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Stephen Colbert (character)

stephen colbert (character), stephen colbert (character) birth date
Dr Stephen T Colbert is the fictionalized persona of political satirist Stephen Colbert, as portrayed on the Comedy Central series The Colbert Report Described as a "well-intentioned, poorly informed high-status idiot" and a "self-important right-wing commentator", the character incorporates aspects of the real Colbert's life and interests but is primarily a parody of cable news pundits, particularly Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly

Colbert first appeared as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news parody series The Daily Show in 1997 and remained a regular contributor until 2005, when he left to host The Colbert Report, a spin-off show satirizing personality-driven political pundit programs He has also been featured in a number of other public performances, most notably at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, and as the author of the books I Am America And So Can You!, I Am a Pole And So Can You!, and America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't

Colbert's performance attracted widespread critical attention and acclaim, with a reviewer writing for Time magazine calling it "one of the greatest sustained performances in pop culture, TV or otherwise"

On April 23, 2014, the character appeared on The Daily Show to announce that he had clearly "won television" and would be ending The Colbert Report because he had met his goal This came after the real Colbert announced he would not be using the character when he replaced David Letterman as the host of Late Show on CBS in 2015 The final episode of The Colbert Report aired on December 18, 2014

The character has made a few media appearances following the conclusion of The Colbert Report He made a cameo appearance in the House of Cards season three episode "Chapter 27", which was released on February 27, 2015 He returned for the August 6, 2015 episode of The Daily Show to honor Jon Stewart during his final episode as host of the series He appeared on the July 18, 2016 episode The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to do a special segment of "The Wørd", during the show's coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention


  • 1 Development and inspirations
    • 11 The Dana Carvey Show
    • 12 The Daily Show
    • 13 The Colbert Report
    • 14 Books
  • 2 Non-fictional elements
  • 3 Titles and styling
  • 4 Fictional biography
    • 41 Retirement from television
  • 5 Presidential campaigns
    • 51 Colbert '08
    • 52 2012 exploration for "President of the United States of South Carolina"
  • 6 Characteristics
  • 7 2009 visit to Baghdad, Iraq
  • 8 Other appearances
    • 81 After the conclusion of The Colbert Report
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

Development and inspirations

The Dana Carvey Show

Colbert's earliest mainstream exposure came in the prime time sketch comedy program The Dana Carvey Show While only lasting seven episodes in early 1996, it provided Colbert with roles that would help forge his future onscreen persona This was largely due to its format of delivering sketch performances directly to the camera Although they did not air, several sketches inspired by The Onion also had Colbert playing a deadpan anchor delivering the news In an interview with The New York Times regarding The Dana Carvey Show, Colbert noted, "If you have an opportunity to give it right to the audience, there’s a special connection that you make by looking at the camera"

Upon the show's cancellation, Colbert was cast for The Daily Show by co-creator Madeleine Smithberg This was thanks to his performance as a nauseated waiter on The Dana Carvey Show

The Daily Show

Main article: The Daily Show

Colbert appeared as a correspondent on The Daily Show between 1997 and 2005 During this time, the comedian developed the character that would later form the basis for his Colbert Report persona, one that its creator calls a "fool who has spent a lot of his life playing not the fool" Colbert frequently cites Stone Phillips — whom he describes as having "the greatest neck in journalism" — as a source of inspiration for the character, as well as Geraldo Rivera, "because he's got this great sense of mission He just thinks he's gonna change the world with this report" As a correspondent, Colbert was regularly pitted against knowledgeable interview subjects, fellow correspondent Steve Carell, or host Jon Stewart in scripted exchanges which typically revealed the character's lack of knowledge of whatever subject he was discussing Other Daily Show correspondents have since adopted a similar style; former correspondent Rob Corddry recalls that when he and Ed Helms first joined the show's cast in 2002, they "just imitated Stephen Colbert for a year or two"

The Colbert Report

Main article: The Colbert Report

In 2005, Colbert left The Daily Show to host a spin-off series entitled The Colbert Report, a parody of personality-driven political pundit programs such as Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor that center largely on the personal views of their hosts Because of this enlarged role, the personality and beliefs of the Stephen Colbert character have become more clearly defined over the course of the show, complete with a fictitious backstory that has been revealed piecemeal in short monologues accompanying a part of the program

The character Colbert portrays in Report originated as an amplification of his self-important Daily Show correspondent As they developed the character and the show Colbert and his staff began to look at some more specific models Bill O'Reilly, whom the character affectionately nicknames "Papa Bear", is the most commonly cited point of reference In a 2006 episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert remarked that, "if it wasn't for , this show wouldn’t exist" In adapting the character for the Report, Colbert has also mentioned Aaron Brown, Anderson Cooper, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Joe Scarborough as having an influence over his performance References to the character's abuse of prescription drugs are believed to be an allusion to Rush Limbaugh's addiction to painkillers

The nightly in-character guest interviews were initially of concern to Colbert, who worried his character's belligerent nature would be off-putting to guests However, since the show's debut, he says he has found he is able to "slide the intensity" of his behavior depending on his interviewee's ability to respond to his aggressive approach Colbert now often cites the interview segment as his favorite part of the show, because it allows him to improvise Colbert advises his guests to disabuse the character of his ignorance "Don't let me get away with anything Don't try to play my game Be real Be passionate Hold your ideas Give me resistance Give me traction I can work against"


Colbert is the central character in the 2007 book I Am America And So Can You! Co-written with Paul Dinello and the writers of The Colbert Report, I Am America delves into what the character considers to be the most pressing issues facing America The book takes influence from the literary endeavors of the character's pundit models, such as O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor 2000 and Hannity's Deliver Us From Evil 2004, which Colbert says he "forced" himself to read as a reference I Am America is considered a pure extension of the Report; the written medium allowed the writers to employ different styles, such as long-format arguments, that they could not have used on television "You can actually spend 20 pages talking about religion whereas in the show, two pages is about as long as we hold any one idea", Colbert explains In doing this, the writers "discovered things that cared about that they didn't know he cared about before"

