Stephen Colbert — political satirist, presidential hopeful and South Carolina native — will receive a key to the city and a...

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Stephen Colbert — political satirist, presidential hopeful and South Carolina native — will receive a key to the city and a proclamation that the Comedy Central star is truly “South Carolina’s Favorite Son.”

Say what?

“It’s true,” Mayor Bob Coble confirmed Friday. “When I heard that [Colbert] was running for president, I said, ‘Let’s invite him down here. Let’s show him all the great things about Columbia.’ “

Keep in mind that Coble gave a key to the city to former teen pop stars New Edition in 2006. Sunday could prove to be an equally strange event.

Colbert, host of the spoof opinion news show “The Colbert Report,” announced this month his run for president and that he will campaign only in The Palmetto State.

“I am from South Carolina,” said Colbert, born in Charleston in 1964. “I am for South Carolina. And I defy any other candidate to pander more to the people of South Carolina, those beautiful, beautiful people.”

On his popular show, Colbert plays an investigative blowhard, a conservative pundit with a passion for his opinion.

“I’m not a fan of fact,” he has said. “Facts can change, but my opinion will never change.”

As of Friday, Colbert had yet to file or pay fees for the Democratic or Republican ballot. The deadline is Thursday.

Coble already has sent Colbert an informational packet about the Innovista, the University of South Carolina’s new research campus that city and university leaders are hoping will become a mecca for hydrogen fuel cells and other high-tech research. The mayor also will give Colbert a necktie with palmetto trees.

Coble knows Colbert will use the visit as comedic fodder. But the mayor is hopeful that Colbert Nation — a name for Colbert’s fan base — will learn a thing or two about Columbia and come for a visit. Heck, maybe they’ll even stay.

Columbia City Council member Anne Sinclair said the visit should be a hoot for everyone.

“It’s good to have a little humor in this race,” Sinclair said. “This will be exciting.”