Stephen Colbert

3.4402618657873 (1833)
Posted by motoman 02/27/2009 @ 12:39

Tags : stephen colbert, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Colbert's advice: Don't mess up - Charleston Post Courier
By Jill Coley (Contact) Comedian Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, delivered the commencement address to the students graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston on Friday. Med school essentially tries to kill you...
New Toronto street food launches, Stephen Colbert goes foodie - Toronto Life
[Independent Online] • Stephen Colbert, host of the Colbert Report, recently filmed an entire show about food, interviewing Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He also took cameras to a high-end restaurant where he...
Stephen Colbert tackles the Army's basic training - Port Folio Weekly
Pvt. Stephen Colbert, of The Colbert Report, showed up in front of the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) May 8, in a stretch limousine ready to begin his in-processing. Colbert got off on the wrong foot when he dropped his bag in front of...
Homely beetle named for Stephen Colbert - United Press International
WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert has been honored, sort of, by having a beetle named after him, US entomologists said. Agaporomorphus colberti is a bulbous, brown, not particularly attractive diving beetle found in...
'Carvey' looks prescient today - South Bend Tribune
By AARON BARNHART This week's release on DVD of the 1996 sketch comedy series “The Dana Carvey Show” contains all seven episodes and its unaired eighth episode, which acted as coming-out parties for two rising young comic masters named Stephen Colbert...
Colbert gets Boulder guitar for birthday - Colorado Daily
By Jabril Faraj, Camera Staff Writer The 1973 Martin D41 guitar that "The Colbert Report" staff bought from Boulder musician Rob Ober's Guitar Desires. BOULDER, Colo. — Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," received a surprise...
Denver's Udi's Granola puts Stephen Colbert “On Notice” -
Denver's own Udi's Granola has put Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert “On Notice” for apparently borrowing an Udi's advertisement for an on-air joke. The Colbert Report featured a joke with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad endorsing a brand of...
Emmy Awards changes: Wait, no more Stephen Colbert vs. Barry Manilow? - Entertainment Weekly
No longer must we live in a world where Stephen Colbert is forced to compete against Barry Manilow for a coveted Emmy Award. Today's changes to the Emmys' Variety, Music or Comedy Program categories, separating comedy talk shows and TV specials left me...
Attention Stephen Colbert: Your SCR tickets await you, on Twitter ... - Los Angeles Times
Show closes Sun, Stephen, so hurry! What? We knew SCR has quite the reputation across the country, so we'd expect to see a stack of followers. But Stephen Colbert? That's cool. We can't wait to see David Emmes at "The Colbert Report" table,...
UW-La Crosse names eagle mascot 'Colbert' - Chicago Tribune
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has named its eagle mascot "Colbert" (kohl-BAYR') after Comedy Central TV host Stephen Colbert. More than 3100 students participated in the vote, whose results were announced Friday. Colbert received 44 percent of...

Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream

AmeriCone Dream is a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream flavor inspired by Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, a television show on Comedy Central and first released in 2007.

AmeriCone Dream is vanilla ice cream with fudge covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. Colbert is donating the proceeds from the sale of AmeriCone Dream to charity through The Stephen Colbert AmeriCone Dream Fund. The Fund will support charities of concern to Colbert, such as food and medical assistance for disadvantaged children, helping veterans and their families, and environmental causes. Colbert claims the ice cream actually tastes like he does. Identified by co-owner Ben Cohen as the most patriotic flavor that Ben & Jerry's has ever done, Colbert also says that the flavor is perfect for any federal holiday.

To the top

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert Signatures.svg

Stephen Tyrone Colbert (pronounced /koʊlˈbɛɹ/; born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, satirist, actor and writer, known for his ironic style (particularly in his portrayal of conservative political pundits), and for his deadpan comedic delivery.

Colbert originally studied to be an actor, but became interested in improvisational theatre when he met famed Second City director Del Close while attending Northwestern University. He first performed professionally as an understudy for Steve Carell at Second City Chicago; among his troupe mates were comedians Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris, with whom he developed the critically-acclaimed sketch comedy series Exit 57.

Colbert also wrote and performed on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show before collaborating with Sedaris and Dinello again on the cult television series Strangers with Candy. He gained considerable attention for his role on the latter as closeted, gay history teacher Chuck Noblet. It was his work as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news-parody series The Daily Show, however, that first introduced him to a wide audience.

In 2005, he left The Daily Show to host a spin-off series, The Colbert Report. Following The Daily Show's news-parody concept, The Colbert Report is a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows such as The O'Reilly Factor. Since its debut, the series has been successful, establishing itself as one of Comedy Central's highest-rated series, earning Colbert three Emmy nominations and an invitation to perform as featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2006. Colbert was named one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2006. His book, I Am America (And So Can You!), was No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller List.

