Laughingly describing himself as America's most famous Catholic, Stephen Colbert headlined the 68th annual dinner of the Alfred Smith Memorial Foundation held on Friday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, reports CNS.
Colbert, host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, followed the tradition of the charity event by lobbing good-natured barbs at Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and other religious, political and philanthropic leaders who shared the three-tiered dais at the charity event.
Addressing 1,000 guests in formal wear, Colbert said it "looked like we all showed up at the same Halloween party dressed as the Monopoly guy."
"I have great respect for Cardinal Dolan, though I do have to say, sir, it's not easy when you're wearing that outfit. In that cape and red sash, you look like a matador who's really let himself go."
Cardinal Dolan responded with a huge grin.
The Al Smith dinner honurs the memory of the former governor of New York, who was raised in poverty and was the first Catholic nominated by a major political party to run for president of the United States. Proceeds from the $1,500-a-plate event help needy children in Greater New York.
The foundation distributed $1.8 million in grants after last year's dinner, including $800,000 to organisations aiding victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Colbert said the robust Cardinal Dolan came "this close" to being selected pope but he blew it in the swimsuit competition." He claimed Cardinal Dolan was the first runner-up in the election and should be "warming up his blessing arm in the papal bullpen" in the event of a steroid issue with the winner.