The Bizarre, Heartwarming Spectacle Of Pussy Riot On 'The Colbert Report'

Two members of the anti-Putin performance group “Pussy Riot” are in the U.S. right now, embarking on a mini-media tour and generally becoming darlings of the American press.

Listed top of a bill at an Amnesty International concert at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center this week (though not actually expected to perform), Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina gave a press conference yesterday to much of the world’s news media, where they talked about their transition from punk band to human rights activists.

Perhaps more importantly, they gave a remarkable, but generally heartwarming, interview on The Colbert report, playing along with Stephen Colbert as he described how he went on shirtless hunting trips with Russian President Vladimir Putin (“Sometimes we don’t even get to the hunting”).


The Colbert Report

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Here’s part two:


The Colbert Report

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The appearance was so popular that Mediaite judged it the “funniest, best Colbert Report interview ever.”

All in all, the Colbert interview shows the strength of Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, and why “Pussy Riot” — whatever that actually means these days — has so much potential. These two women spent almost two years in prison for playing a performance art “song” in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (“We sang a fun song in a church”), in conditions widely reported to be miserable and cruel. Yet, when they came abroad to a country where they didn’t speak the language and sat opposite a TV satirist, they were able to give a confident, witty, and persuasive takedown of the man who put them in prison.

You have to wonder if Putin will regret pardoning these two.

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