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John Lithgow appears on The Colbert Report on April 19, 2011. - Provided courtesy of Comedy Central

John Lithgow reads Newt Gingrich's news release on Stephen Colbert's show (Video)

05/20/2011 by Olivia Allin

John Lithgow brought his superior stage presence to the set of "The Colbert Report" on Thursday to do a dramatic reading of aspiring presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's recent press release after he was accused of racism.

Gingrich famously called President Barack Obama the "most successful food stamp president in history," criticized and then apologized to Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin over Medicare reform and was "glitter bombed" by a Minneapolis protester, Gawker reports.

Gingrich's press secretary Rick Tyler put out a press release on Thursday which was called "Medieval," "grandiose" and "overwritten." The release states, "Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world& The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness."

Colbert, who plays a satirical conservative host and political commentator on his Comedy Central show, was about to read the statement in full, but instead said, "You know what? I don't think I've got it in me to properly convey the epic genius of this verbal spiking," and had Tony and Emmy-winning actor John Lithgow do a dramatic reading of the article.

Gingrich announced on May 11 that he would seek the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election. He served as the58th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999 and was a member of the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1999, representing Georgia.

Lithgow has received 11 Emmy nominations and has won five statuettes, including one for playing a serial killer on Showtime's "Dexter" and three for his main role as alien Dr. Dick Solomon in the sitcom "3rd Rock From the Sun."

Lithgow recently filmed "Rise of the Apes," a prequel of "Planet of the Planet of the Apes," with Freida Pinto, James Franco and Harry Potter's Tom Felton. The film is scheduled for release on August 5, 2011. It is set in modern times in San Francisco and shows the consequences of human experimentation with genetic engineering - increased intelligence in apes, which brings forth the threat of a power struggle.

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