A character similar to Colbert's Daily Show persona featured in the 2003 book Wigfield: The Can Do Town That Just May Not by Colbert, Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris Russell Hokes, a self-aggrandizing journalist, was voiced by Colbert in both stage performances of the text and the audiobook Colbert likens Hokes to his self-important correspondent character, but "more extreme, more self-involved"

Non-fictional elements

Certain elements of the character are drawn from the real Colbert's personal life Both the real Colbert and the character were raised in Charleston, South Carolina; both are the youngest of 11 children; both played Dungeons & Dragons as teenagers; and both are practicing Roman Catholics Colbert's own interest in and knowledge of religion, science fiction, and J R R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings story will often show through in the Report His character has a chocolate portrait of Viggo Mortensen who portrayed Aragorn in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films in a place of honor on his shelf; Mortensen briefly reprised the role of Aragorn in the Report's September 13, 2007 episode He also owns a Sting sword presented to him by Peter Jackson

Occasionally, Colbert will mention his real-life siblings on the show In one episode, he placed his brother Ed, a lawyer who advises the International Olympic Committee, "on notice" for refusing to grant the show the rights to air footage of a dispute between two American speed skaters Ed later appeared at the start of the February 22, 2010 edition advising Stephen on how to cover the Vancouver Winter Olympics since his character does not have the television rights to the games Footage from the Richmond Olympic Oval was used after Stephen was named a special advisor to USA Speedskating Generally, journalists covering the Olympics do not have access to the venues unless their employer has the rights to Olympic TV coverage, and cannot show moving video coverage of any official Olympic event unless they have permission from the rights holder When his sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch declared her intention to run for congress, he mentioned the event Later, when she was nominated to run against Mark Sanford and the MSNBC show Morning Joe declared their support for Sanford and mentioned Colbert, he defended his sister's campaign

In an appearance at Harvard University in 2006, Colbert revealed that his character's fear of bears was in part inspired by a recurring nightmare he has had, in which a bear is standing between him and his goal The character's phobia, which was initially referenced in the show's first "ThreatDown" skit, was originally slated to be a fear of alligators By the time the Report went to air, the alligator story was several weeks old, and the writers chose to use a more recent news item involving a bear in its place

After Colbert received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Knox College, the show began listing his name in the ending credits as "Dr Stephen T Colbert, DFA" even though using both the honorific prefix and post-nominal letters is incorrect During the show, the character will sometimes refer to the degree and the qualifications he mistakenly believes it bestows upon him

In May 2007, Colbert was voted the "second most influential person in the world" by a Time magazine online poll The first spot was taken by Rain, a young Korean pop star with a large following in Asia and the United States Colbert then declared Rain his "arch-nemesis" and began mentioning him frequently on the Report Colbert filmed a satirical music video poking fun at Rain's popular single "How to Avoid the Sun" and referencing several stereotypical South Korean dishes and products The one-sided feud eventually culminated in Colbert challenging Rain to a competition on air After telling Colbert "not to quit his day job", Rain appeared in a short segment on the show and competed and won a DDR dance-off with Colbert Both have been defeated by Shigeru Miyamoto in recent polls, though they still continue to be strong contenders

On June 21, 2007, Colbert broke his left wrist on the set of the Report while performing his warm-up for the show This quickly became a regular source of comedy on the show as the self-absorbed character requested his audience send flowers, launched a campaign against Hollywood's supposed glorification of "wrist violence", and began a "wrist awareness" campaign with "WristStrong" silicone bracelets Although his wrist has healed, he continues to wear and promote his "WristStrong" bracelets On August 23, 2007, the cast was removed on air and was put up for auction to the general public, complete with celebrity signatures, on eBay, where it achieved a winning bid of $17,200 All of the proceeds from both the cast and the bracelets were donated to the Yellow Ribbon Fund

Colbert occasionally makes comments that he would also make were he not in character In an interview with The Buffalo News, Colbert said "The weird thing about my character, even on the show, is sometimes I say what I mean It doesn't matter to me that the audience doesn't know when that is"

On June 19, 2013, Colbert returned from an unplanned break of several days following the passing of his 92-year-old mother, Lorna Colbert The emotional Colbert started the show with a tribute to his mother, in which he presented a brief biography of her life in photos, accompanied by his eulogy of her

Titles and styling

The titles and styling of Her Excellency The Rev Sir Doctor Stephen Tyrone Mos Def Colbert, DFA, Heavyweight Champion of the World✱✱ featuring Flo Rida La Premiere Dame De France are mostly for comedic reasons Colbert became an ordained minister on June 2, 2011, granting himself the title of Reverend Colbert was mock-knighted by Queen Noor of Jordan on April 7, 2009, bestowing him with the title of Sir He was granted an honorary doctorate of fine arts by Knox College in 2006, giving him the title of Doctor and use of the suffix DFA Doctor of Fine Arts This title is featured regularly during his segments Cheating Death with Dr Stephen T Colbert, DFA Yasiin Bey gave Colbert the use of his stage name Mos Def on October 5, 2011 Colbert was set to interview Mike Tyson on July 23, 2013 Tyson did not appear which led Colbert to declare himself Heavy Weight Champion of the World and grant himself use of the title The large asterisk in the title is to denote that he did not defeat Tyson in a boxing match The suffix featuring Flo Rida was added during the segment I tried to sign up for Obamacare on October 23, 2013, where his name on the ACA form said featuring Flo Rida Her Excellency was added to the title as Colbert was seated next to Michelle Obama at the White House state dinner in February 2014, in which the President of France François Hollande was not accompanied by a partner Because it is customary that the first lady of a visiting nation is seated next to the First Lady of the United States, Colbert proclaimed himself First Lady of France on February 12, 2014

Fictional biography

Colbert avatar

Colbert's fictional history is not always rigidly adhered to by the show's writers The comedian himself says that, "My character's history may not always be perfectly consistent There's my bio and there's my character's bio, and then there's my character's history, which is slightly different than my character's bio" His early life, prior to becoming host of The Colbert Report, is expanded upon in I Am America And So Can You!

