Stephen Colbert self-portrait fetches $26,000 at auction

Tue Mar 8, 2011 5:04pm EST
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Political satirist Stephen Colbert auctioned himself off for $26,000 to benefit childhood education on Tuesday.

The host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," the popular faux-news program that mocks self-important pundits, enthusiastically helped auction house Phillips de Pury & Company elicit bids for his "Portrait 5, Stephen(s)."

The portrait, which depicts Colbert saluting in front of several more images of himself, was defaced and otherwise enhanced by noteworthy artists Frank Stella, Andres Serrano and Shepard Fairey.

"We're doing this for children," Colbert reminded bidders as he commandeered the microphone from auctioneer Simon du Pury at Phillips' "Under the Influence" auction of contemporary art.

"If you're not raising your paddle it means you hate children," he scolded.

When bidding passed $20,000 and started to slow, Colbert began offering bonuses to the winning bidder, such as signing it.

"I will personally hang this portrait," he offered, then upped the ante with an invitation to appear on his program to receive the work.

Finally, in a fitting Fat Tuesday quip: "If you throw Mardi Gras beads, I'll show you my tits."   Continued...