December 13, 2012 6:49am PT by Erin Carlson
Stephen Colbert Spars With Mandy Patinkin (Video)
Put Mandy Patinkin and Stephen Colbert in a room together and watch the sparks fly.
Not one to back down from debate -- or be intimidated by Colbert's cartoonish, intense alter ego -- an equally intense Patinkin stepped up to the plate on Wednesday's edition of The Colbert Report in a way that most of the show's guests rarely do.
The Homeland actor faced grilling from Colbert on the issues of terrorism, patriotism and his beard. (When asked how many hours it takes to grow, Patinkin responded: "It takes me eight to 10 weeks to get it up to speed.")
Things grew heated when Patinkin declared that he's not afraid of terrorism.
Countered Colbert: "If your example is not to be frightened, are you lulling the rest of us into a false sense of security ... and the terrorists have won?"
This launched into an argument on whether Patinkin loves America (he says he does) even though he blames "America partially and ... the other side equally."
Irked by Patinkin's gray-area philosophy, Colbert called his commentary "propaganda -- because if you give a moment's humanity to your enemy, then he WINS."
To which Patinkin replied: "What creates an enemy?"
Colbert: "An attack!"
Patinkin: "Why is an attack taking place? ... Are you not responsible at all for ANYTHING that goes on in the rest of the world?!"
(The serious actor, whose resume also includes a heavy amount of stage work, cracked a smile at one point during the one-on-one when Colbert sang a line from Gypsy.)
The Colbert Report