Like the actor who portrays him, Stephen T Colbert is the youngest of 11 children, born into a devout Roman Catholic family—the character's family was so devout, in fact, they sent their teenage son to an "exorcism day camp located in Canton, Ohio" when they discovered he liked Dungeons & Dragons In his in-character appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, Colbert stated that he is of Irish descent and only adopted the French pronunciation of his surname to "get the cultural elites" on his side Colbert has made conflicting statements regarding his middle name, which he has at different times stated to be Tyrone Colbert's actual middle name, Tiberius like that of Captain James T Kirk, Lee-Harvey, and Qxyzzy The character has said he was regularly beaten up in high school, and by the time he left for college he was determined never to be a victim again As such, on the first day of his freshman year he walked into class and punched the first person he saw unfortunately, this happened to be his ethics professor He attended Dartmouth College instead of his first pick, Hogwarts, claiming that his white owl led them to reject him, and was a member of the ΣΑΕ fraternity, although his acceptance into the college appears to have been largely influenced by a claimed familial relationship with a wealthy donor, and graduated in the top 47 percent of his class with a major in history He has also referred to Bob Jones University as an alma mater

Prior to embarking on a career in journalism, Colbert worked as a carnival roustabout and a construction worker During the 1980s, he was the lead singer and guitarist of an ABC-like new wave band called "Stephen and the Colberts" The comedian portrays his character's younger self in the band's music video, wearing worn jeans, cowboy boots and a spiky hair style Their only revealed song to date is entitled "Charlene I'm Right Behind You", one of numerous references to an ex-girlfriend and cousin whom he continues to stalk despite numerous restraining orders This song has been made available for download for free in the video game Rock Band On the May 14, 2008 episode, Colbert claimed to have been the "totalitarian ruler of Malawi from 1982 to 1984" He mentions that his wife's first name is Lorraine

Colbert later moved into reporting, working in TV news for several stations in Virginia and North Carolina Occasionally he will show footage of himself as a "young man" portrayed by Colbert, wearing a false moustache working as an anchor at a local news station WPTS in Patterson Springs, North Carolina, still displaying his trademark outrage over minor municipal issues in the manner of 20/20 correspondent John Stossel In 1997, Colbert was promoted to anchor of the Channel 7 News on WPTS Patterson Springs after outing the previous anchor, Wayne Colt, for his cocaine addiction His ensuing investigative reports into Colt's downfall earned him a local Emmy, and eventually a correspondent position at The Daily Show This corresponds with the year the comedian joined the cast of the show

Colbert often makes digs at the expense of Daily Show host Jon Stewart He has implied a strained relationship with Stewart, in contrast with the real Colbert's admiration for the comedian, and suggests that his departure from The Daily Show occurred under dubious circumstances The character has described Stewart as a sexual predator and has been known to become tearful when his name is brought up On the other hand, Colbert has also implied that he only got his own show by blackmailing Stewart with incriminating photographs

Colbert is described in America The Book: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, to which he was a contributor while serving as a 'Daily Show' correspondent, as holding the positions of the Arthur Schlesinger Professor of American Studies at Harvard University, and of Chief Defender of International War Crimes at the World Court in the Hague The book also states that he is the seven-time recipient of the Werner Heisenberg Prize for Excellence in Theoretical Mathematics Paradoxically, Colbert is described as being barely capable of feeding himself as well as being "personally unpleasant"

Colbert was mock-knighted by Queen Noor of Jordan with a prop sword from The Lord of the Rings films, on his April 7, 2009 show in exchange for leading the "Colbert Nation" in signing the Global Zero declaration

Retirement from television

On April 10, 2014 it was announced that the real-life Colbert will be replacing David Letterman as the host of CBS's The Late Show in 2015 It was also announced that The Colbert Report will be ending and Colbert will not be using the character on CBS show Following the announcement, the character made a special surprise appearance on the April 23, 2014 episode of The Daily Show to report that it has become clear to him that he has "won television" and changed the world, the goal he originally set out to do, and thus no longer feels the need to continue He expressed interest in taking over The Late Show after Letterman retires but could not because "they already gave it to some fat guy"

During the final episode, Colbert accidentally kills "lifelong friend and colleague" Grimmy in the final segment of "Cheating Death", after which he becomes immortal and uses his powers to fuel a star-studded celebrity singalong of "We'll Meet Again", before boarding a sleigh driven by Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln, and "the man with all the answers" At the end of the show, Colbert tosses back to Stewart at The Daily Show, implying that the show's existence was just an extended correspondent report for the program

On the July 18, 2016 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert is revealed to have been living with a now-retired Stewart in a remote cabin in a forest In the skit, the real Colbert visited Stewart, asking him to explain how Donald Trump became the 2016 Republican nominee for president Perplexed, Stewart turned to Colbert the character, who briefly returned to television to deliver an edition of "The Word" explaining Trump's appeal, before turning the show back to "that other guy", the real Colbert

