University of California, San Diego political science professor James Fowler, who’s studied the effects of the “Colbert bump,” appeared on the Comedy Central show last week to talk about the workings of social networks and get ribbed about his own connectivity.

Considering the topic, “The Colbert Report” host Stephen Colbert promised that the interview would “consist of 400 invitations to play Mafia Wars.” (For the fortunate among you who don’t know what he’s talking about, that’s a Facebook joke.)

Fowler, author of the new book “Connected,” explained that social networks aren’t new. He said his own personal choice about diet — losing five pounds — could affect his son’s choices, his son’s best friend’s choices and even the choices of the best friend’s mother.

And that, of course, caught Colbert’s attention: “Go on about you and your son’s best friend’s mother. … This is a strange time for this to come out.”

Our interviews with Fowler have examined Eleanor Rigby and “the Colbert bump,” whose existence was proven with Fowler’s help. We talked to the professor about the bump, among other things, in 2008 and discussed the contagiousness of loneliness with him last month.

Here’s the clip:

The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
James Fowler
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy


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