Glenn Beck, the panel discussed the challenge of maintaining a separation between reality and satire when so many TV pundits are simply, premeditatedly over-the-top.

"I said, 'Let's start doing some Glenn Beck stuff but in praise of Glenn Beck,'" said Colbert. "But every time we do one, he will have done something dumber. He raised the stupid bar and now it's nearly inapproachable."

"I worry that if we use that as a model... if somebody doesn't believe what they're saying, it's very hard to out-stupid them," said a decidedly analytical Colbert. "Because then there's no place to sink our hook into, there's no mountain to climb there. I can't climb Glenn Beck since there's nothing there."

But Beck's stupidity has stopped the comedian from mocking him. Early in Beck's career at Fox, Colbert wept on air for Glenn Beck's sanity. More recently, Colbert has said Beck has "a deep-seated hatred for logic" and slammed Beck's promotion of gold.

Despite all the ribbing Beck remains a fan of Colbert. One blogger devoted to Colbert news noted, "I guess Glenn is a proponent of the 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' school, which is lucky in this case."