Following Colbert's segment on the July 18 program, CBS's legal team was informed by Viacom that the character Stephen Colbert is their intellectual property and cannot appear on The Late Show As a result, on the July 27, 2016 episode of The Late Show, the real Colbert announced that the character "will never be seen again" He then immediately introduced Stephen Colbert's "identical twin cousin" a possible allusion to The Patty Duke Show, Stephen Colbert, as a new member of The Late Show team

Presidential campaigns

Colbert '08

Main article: Stephen Colbert presidential campaign, 2008

Colbert dropped hints of a potential presidential run throughout 2007, with speculation intensifying following the release of his book, I Am America And So Can You!, which was rumored invariably by Colbert himself to be a sign that he was indeed testing the waters for a future bid for the White House Colbert staunchly refused to confirm or deny his candidacy, stating he had not yet made up his mind and must first talk the possibility over with his family

Colbert confirmed his presidential ambitions on his October 16, 2007 show, stating his intention to run both on the Republican and Democratic platforms, but only as a favorite son in his native South Carolina In an interview with Larry King he revealed that, as his running mate, he would consider Mike Huckabee who himself jokingly offered Colbert the vice presidential position He also speculated on the possibility of a Colbert-Putin or Colbert-Colbert ticket Colbert abandoned plans to run as a Republican due to the $35,000 fee required to file for the South Carolina primary On November 1, 2007, it was announced that he would not appear on the Democratic primary ballot either, after being deemed ineligible by the South Carolina Democratic Party executive committee Several days later he announced that he was withdrawing from the race, saying that he did not wish to put the country through an agonizing Supreme Court battle

The show went on hiatus immediately after this as a result of the Writers Guild of America Strike When it returned to air on January 7, 2008 without a writing staff, the character justified his absence by stating that he had taken some time off to have "a good cry" about his failed presidential attempt He said that he had returned to air in celebration of Huckabee's success in the Iowa Caucus, something for which he considers himself personally responsible as Huckabee has appeared on the Report on numerous occasions to invite Colbert to be his running mate

Despite having withdrawn from the presidential race, Colbert continued to be referred to as an active candidate in the Marvel Universe Colbert '08 paraphernalia appeared in the artwork of various Marvel comics, and Colbert himself teamed up with Spider-Man in the October 2008 comic Amazing Spider-Man #573 On November 5, 2008, Marvel announced that its fictional newspaper The Daily Bugle was reporting Colbert's victory over both John McCain and Barack Obama Several hours later Marvel released a second Daily Bugle article correcting its initial reports, stating that while Colbert had won the popular vote Obama had secured more electoral votes, thus winning the presidency "Oops, our bad", said Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada of the confusion "We completely forgot the Marvel Universe reflects what happens in the real world"

2012 exploration for "President of the United States of South Carolina"

See also: Colbert Super PAC

During the September 28, 2011 episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert consulted his lawyer and they set up his own 501c4 organization, similar to American Crossroads As a super PAC the organization can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions and other groups, as well as wealthy individuals With Colbert as president of the Colbert Super PAC, the PAC ran several political ads prior to the Ames Straw Poll The first ad, titled "Episode IV: A New Hope", told Iowans to write-in "Rick Parry" instead of Rick Perry, and the second ad, "Behind the Green Corn", supported "Parry" as well

During the January 12, 2012 episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert announced his plans to form an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for his possible candidacy for "President of the United States of South Carolina" In the process, he transferred control of the Super PAC to Jon Stewart, renaming it The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC, since, according to Colbert's lawyer, Trevor Potter, it would definitely be illegal for Colbert and Stewart to coordinate their efforts in super PAC activities A CBS news report called Colbert's run "essentially a joke", saying, "The real significance of Colbert's announcement may be the spotlight it puts on super PACs, into which donors can pour unlimited money in order to support or attack candidates, and thus influence election outcomes Super PACs were made possible by the 2010 "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision that effectively classified money as speech"

Colbert's timing was too late for his name to be added the South Carolina primary ballot, and South Carolina law would not allow for write-in candidates Polling showed that 21% of the potential Republican primary electorate reported they would be "more likely" to vote for former candidate Herman Cain, who remained on the ballot, if that vote served as encouragement for Colbert Herman Cain received 6,338 votes in the South Carolina Republican Primary, which was more than all the other withdrawn candidates received combined On the next episode of The Colbert Report broadcast on January 23, 2012, Colbert boasted about passing the 1% threshold and for Cain receiving many more votes in South Carolina than in Iowa and New Hampshire Colbert then announced that he would no longer be exploring a run for President of the United States of South Carolina


Described as a "caustic right-wing bully", an "arch-conservative blowhard", and by his creator and namesake as a "well-intentioned, poorly informed, high status idiot", Colbert is egomaniacal, xenophobic and fiercely anti-intellectual He claims to be politically independent, like his idol Bill "Papa Bear" O'Reilly; although in fact the character fawns over the Bush administration and the Republican Party, and frequently asks his guests, "George Bush: Great president, or the greatest president" Following the election of Barack Obama in 2008, Colbert continued his right-wing views, but stated he would "support our new President as long as remains popular" Colbert emphasizes that his character is genuinely well-meaning and wants to do the right thing, but does not have the tools to achieve it "because he has no curiosity, he doesn't like to read and he won't listen to anybody except the voices in his head"

The "Eagle's Nest", with its many references to Colbert, reflects the character's self-aggrandizing style

Colbert is deeply self-centered and takes everything personally, a trait which is reflected in his discussion of the news and current events According to the comedian, "There's nothing too large that doesn't involve him Every news story is really about him Everything he cares about is a news story because he cares about it" This is expressed in his frequent attacks on and feuds with well-known figures such as The Decemberists, Sean Penn, Conan O'Brien, Rain, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, and Don Rickles the latter three of whom beat out Colbert for Best Individual in a Variety or Music Program at the Emmys The comedian equates these feuds with Bill O'Reilly's culture wars

