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Stephen Colbert

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Even his balls have balls.
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This show's not about me. No, this program is dedicated to you: the heroes. And who are the heroes? The people who watch this show: average, hardworking Americans. You're not the elites. You're not the country club crowd. I know for a fact that my country club would never let you in. But you get it. And you come from a long line of 'it-getters.' You're the folks who say, 'something's got to be done.' Well, you're doing something right now. You're watching TV.
—On the opening broadcast of The Colbert Report, October 17th, 2005[1]
The truthiness is, anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you.
—On the opening broadcast of The Colbert Report, October 17th, 2005[2]

Stephen Colbert (1964–) is an American comedian, TV presenter, actor, producer, author and political commentator. Formerly a "correspondent" for The Daily Show, he was the host of a satirical current-affairs show on Comedy Central called The Colbert Report. His show directly followed Stewart's (and often used to overlap it slightly), rounding out Comedy Central's late night "fake news hour."

The Colbert Report was a deadpan parody of Fox News shows, most especially that of Bill "Papa Bear" O'Reilly. Colbert played the part of a partisan, airheaded pundit with a firm belief in the American Dream and a strong disdain for logic and reality.

Colbert pronounces his name with a silent "t," and the name of the show is pronounced the same way — as in, The Colbear Repore — though the original pronunciation is with the hard "t." It is commonly believed that difference is intended to create a distinction between the persona and the actor,[3] but Colbert has used the modified name for his entire career, partly due to his deathly fear of bears.[4]

He has also appeared in the television and film versions of Strangers With Candy, in addition to many voiceover credits (notably in Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law).

In September 2015, Colbert replaced David Letterman as host of the Late Show. He brought over the Colbert Report's core staff but not his old persona, [5][6] only reprising it for occasional bits such as a farewell to Bill O'Reilly.[7]


The Colbert Report has successfully auctioned several items that have featured prominently in the show, including a portrait of Colbert which sold at auction for over $50,000,[8] the proceeds of which went to Save the Children, and, most recently, the (political celebrity-autographed) cast he wore on his wrist for several weeks. The cast sold for $17,200, and the proceeds were donated to The Yellow Ribbon Fund.[9]

Another item sold by Colbert to benefit charity is the "wrist strong" bracelet.[10]

Colbert is also very active in promoting the educational site DonorsChoose, where individuals donate materials needed for teaching to individual classes, be it basics or AV gear. One of his projects was inspiring his "nation" to donate to classes whose students are children of military personnel currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.[11]

Colbert and his nation helped to save the US speed skating team after their sponsor, a Dutch bank, went belly up. "Colbert Nation" became an official sponsor and kept them on the ice.[12]

Dedicated to[edit]

Mr. Colbert often mobilizes his "Colbert Nation" to name things after him. So far, he has gotten his own Ben & Jerry's flavor, "Americone Dream"; a minor league hockey mascot; an exercise machine on the International Space Station (NASA's Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill); an airplane; a spider; an eagle; a falcon; and an elephant seal named after him.[13]

In Oshawa, Ontario, March 20th is Stephen Colbert Day. The holiday was declared by Mayor John Gray in 2007 after he lost a bet with Colbert.[14]

2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner[edit]

In one of the finest moments of the Bush Administration, Colbert stood mere feet from the Dark Lord and tore apart his record and beliefs, as well as referring to his declining approval ratings multiple times, making frequent eye contact with the visibly angered president.


Upon hearing of Conservapedia's Conservative Bible Project, Colbert exhorted his audience on October 7, 2009 to crash the wiki and write him into the Bible as God.[15] They did so; Conservapedia's server collapsed under the extra load of page views and decidedly infantile (if moderately amusing) wandal attacks.

In a "follow up," Colbert interviewed site owner Andrew Schlafly on his show on December 8, 2009.[16]

Presidential ambitions[edit]

Stephen tried to run for president of the United States in 2008. He has indicated that he would run in both the Republican and Democratic primaries in his home state of South Carolina. The project ran aground (intentionally[17]) due to his blatant attempts to con a snack food manufacturer into sponsoring his campaign.

