Stephen Colbert lands in Iraq for new shows

Fri Jun 5, 2009 2:12pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Making a surprise visit to Iraq is not just for presidents anymore.

Comedian Stephen Colbert has landed in the battle-scarred country to broadcast four episodes of his TV show, "The Colbert Report," which spoofs U.S. politics and culture.

Cable television network Comedy Central on Friday said "The Colbert Report" will be broadcast from Iraq Monday through Thursday (June 8 - June 11) under the banner "Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando."

Among Colbert's guests for the four-episode run taped in front of an audience of troops will be Barham Salih, deputy prime minister of Iraq. The show will also provide an up-close view of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's Al Faw Palace.

The United Service Organizations (USO), a group that provides entertainment and support to U.S. troops, is producing the show in cooperation with Comedy Central. Their goal is to entertain the U.S. troops, and give American audiences a greater appreciation of the soldiers' efforts in Iraq.

Colbert had previously said on his show that he would make a trip to "the Persian Gulf," but because of security concerns he did not disclose that he planned to land in Iraq.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, accepts his award for Webby Person of the Year during the 12th Annual Webby Awards in New York June 10, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>