Central to Colbert's personality is his rigid belief that "what I say is right, and anyone else says could possibly be true", regardless of any evidence to the contrary He discussed this in the Report's first Wørd segment, using the term "truthiness" as he explained what he perceives to be the difference between "those who think with their head and those who know with their heart" He has further gone on to ascribe "truthiness" to other institutions including Wikipedia, which he believes upholds his view that reality can be determined by consensus opinion, and often encourages viewers to use Wikipedia to "change reality" Colbert believes that if a majority of people want something to be true, that thing therefore must become the truth For instance, after months of scoffing at global warming, Colbert suddenly reversed his position, conceding its existence only due to the box office success of An Inconvenient Truth, a sign that "the free market has spoken"

Colbert describes himself as racially color-blind and unable to visually identify a person's race, explaining, "Now, I don't see race People tell me I'm white, and I believe them, because I own a lot of Jimmy Buffett albums" His race-blindness is a recurring joke, and this statement is often repeated on the show with different punch lines For this same reason he believed that he was black when he had an emotional breakdown after watching Obama's inauguration video He later qualified these statements in his book, stating, "When I say I don't see race, I mean I don't see Black people But I can spot a Mexican at a hundred paces" Despite all these claims, Colbert often boasts that he has a large number of token minority friends including Jon Stewart as " Jewish friend" and Oprah Winfrey as " black friend", although in the photos shown these friends appear decidedly uninterested in him He has stated a similar inability to distinguish between the sexes, claiming to only "see an American" This comes in contradiction of his at times sexist behavior, for instance, calling only on men during an open discussion with his audience on women's issues

The comedian has said that he likes playing weak characters, and particularly revealing weaknesses in high status figures During the course of the show, he will frequently peel back the Colbert character's apparent bravado to expose a very weak inner core In one instance, Colbert demands one of his staff members subject him to simulated waterboarding, only to break down into pleas for mercy upon hearing a water bottle cap popped In another episode, he criticizes The Today Show cohost Matt Lauer for saying that it's unacceptable for men to cry, only to sob hysterically upon learning that Katie Couric has left the show These status shifts occur commonly, and constitute a central component of the show's comedy

Colbert frequently uses his show as a platform for promoting his own fictional merchandise, including colognes, science fiction novels, medication, and his own sperm

2009 visit to Baghdad, Iraq

Colbert receives an "Army" haircut, from Four-Star General Ray Odierno, during filming

Colbert arrived in Baghdad, Iraq on June 5, 2009, to film a week of shows called "Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando" The episodes were filmed June 7–9, 2009, which was sponsored by the USO United Service Organizations Al-Faw Palace's rotunda was used for the filming of Operation Iraqi Stephen Corbert had a suit tailored for him in the Army Combat Uniform pattern and went through an abbreviated version of the Army's basic training regimen The suit was specially tailored by Brooks Brothers As a tribute to Bob Hope, Colbert brought a golf club on stage, a Hope trademark

The first episode included an interview with Multinational Force - Iraq commander General Ray Odierno, which was interrupted by US President Barack Obama Obama stated that if Colbert really wanted to be a soldier, along with his attendance to Basic Combat Training, he needed to have his hair shaved off Obama then ordered General Odierno to "shave that man's head" General Odierno then began to shave Colbert's head; the job was finished during the commercial break by one of Colbert's staff members One Army major said that "shaving of the hair is an amazing show of support" that was "very touching" The episode also featured a message to the troops from US Senator John McCain with a friendly reminder to "always remember to clean your muskets", a lesson he claimed to have learned at Valley Forge, as a reference to old age jokes that he faced during the 2008 Presidential Election Several other prominent politicians, including former presidents Bill Clinton, George H W Bush, and George W Bush, along with Vice President Joe Biden and then Alaska governor Sarah Palin recorded messages for the troops that were aired in the following episodes

Other appearances

  • White House Correspondents' Association Dinner April 29, 2006
  • 58th Primetime Emmy Awards, presenter, August 27, 2006
  • Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Benefit for Autism, October 15, 2006
  • Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #15, December 20, 2006
  • The O'Reilly Factor, in-character interview, January 18, 2007
  • 59th Primetime Emmy Awards, presenter, September 16, 2007
  • Meet the Press, in-character interview as presidential candidate, October 21, 2007
  • 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, presenter, September 21, 2008
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #573, October 15, 2008
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien, February 4, 2008 and February 17, 2009
  • United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, September 24, 2010 However, Colbert did break character when he responded to questions by Congresswoman Judy Chu about the plight of immigrant workers
  • Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Co-organizer October 30, 2010
  • This Week with George Stephanopoulos, January 15, 2012
  • A White House state dinner in honor of French president, Francois Hollande, February 11, 2014 Colbert was seated at the head table, in a seat which would have gone to Hollande's guest had he brought one The following night, Colbert referenced on his show his seating assignment at the head table, calling himself the "First Lady of France"
  • In 2014 the character was used in an ad campaign for Wonderful Pistachios, which launched with a Super Bowl commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLVIII
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, February 17, 2014, the first episode Fallon had several celebrities come on stage and give him $100 bills paying off bets that they lost because he got to host The Tonight Show Colbert was the last celebrity and he came with $100 in a bucket of pennies, pouring them down Fallon's clothes
  • 2014 RSA Conference
  • 2014 Comic-con: appeared both as a panel moderator as well as in costume portraying a character called "Prince Hawkcat" which is supposed to be "Half Hawk Half Cat Whole Prince" The attendance in costume was not revealed until two months after the event
  • October 2014 Apple Inc press event: Colbert participated in the event via phone where he asked to be given the title "Supreme Allied Commander of Super Secrecy"
  • Colbert appeared in the November 6, 2014 episode of @midnight to announce the "Hashtag Wars" for the episode

