By Bernie Becker - 02/08/13 04:37 PM EST
LANSDOWNE, Va. — Stephen Colbert told House Democrats on Friday that people liked colonoscopies more than Congress, that he's "best frenemies" with Nancy Pelosi, and sang a dramatic rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner."
The comedian sat down with House Democrats at their annual retreat on Friday for a wide-ranging conversation in which Colbert slipped in and out of the conservative character he plays on his talk show.
Colbert, according to a person in the room, discussed his “best frenemies” relationship with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and his own sister’s congressional race in South Carolina.
Colbert told Democrats that he didn’t know if Americans cared if they took back the House in 2014, given that Congress is currently “less popular than colonoscopies.”
“But [it's] just edging our meth labs and gonorrhea,” Colbert added. “Ironically, the last things we make in the United States."
"Some of my best friends are women,” the comedian said later, after being asked what side his character was on in the so-called "war on women." “I spent nine months in one."
The appearance by Colbert illustrates how energized and confident House Democrats feel at their retreat, after gaining seats in November and getting exhorted this week by both President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Colbert’s appearance was closed to reporters, making his visit more discreet than when he brought his “truthiness” schtick to a House hearing in 2010.
Colbert called his sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, “tough as nails,” and said she would win the open congressional seat in South Carolina that she is currently running for as a Democrat.
Once she is in Congress, Colbert said, he would welcome her on his show for one of his “Better Know a District” segments.
“I have a few questions for her from her eighth-grade diary,” he said.
And when asked why more House Democrats weren’t on his show, the comedian pointed the finger squarely at a party leader.
“Someone who will remain Nancy Pelosi-less told Democrats to stop coming on the show,” Colbert said.
Colbert’s appearance ended with a duet of the “Star Spangled Banner” with the new vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.). Colbert did most of the anthem in “dramatic harmony,” a person in the room said.