By Ken Tucker
Updated January 15, 2012 at 07:03 PM EST

Stephen Colbert’s super PAC has released an ad asserting that Mitt Romney “is a serial killer.” The ad, narrated by John Lithgow (himself a former serial killer on Dexter), concludes: “Stop Mitt the Ripper before he kills again.”

Colbert’s super PAC, which is now overseen by Jon Stewart in an exchange that occurred earlier this week, follows Romney’s “corporations are people” belief to an (ill)logical conclusion:

Colbert’s notion, as cited in the ad, is that Romney was responsible, as a businessman, for taking over various corporations and gutting them, leaving them for dead. Given Romney’s view of corporations as living entities, the Republican candidate’s repeated behavior qualifies as a form of serial killing.

Interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week this morning, Colbert was asked by the host whether he truly believes Romney is a serial killer. “That’s a question he has to answer,” said Colbert. Once again, Colbert has succeeded in blurring the lines of comedy and reality in order to serve a larger purpose. Stephanopoulos began the interview in a playful manner, knowing he was dealing with the Colbert “character” — the ultra-conservative, literal-minded, cheerfully deluded talk show host — but when Stephanopoulos asked to “get serious,” Colbert never broke character, forcing ABC News to deal with the concept of corporations as people, and be used as network purveyors of Colbert’s serial-killer message.

The result is that a harshly phrased, serious criticism, swaddled in comic exaggeration, is being leveled at the Republican front-runner, one that attempts to deconstruct the language Romney has used and to expose flaws in the candidate’s platform and critique of how big business operates in the current economy. Colbert is waging a samizdat non-campaign campaign.

Twitter: @kentucker