After the conclusion of The Colbert Report

  • Colbert made an appearance in the House of Cards season three episode "Chapter 27" The segment was taped before The Colbert Report set was transformed into the set for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore It was first released on February 27, 2015, two months after the final episode of The Colbert Report aired
  • On August 6, 2015, Colbert both in and out of character returned for Jon Stewart's last night on The Daily Show, along with many other correspondents to serve under his tenure, to pay tribute to the departing host
  • On July 18, 2016, Colbert reprised the character on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert The character appeared with Jon Stewart and Colbert as himself, in his capacity as host, before the character hosted the Colbert Report segment, "The Wørd"
  • On July 27, 2016, Colbert announced that the character could no longer appear on The Late Show, explaining that, immediately after the July 18 airing, lawyers at CBS were contacted by a lawyer "at another company" and told the character was the intellectual property of the unnamed company presumably Viacom, Comedy Central's parent company Instead, Colbert told the audience that he was welcoming via satellite "Stephen Colbert's identical twin cousin, Stephen Colbert", with the new character showing interest in returning to The Late Show regularly Colbert then introduced a close facsimile of the Colbert Report's "The Wørd" segment, spelled instead as "The Werd"

See also

  • Cultural impact of The Colbert Report
  • Tek Jansen
  • Wally George
  • Who Made Huckabee
  • List of The Colbert Report characters


