On his popular Comedy Central talk show The Colbert Report Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert mourned the fact that his sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, lost to former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford in a race for the state’s first district’s Congressional seat.
“Mark Sanford beat my sister,” Colbert said. “I feel so betrayed by South Carolina.”
He then went on to say “Well, if they’re turning their backs on my family, I’m turning my back on them. From now on – and I never thought I would say this—I am from North Carolina. I’m a Tar Heel now.”
Colbert explained how he’d no longer enjoy South Carolina’s “tangy, savory, juicy, and deeply delicious barbecue made with our unique mustard-based sauce” and that instead “I now officially love North Carolina’s sauceless vinegar-based meat product that they call barbecue. Mmm.”
After trying to eat what was presumably North Carolina barbecue, Colbert then recanted his words and said that he couldn’t do it and loved South Carolina too much. His comments and reaction to the food prompted a reaction from the popular Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue chain, Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q, which posted an open letter to Stephen Colbert on their website.
The letter, authored by Director of Marketing Richard Averitte, says, "I don’t feel your statement was made out of malice. Frankly, I feel it was out of ignorance. I don’t think you’ve had the RIGHT Eastern NC Bar-B-Q." Averitte offers to ship Colbert a pound of free barbecue and offers him a complimentary meal in one of their restaurants. He also tells Colbert that he can bring his South Carolina-style mustard sauce, but is only allowed to use it after he's tried their meat once without it.
Watch the video clip below to see his reaction to his sister’s loss and his attempt to embrace North Carolina.