America's understanding of the political scene and mysterious ways of Washington will be less so when Comedy Central's Steven Colbert takes over for David Letterman at CBS, according to a study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

colbertReleased June 2, the "Stephen Colbert's Civics Lesson" poll of 1,232 adults found that the comedian ranks as a more important source of information than the Big Three broadcast networks, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, newspapers and talk radio.

Annenberg focused on Colbert’s ongoing reports on campaign financing and the role of money in politics.

The researchers found that his knack of personalizing a story -- e.g., formation of a Super PAC and 501(c)(4) organizations -- to walk viewers through the process, backed by a heavy dose of humor/satire, engaged viewers at a higher level than journalism’s traditional "inverted pyramid" style of reporting.

According to the study, "watching The Colbert Report not only increased people’s perceptions that they knew more about political financing, but significantly increased their actual knowledge, and did so at a greater rate than other news sources."

Led by Bruce Hardy, Annenberg’s chief researcher, the team called The Colbert Report “an extended civics lesson.”

In Annenberg’s view, “soft news” political comedy and satire serves as a gateway to more in-depth studies of issues of the day.

America will miss Stephen’s reports. There is a silver lining. He will succeed Letterman at the former Tiffany Network sometime in 2015.

That means national treasure Colbert will guide America through the important election in November, which could give Republicans control of the Senate.