  1. ^ "The Colbert Report, November 14, 2014" Retrieved November 14, 2014 
  2. ^ Solomon, Deborah September 25, 2005 "Funny About the News" New York Times Magazine Retrieved November 13, 2007 
  3. ^ "Prof Evan Apfelbaum: A blind pursuit of racial colorblindness — Research has implications for how companies manage multicultural teams" MIT Sloan Experts October 17, 2011 Retrieved July 22, 2012 
  4. ^ a b Steinberg, Jacques October 12, 2005 "The News Is Funny, as a Correspondent Gets His Own Show" The New York Times Retrieved July 13, 2006 
  5. ^ Poniewozik, James December 19, 2014 "Review: The Colbert Report Is Dead Long Live Stephen Colbert!" TIME Retrieved April 15, 2015 
  6. ^ a b Zuckerman, Esther April 10, 2014 "Stephen Colbert Will Take Over for David Letterman" The Wire Retrieved December 12, 2014 
  7. ^ Zuckerman, Esther 19 July 2016 "Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart resurrect "Stephen Colbert" on The Late Show" The AV Club Retrieved 19 July 2016 
  8. ^ Heisler, Steve Interview - Dana Carvey and Robert Smigel The AV Club June 15, 2009 Retrieved on 5-09-10
  9. ^ Dave, Itzkoff Comedy Ahead of Its Time if That Time Ever Comes The New York Times May 7, 2009 Retrieved on 5-09-10
  10. ^ a b c Ken P August 11, 2003 An Interview With Stephen Colbert IGN Retrieved on August 15, 2007
  11. ^ Berkowitz, Elana; Schiller, Amy "Five Minutes With Stephen Colbert" Campus Progress Retrieved August 14, 2007 
  12. ^ Corddry, Rob Interview with Terry Gross March 8, 2007 Rob and Nate Corddry Find Their Place on TV Fresh Air WHYY Retrieved on October 28, 2007
  13. ^ a b c Colbert, Stephen Interview with Terry Gross October 9, 2007 Colbert Builds 'Report' with Viewers, Readers Fresh Air WHYY Retrieved on October 21, 2007
  14. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin February 19, 2007 "Bill O'Reilly snarks on Stephen Colbert's new gig" Los Angeles Times Retrieved April 16, 2013 
  15. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 2011, January 25, 2006
  16. ^ Kurtz, Howard October 10, 2005 TV's Newest Anchor: A Smirk in Progress The Washington Post Retrieved on August 15, 2007
  17. ^ a b Rabin, Nathan January 25, 2006 "Stephen Colbert interview" The AV Club The Onion Archived from the original on February 2, 2006 Retrieved July 10, 2006 
  18. ^ Colbert, Stephen December 8, 2006 A conversation with comedian Stephen Colbert Charlie Rose
  19. ^ a b c "A Conversation With Stephen Colbert" Harvard Institute of Politics October 1, 2006 Retrieved August 15, 2007 
  20. ^ a b Colbert, Stephen October 16, 2007 "Meet the Author" podcast Retrieved on October 27, 2007
  21. ^ Colbert, Stephen May 13, 2003 The Leonard Lopate Show WNYC
  22. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 1017, November 14, 2005
  23. ^ "Elijah Wood and Stephen Colbert Compare 'LOTR' Sting Swords VIDEO" AOL TV Retrieved December 7, 2012 
  24. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 2022, February 22, 2006
  25. ^ "Stephen Colbert Honorary Degree - Knox College" Knox College June 1, 2006 Retrieved April 9, 2009 
  26. ^ Colbert, Stephen May 10, 2007 "Rain Rivalry" Comedy Central Archived from the original on July 18, 2008 Retrieved March 18, 2010 
  27. ^ "The 2008 TIME 100 Finalists" Time Magazine May 10, 2008 Archived from the original on July 18, 2008 Retrieved March 18, 2010 
  28. ^ "The Truth Behind Stephen Colbert's Broken Wrist: Injury on the set of "The Colbert Report"" July 26, 2007 Retrieved November 8, 2012 
  29. ^ Stelter, Brian August 27, 2007 "2 Out of 3 Anchors Join Colbert in Wrist Stunt" The New York Times Retrieved December 20, 2007 
  30. ^ Sklar, Rachel September 3, 2007 "The Fruits of WristStrong: Colbert Cast Sells For $17,200" The Huffington Post Retrieved December 20, 2007 
  31. ^ Associated Press August 22, 2007 "Stephen Colbert to Auction Signed Cast" ABC News Archived from the original on September 16, 2009 Retrieved December 20, 2007 
  32. ^ Pergament, Alan April 10, 2014 Choice of Colbert to succeed Letterman makes perfect sense The Buffalo News Retrieved April 10, 2014
  33. ^ Colbert, Stephen "Remembering Lorna Colbert" The Colbert Report Comedy Central Retrieved May 23, 2014 
  34. ^ "The 2013 Government Shutdown Wedding of the Century Pt 1" The Colbert Report Comedy Central Retrieved May 23, 2015
  35. ^ "Queen Noor" The Colbert Report Comedy Central Retrieved May 23, 2015
  36. ^ "Top 10 Commencement Speeches" Time May 16, 2009 
  37. ^ "The Colbert Report" Comedy Central 
  38. ^ "The Colbert Report" Comedy Central 
  39. ^ "The Colbert Report" Comedy Central 
  40. ^ "The Colbert Report" Comedy Central 
  41. ^ a b Dowd, Maureen October 31, 2006 America's Anchors Rolling Stone Retrieved on August 15, 2007 Archived August 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ "Stephen Colbert's in-character appearance on The O'Reilly Factor" Fox News January 18, 2007 Retrieved October 18, 2007 
  43. ^ Colbert, Stephen May 2007 "Presidential Candidate Questionnaire" GQ
  44. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 6046, April 7, 2010
  45. ^ a b c d Colbert, Stephen 2007 I Am America And So Can You! New York: Grand Central Publishing ISBN 0-446-58050-3
  46. ^ The Colbert Report, October 16, 2012
  47. ^ The Colbert Report March 3, 2014
  48. ^ Gordon, Avery "Colbert Nation bio" Archived from the original on March 25, 2008  Comedy Central Retrieved on October 18, 2007
  49. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 2094, July 26, 2006
  50. ^ Franklin, Nancy November 28, 2005 "The Spinoff Zone" The New Yorker Retrieved December 20, 2007 
  51. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 3008, January 18, 2007
  52. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 3128, October 9, 2007
  53. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 3047, April 11, 2007
  54. ^ America The Book: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction Warner Books, September 2004 ISBN 0-446-53268-1, p 39
  55. ^ a b America The Book, p 92
  56. ^ a b America The Book, p121
  57. ^ "Behind the scenes of 'The Colbert Report'" Brietbart Retrieved November 17, 2009 
  58. ^ "Episode 5046 4/7/2009" No Fact Zone Retrieved November 17, 2009 
  59. ^ Rothman, Michael April 24, 2014 "Stephen Colbert Says Goodbye to Jon Stewart and 'The Daily Show'" ABC News Retrieved December 12, 2014 
  60. ^ Molloy, Tim April 24, 2014 "Stephen Colbert Says Goodbye to Jon Stewart, 'Daily Show'" The Wrap Retrieved December 12, 2014 
  61. ^ Hillary Busis December 19, 2014 "'The Colbert Report' wraps up with an immortal, star-studded finale" Entertainment Weekly Retrieved December 19, 2014 
  62. ^ Emily Yahr December 19, 2014 "'The Colbert Report' finale recap: Ending with a song, celebrity cameos and Alex Trebek" The Washington Post Retrieved December 19, 2014 
  63. ^ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 2016-07-27, WERD: The Lesser of Two Evils, retrieved 2016-07-28 
