Stephen Colbert

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Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert.jpg
Birth name Stephen Tyrone Colbert
Born May 13, 1964 in Washington, DC, USA
Notable Shows Correspondent for The Daily Show
Host of The Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert is an American comedian and satirist closely associated with series like The Daily Show, for which he was a correspondent. He is perhaps most well known as the host for The Colbert Report, a spin-off from The Daily Show.



Stephen Colbert was born the youngest child of 11 in a large Catholic family. As a child, he became attached to comedy due to the deaths of his father and brothers Peter and Paul in the infamous Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 plane crash of 1974. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Colbert described his childhood as "withdrawn" and expressed a desire to cheer his mother up after the tragedy.

Following the loss of his father, Colbert and his family members moved into the city, closer to downtown Charleston where he continued to withdraw. It was there that he developed a love of fantasy novels and role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. Colbert later would attribute the development of his improvisational skills to these games. Colbert also described his life after the loss of his father and brothers, as seemingly unimportant. In school he learned "incidentally" because no threats from teachers could change his attitude because the "threats" seemed insignificant. He graduated from Porter-Gaud School, a Episcopalian private high school and went on to college at Hampden-Sydney College until transferring to Northwestern University in Chicago, where he majored in theater and received a degree in communication. Colbert initially started his acting career as a serious actor and starred in several small avant-garde theatrical productions but found that he would rather try comedy and "sacrifice importance" in favor of a healthier environment to work in.

In Chicago, Colbert was a part of comedy troupes like ImprovOlympic and Second City. While working as an understudy to Steve Carell at Second City, Colbert met Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello and, eventually, left the group to move to New York City and write for a sketch comedy series on Comedy Central called Exit 57 with Dinello and Sedaris. Although the series was cancelled after 12 episodes, Colbert was introduced into television entertainment and found himself in writing positions on other comedy series like The Dana Carvey Show and Saturday Night Live. During this period of Colbert's career, he is most well known for doing the voice of Ace, half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo on Saturday Night Live.

The first hints of Colbert's future career as a political satirist were seen on Good Morning America, who hired him to film several humorous correspondent segments. Only two of the proposed segments were produced and only one aired, but the series led him to Madeline Smithberg, then producer of The Daily Show, who hired him on a trial basis in 1997. His position on the show expanded until 1999 when a sitcom he co-created with Dinello and Sedaris, Strangers with Candy was finally greenlit by Comedy Central.

Following the cancellation of Strangers with Candy, Colbert returned to his expanded role on The Daily Show. On the series, he was featured in recurring segments like This Week in God and Even Stephen. On several occasions, Colbert filled in for Jon Stewart as host of an episode and, at one point, filled in for guest Al Sharpton and did the interview with Stewart as Sharpton.

After 8 years of being on The Daily Show, Colbert, Stewart and Ben Karlin sat down to discuss development for a new vehicle for Colbert, who was worried about becoming burned out on the series even though he wanted to continue working with Stewart. In 2005, Comedy Central greenlit The Colbert Report, a segment on The Daily Show in which Colbert hosted a commercial of a parody of political pundit shows like The O'Reilly Factor, capping off the end of each commercial with, "It's French, bitch." The creation of the spin-off caused Colbert to leave The Daily Show, although he is seen at the end of each episode in a "throw to" segment before the Moment of Zen.

Colbert's hosting duties on his own show made him into a phenomenon. After just a week of programming, he was signed to a long-term contract with Comedy Central. Less than a year after the series' debut, Colbert found himself hosting the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, on a list of Time's 100 most important people and profoundly affecting society with the popularization of words like "truthiness." In December of 2006, "truthiness" was also announced as the word of the year by Merriam-Webster.

Outside of his television career, Colbert has helped write The Daily Show's America (The Book) (and performed on the audiobook) as well as his own "autobiography," I Am America (And So Can You!). Colbert also briefly ran for president in 2007, although his attempt to add himself to the ballot in South Carolina was shot down by the South Carolinian Democratic Party.


Starring Roles

Series Role Year(s) Season(s)
Exit 57 Various 1995–1996 1 2
The Dana Carvey Show Various 1996 1
The Daily Show Correspondent 1997–2005 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Strangers with Candy Charles Noblet 1999–2000 1 2 3
Random Play Various 1999 1
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Phil Ken Sebben
2001–2007 1 2 3 4
The Colbert Report Stephen Colbert 2005–2014 1 2 3 4 5