He was then angling for a spot as Mike Huckabee's running mate, but that plan also crapped out, when Huckabee dropped out of the race.

He mentioned a possible run in 2012, with the help of Doritos but nothing was confirmed. Sadly Colbert probably left things too late but technically could have still run in states which allow write in candidates.[18]

He also ran for "President of the United States of South Carolina," and would easily have won the election if such a post really existed.

Super PAC[edit]

In 2011 Colbert made a second foray into the American political system, this time in the form of a political action committee with the express purpose of "Making a better tomorrow, tomorrow."[19]

Super PACs can accept unlimited donations, so long as the identities of its donors are disclosed. To highlight how much one can get away with, Colbert then formed a 501(c)(4) organization called "Colbert SuperPAC SHH." 501(c)(4) organizations can accept donations and do not have to reveal the names of their donors, and at the same time are allowed to make donations of their own to Super PACs. Voilá! Non-traceability.

The Super PAC is renowned world-wide for taking an otherwise garbage candidate, Rick Parry ("with an A, for America!"), and lifting him to an historic victory!!!1! second place (!!...!) in the Ames Straw Poll.[citation NOT needed]

The PAC was disbanded after the election and death of adviser Ham Rove. In a nice consolation prize, he won a Peabody Award for his efforts.[20]


If you try to fire a comedian based on an out-of-context tweet made by a Comedy Central account (at its heart mocking the owner of the Washington Redskins for racist portrayals of Native Americans) — by garnering the support of an apologist for Japanese internment camps — you're gonna have a bad time.[21]


Stephen's "den" (part of The Colbert Report set) is graced with, among other things, a portrait of himself that is periodically updated, by being repainted with himself standing in front of it. One that has a "meta-depth" of two, and has been retired from his den, has been graced with a place of great honor in the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.[22] Previous portraits have also been auctioned off.


I teach Sunday School, motherfucker!
—To his guest, Philip Zimbardo, 11 Feb. 2008[23]
If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.[24]


  • I Am America (And So Can You!), 2007
  • I Am a Pole (And So Can You!), 2012
  • America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't, 2012
  • Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions, 2017
  • Whose Boat Is This Boat?: Comments That Don't Help in the Aftermath of a Hurricane, 2018

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  3. "People close to him said he had for some time believed he would soon have to move beyond the satirical Colbert character - though not from the name."
  4. The Number #1 Threat to America.
  5. Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as The Late Show host, CBC
  6. Here are tonight's Top 10 questions about Stephen Colbert taking over for David Letterman, AV Club
  7. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and ne'er brought to min'?
  8. Auction of Stephen Colbert Portrait Raises More Than $50,000 for Save the Children Rewrite the Future Campaign, Save the Children
  9. Top 10 Stephen Colbert Moments, Time
  10. $5 of the $7.50 purchase price goes to The Yellow Ribbon Fund: Comedy Central Shop: Stephen Colbert's Wriststrong bracelet
  11. Salute to servicemembers, Comedian Stephen Colbert inspires troops at home and abroad, US Army
  12. The Year in Sports Media, Sports Illustrated
  13. Things named after Stephen Colbert
  14. Oshawa Pays Its Debt to TV Host Stephen Colbert
  15. Tip/Wag - Conservapedia
  16. Viewable here
  17. NPR Interview (Transcript): "You know, even in - even four years ago when I was running in 2008 in South Carolina and really sincerely like tried to get on the ballot, if I was doing well, I had a plan of how to drop out, which was that I was going to have a scandal."
  18. Stephen Colbert isn't really running for president, CBS News
  19. ColbertPAC
  20. Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC Satire Lands Him a Peabody, Time
  21. How Stephen Colbert is playing his Twitter controversy for big laughs, The Globe and Mail (Full clip)
  22. Portrait of Stephen Colbert, Smithsonian
  23. Modern "bleep" techniques permit ready interpretation of what is not heard, much to the FCC and some other prudes' dismay. Interview found here
  24. Stephen Colbert Quotes