Colbert’s Debt To Cervantes?

William Eggington draws it out:

Like Cervantes before him, Colbert used irony to sever his audiences’ conflated identities; the discomfort and hilarity of his act stemmed from our watching as fictions that had blurred into truths were expertly extracted and revealed for what they were. As Cervantes realized in the context of the newly born mass culture of the Catholic, imperial, Spanish state, irony expertly wielded is the best defense against the manipulation of truth by the media. Its effect was and still is to remind its audience that we are all active participants in the creation and support of a fictional world that is always in danger of being sold to us as reality.