Guest Starring Roles

Series Role Episode Airdate
Saturday Night Live Ace 22x01 - Tom Hanks/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers September 28, 1996
Saturday Night Live Dr. Matthew Walsh/Ace 22x05 - Chris Rock/The Wallflowers November 2, 1996
Spin City Frank 1x10 - The Competition November 26, 1996
Saturday Night Live Ace 22x09 - Rosie O'Donnell/Whitney Houston December 14, 1996
Saturday Night Live Ace 22x18 - Pamela Lee/Rollins Band April 19, 1997
Saturday Night Live Ace 23x06 - Claire Danes/Mariah Carey November 15, 1997
Saturday Night Live Ace 23x20 - David Duchovny/Puff Daddy May 9, 1998
Saturday Night Live Ace 24x07 - Jennifer Love Hewitt/Beastie Boys November 21, 1998
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself 1x17 - Show No. 117 February 24, 1999
Saturday Night Live Ace 24x18 - Cuba Gooding Jr./Ricky Martin May 8, 1999
Saturday Night Live Geraldo 24x19 - Sarah Michelle Gellar/Backstreet Boys May 15, 1999
Saturday Night Live Ace 25x19 - Britney Spears May 13, 2000
Crank Yankers Rob 1x01 - Episode 101 June 2, 2002
Saturday Night Live Ace 28x03 - John McCain/The White Stripes October 19, 2002
The Brak Show Phil Ken Sebben 3x08 - New Year's Eve Party at Brak's House December 31, 2003
Law & Order: Criminal Intent James Bennett 3x16 - The Saint March 14, 2004
Curb Your Enthusiasm Tourist Man 4x10 - Opening Night March 14, 2004
The Wrong Coast Various 1x11 - Addicted June 16, 2004
The Venture Bros. Professor Impossible 1x07 - Ice Station - Impossible! September 18, 2004
MADtv Himself 11x02 - Episode 1102 September 24, 2005
American Dad Dr. Dandliker 1x10 - All About Steve September 25, 2005
American Dad Dentist 1x10 - All About Steve September 25, 2005
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself 8x13 - Show No. 8013 March 22, 2006
Saturday Night Live Ace 31x19 - The Best of TV Funhouse April 29, 2006
The Venture Bros. Professor Impossible 2x05 - 20 Years to Midnight August 6, 2006
The Simpsons Colby Krause 19x01 - He Loves to Fly and He D'oh's September 23, 2007
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself 15x56 - Show 2521 February 4, 2008
Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr. Himself 1x02 - Becoming American February 17, 2010

Specials and Made-for-TV Movies

Title Role Airdate Series/Banner
The NY Friars Club Roast of Chevy Chase Himself December 1, 2002 The NY Friars Club Roast
Uncensored Comedy: That's Not Funny! Himself June 8, 2003
Comedy Central Presents: The Commies Himself December 7, 2003
Inside TV Land: Primetime Politics Himself October 27, 2004 Inside TV Land
Comedy Central Laughs for Life Telethon 2004 Host November 25, 2004
The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Himself September 18, 2005 Primetime Emmy Awards
Last Laugh 2005 Himself December 11, 2005 Last Laugh
2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Stephen Colbert April 29, 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner
58th Primetime Emmy Awards Stephen Colbert August 27, 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards
59th Primetime Emmy Awards Stephen Colbert September 16, 2007 Primetime Emmy Awards
Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education Performer April 13, 2008
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All Stephen Colbert November 23, 2008 The Colbert Report

Talk, News and Game Show Appearances

Series Episode Airdate
Today 7/24/04 July 25, 2004
Last Call with Carson Daly Show 147 February 8, 2005
Late Show with David Letterman Show 2418 September 2, 2005
Late Show with David Letterman Show 2476 December 14, 2005
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Show 2186 February 3, 2006
This Week 3/5/06 March 5, 2006
Late Show with David Letterman Show 2572 June 14, 2006
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Show 2253 July 12, 2006
The Charlie Rose Show December 8, 2006
Larry King Live Stephen Colbert (October 14, 2007) October 14, 2007
Meet The Press October 21, 2007


Series Produced

Series Year(s) Credit Season(s)
Strangers with Candy 1999 –2000 Co-Producer 1 2 3
The Colbert Report 2005 –2014 Executive Producer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 2015 –  Executive Producer 1 2 3 4
Our Cartoon President 2018 –  Executive Producer 1 2


Series Created

Series Premiere Date Creation Credit
Strangers with Candy April 7, 1999 Co-Creator
The Colbert Report October 17, 2005 Co-Creator
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert September 8, 2015 Creator
Our Cartoon President February 11, 2018 Co-Creator

Episode Writer

Series Episode Airdate Credit
Our Cartoon President 1x01 - State of the Union February 11, 2018

Memorable Moments

Awards and Accolades

Primetime Emmy Awards

(6 Nominations, 2 Won)

  • Won: Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2004)
The Daily Show
  • Won: Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2005)
The Daily Show
  • Nominated: Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program (2006)
The Colbert Report
  • Nominated: Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2006)
The Daily Show
  • Nominated: Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2006)
The Colbert Report
  • Nominated: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2006)
The Colbert Report

Satellite Awards

(1 Nomination)

  • Nominated: Outstanding Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical (2005)
The Colbert Report

Television Critics Association Awards

(1 Nomination)

  • Nominated: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy (2006)
The Colbert Report


  • Colbert is deaf in one ear due to a "weird tumor" he had as a kid. An operation on the tumor left him without an eardrum in his right ear, a trait which allows him to fold his earlobe into his inner ear and make it pop back out by winking. Before the operation made it so that scuba diving was out of the question, Colbert had expressed interest in becoming a marine biologist.