"My character thinks the war is over because he doesn’t hear about it anymore"

It was Sunday night in Baghdad, and President Obama was ordering Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of the American troops here, to shave Stephen Colbert’s head. (Not to give everything away, but the general is not as brutal with an electric razor as one would expect a bald man to be; Mr. Colbert’s hairdresser, on the other hand, has a merciless streak.)…

The week of shows, taped a day or two before they are broadcast, is called “Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando,” and it has a pretty fancy guest list (in addition to General Odierno, and the president, whose appearance was taped ahead) that includes Iraq’s deputy prime minister. But there is also something kind of meta about the whole thing. Mr. Colbert’s entire career is based on being gleefully insincere, a man who literally wraps himself in the flag to the screaming of majestic computer-generated eagles.