Oh, that tricksy Colbert. Just when we thought Houston was safe from his mockery, with Mayor Annise Parker as Wednesday night's guest on The Colbert Report, he opens the show by saying, "I'll ask her how she broke it to her parents that she wanted to live in Houston."
Parker (that's actually "the honorable Annise D. Parker," according to her introduction) rocked her signature pantsuit and met Stephen Colbert's questioning with a mix of serious poker faces and big smiles.
Colbert led with a few impressive Houston statistics, including how the city added 125,000 jobs during Parker's first term and balanced the budget without raising taxes or cutting police or firefighters (though no mention of the other city employees who were laid off), allowing the mayor to shill H-Town.
"Houston is very tolerant of a lot of things, they want to know what you can do, not who you are or where you're from," Parker said.
"We're a foodie town, we're an arts town, we're a sports town, a theater town, anything you want in a big city you have in Houston, plus we have a good quality of life, we're affordable and we have jobs," Parker said.
Parker couldn't resist a big smile and a little chuckle when the crowd gave a big "woo" after Colbert mentioned her election as the first openly gay mayor of a major American city.
"Houston is very tolerant of a lot of things, they want to know what you can do, not who you are or where you're from," Parker said when Colbert seemed confused as to how conservative Texas could boast such a first.
Though much of the interlude felt more like public relations than a typical comedic Colbert spot, Parker did get one big laugh when a stymied Colbert asked her what her partner was called.
"I call her Kathy," Parker responded. When pressed on the issue of gay marriage in Texas, she played the issue conservatively, expressing her disagreement with current state law but preferring to frame her opinion as the same as that of 250 mayors as well as the president. She did tell Colbert that she could marry him in Texas if he wasn't already wed.
Overall it was a well-played conversation, if not a particularly memorable one. But on Colbert, un-memorable is probably a good thing.