  64. ^ Kurtz, Howard October 17, 2007 "Primary-Time TV With Colbert the Candidate" The Washington Post Retrieved December 20, 2007 
  65. ^ "Stephen Colbert for Vice President" 
  66. ^ Editor & Publisher October 11, 2007 Stephen Colbert May Run for President—South Carolina TV Invites Him to Kick Off Bid Archived September 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on October 17, 2007
  67. ^ Vogel, Kenneth November 1, 2007 "SC Dems reject Colbert candidacy" Politicocom Retrieved November 13, 2007 
  68. ^ Associated Press November 5, 2007 Stephen Colbert Drops Presidential Bid Retrieved on November 13, 2007
  69. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 4001, January 7, 2008
  70. ^ "Colbert For President" Marvelcom May 31, 2008 Retrieved June 1, 2008 
  71. ^ a b Boucher, Geoff September 29, 2008 "Stephen Colbert is a swinger for Marvel" Los Angeles Times Retrieved April 6, 2009 
  72. ^ Thill, Scott November 5, 2008 "Colbert Bests Obama, Wins Marvel White House" Wired Retrieved November 6, 2008 
  73. ^ Thill, Scott November 5, 2008 "Bugle Blows It -- Obama Beats Colbert on Marvel Electoral Votes" Wired Retrieved November 6, 2008 
  74. ^ "Colbert takes satirical swipe at disclosure laws to create corporation in Del" Delaware Online Retrieved October 6, 2011 
  75. ^ "Outside Spending" Center for Responsive Politics 
  76. ^ Blumenthal, Paul August 13, 2011 "Rick Perry Super PACs Raise Issues of Coordination, Collusion" Huffingtonpostcom Retrieved August 16, 2011 
  77. ^ Sands, Geneva August 10, 2011 "VIDEO: Colbert launches first super PAC ad - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room" Thehillcom Retrieved August 16, 2011 
  78. ^ "Colbert Sends Message to pro-Rick Perry PACs - Back Off! - The Note" ABCNewscom August 9, 2011 Retrieved August 16, 2011 
  79. ^ "Stephen Colbert | Rick Parry | Ames Straw Poll" The Daily Caller July 19, 2011 Retrieved August 16, 2011 
  80. ^ "Colbert SuperPAC's Debut Vote for 'Rick Parry' Ads" Colbertnewshubcom August 12, 2011 Retrieved August 16, 2011 
  81. ^ "Colbert's SuperPAC releases another corny ad | The Examiner | Yeas & Nays" Washington Examiner Retrieved August 16, 2011 
  82. ^ "Stephen Colbert isn't really running for president" CBS News 
  83. ^ "18% in South Carolina Kinda Somewhat Likely to Back Colbert | Home of the Marist Poll: Pebbles and Pundits" Maristpollmaristedu January 19, 2012 Retrieved July 22, 2012 
  84. ^ "South Carolina Election Division, Results for the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary" Enr-scvotesorg January 22, 2012 Retrieved July 22, 2012 
  85. ^ Sternbergh, Adam October 16, 2006 "Stephen Colbert Has America By The Ballots" New York Magazine Retrieved August 15, 2007 
  86. ^ Mnookin, Seth October 2007 "The Man in the Irony Mask" Vanity Fair Retrieved December 9, 2007 
  87. ^ Colbert, Stephen October 14, 2007 "Larry King Live: Interview with Stephen Colbert" CNN Retrieved December 20, 2007 
  88. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 1001, October 17, 2005
  89. ^ Pastorek, Whitney 2007 Birth of a Colbert Nation EW Retrieved on December 20, 2007
  90. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 2138, November 2, 2006
  91. ^ Other punch lines include: because I have my own late night talk show, because I can’t say the "N" word, because I think Barack Obama is black, because I shop at Eddie Bauer, because I belong to an all-white country club
  92. ^ Plume, Ken August 11, 2006 Interview: Stephen Colbert Tibby's Bowl Retrieved on December 20, 2007
  93. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 2143, November 13, 2006
  94. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 2102, August 10, 2006
  95. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 1763, April 18, 2006
  96. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 3061, May 7, 2007
  97. ^ The Colbert Report, Episode 3045, April 9, 2007
  98. ^ a b Alessandra Stanley June 11, 2009 "Bob Hope's Spirit, but No Cheesecake" New York Times Retrieved August 27, 2012 
  99. ^ Lee Farran June 8, 2009 "Colbert Goes Commando in Iraq" ABC News Retrieved August 27, 2012 
  100. ^ Bill Bradley June 9, 2009 "Stephen Colbert and Brooks Brothers Invade Iraq" Vanity Fair Retrieved August 27, 2012 
  101. ^ Robertson, Campbell June 8, 2009 "In Iraq, Colbert Does His Shtick for the Troops" The New York Times Retrieved May 24, 2010 
  102. ^ Karadsheh, Jomana June 8, 2009 "In Iraq, Colbert gets military haircut to show his solidarity" Cable News Network Retrieved August 7, 2013 
  103. ^ "In Iraq, Colbert gets military haircut to show his solidarity - CNNcom" CNN June 8, 2009 Retrieved May 24, 2010 
  104. ^ "Stephen Colbert Joins Spider-Man in Amazing #573" Newsaramacom September 24, 2008 Retrieved April 6, 2009 
  105. ^ Zak, Dan September 25, 2010 "Stephen Colbert, in GOP pundit character, testifies on immigration in DC" Washington Post Retrieved September 16, 2011 
  106. ^ Hall, Colby September 24, 2010 "Seriously Missed: Stephen Colbert Broke Character Once To Raise Plight Of Migrant Workers" Mediaite Retrieved September 16, 2011 
  107. ^ "Super PAC Satire: Colbert Explains Faux Presidential Run to ABC News" January 15, 2012 
  108. ^ McCalmont, Lucy February 11, 2014 "Bradley Cooper, Stephen Colbert among dinner guests" Politicocom Retrieved February 13, 2014 
  109. ^ Larson, Leslie February 13, 2014 "Stephen Colbert celebrates his self-appointed role as First Lady of France" Daily News New York 
  110. ^ Kuperinsky, Amy February 19, 2014 "Jimmy Fallon 'Tonight Show' performance makes rock stars of Rutgers students" The Star-Ledger 
  111. ^ Wilstein, Matt March 1, 2014 "WATCH: Colbert Delivers Keynote at Controversial RSA Security Conference" 
  112. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin September 18, 2014 "Stephen Colbert walked the floor at Comic-Con as 'Prince Hawkcat'" Los Angeles Times 
  113. ^ Necomb, Alyssa Oct 16, 2014 "What You Missed at the Apple Event: From New iPads to Stephen Colbert" ABC News 
  114. ^ @midnight episode 156, aired November 6, 2014 on Comedy Central
  115. ^ Krule, Miriam "Watch Stephen Colbert Play "Stephen Colbert" One Last Time on Season 3 of House of Cards" Slate Retrieved March 7, 2015 
  116. ^ Shetty, Sharan August 6, 2015 "Watch Colbert and the Daily Show Correspondents Unite One Last Time, Make Jon Stewart Cry" Slate Retrieved July 20, 2016 
  117. ^ "Stephen Colbert Brings Back 'Colbert Report' Persona for Convention 'Late Show'" The Hollywood Reporter July 18, 2016 Retrieved July 19, 2016 
  118. ^ https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=-GFVKMTJUos
  119. ^ https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=NqOTxl3Bsbw
  120. ^ "Stephen Colbert battles lawyers over 'Colbert Report' character" Fox News July 28, 2016 Retrieved July 28, 2016 

External links

  • Colbert Nation—The official Colbert Report website, featuring daily reports of the show and videos

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