Stephen Colbert was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Charleston, South Carolina on James Island, the youngest of eleven children in an Irish Catholic family. The Colbert children, in order from oldest to youngest, are Jimmy, Eddie, Mary, Billy, Margo, Tommy, Jay, Lulu, Paul, Peter and Stephen.

His father, James Colbert, was the vice president for academic affairs at the Medical University of South Carolina. His mother, Lorna Colbert, was a homemaker. In interviews, Colbert has described his parents as devout people who also strongly valued intellectualism and taught their children that it was possible to question the Church and still be Catholic. The emphasis his family placed on intelligence and his observation of negative stereotypes of Southerners led Colbert to train himself to suppress his Southern accent while he was still quite young. As a child, he observed that Southerners were often depicted as being less intelligent than other characters on scripted television; to avoid that stereotype, he taught himself to imitate the speech of American news anchors.

On September 11, 1974, when Colbert was ten years old, his father and two of his brothers, Peter and Paul, were killed in the crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 while it was attempting to land in Charlotte, North Carolina. They were en route to enroll the two boys at Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut. Shortly thereafter, Lorna Colbert relocated the family downtown to the more urban environment of East Bay Street in Charleston. By his own account, Colbert found the transition difficult and did not easily make new friends in his new neighborhood. Colbert later described himself during this time as detached, lacking a sense of importance regarding the things with which other children concerned themselves. He developed a love of science fiction and fantasy novels, especially the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, of which he remains an avid fan. During his adolescence, he also developed an intense interest in fantasy role-playing games, especially Dungeons & Dragons, a pastime which he later characterized as an early experience in acting and improvisation.

Colbert attended Charleston's Episcopal Porter-Gaud School, where he participated in several school plays and contributed to the school newspaper but, by his own assessment, was not highly motivated academically. During his time as a teenager, he also briefly fronted a Rolling Stones cover band. When he was younger, he had hoped to study marine biology, but surgery intended to repair a severely perforated eardrum caused him inner ear damage. The damage was severe enough that he was unable to pursue a career that would involve scuba diving. The damage also left him deaf in his right ear. For a while, he was uncertain whether he would attend college, but ultimately he applied and was accepted to Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, where a friend had also enrolled. There he continued to participate in plays while studying mainly philosophy; he found the curriculum rigorous but was more focused than he had been in high school and was able to apply himself to his studies. Despite the lack of a significant theater community at Hampden-Sydney, Colbert's interest in acting escalated during this time. After two years, he transferred to Northwestern University's School of Communication to study performance, emboldened by the realization that he loved performing even when no one was coming to shows.

While at Northwestern, Colbert studied with the intent of becoming a dramatic actor; mostly he performed in experimental plays and was uninterested in comedy. He began performing improvisation at the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago as a part of Del Close's ImprovOlympic at a time when the project was focused on competitive, long form improvisation, rather than improvisational comedy. "I wasn't gonna do Second City," Colbert later recalled, "because those Annoyance people looked down on Second City because they thought it wasn't pure improv—there was a slightly snobby, mystical quality to the Annoyance people." After Colbert graduated in 1986, however, he was in need of a job, and a friend who was employed at Second City's box office offered him work answering phones and selling souvenirs. Colbert accepted, and discovered that Second City employees were entitled to take classes at their training center for free. Despite his earlier aversion to the comedy group, he signed up for improvisation classes, and enjoyed the experience greatly.

Shortly thereafter, he was hired to perform with Second City's touring company, initially as an understudy for Steve Carell. It was there he met Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, with whom he often collaborated later in his career. By their retelling, the three comedians did not get along at first—Dinello thought Colbert was uptight, pretentious and cold, while Colbert thought of Dinello as "an illiterate thug"—but the trio became close friends while touring together, discovering that they shared a similar comic sensibility.

When Sedaris and Dinello were offered the opportunity to create a television series for HBO Downtown Productions, Colbert left The Second City and relocated to New York in order to work with them on the sketch comedy show Exit 57. The series debuted on Comedy Central in 1995 and aired through 1996. Despite only lasting for 12 episodes, the show received favorable reviews and was nominated for five CableACE Awards in 1995, in categories including best writing, performance, and comedy series.

Following the cancellation of Exit 57, Colbert worked for six months as a cast member and writer on The Dana Carvey Show, alongside former Second City cast mate Steve Carell, as well as Robert Smigel, Charlie Kaufman, Louis C.K., and Dino Stamatopoulos, among others. The series, described by one reviewer as "kamikaze satire" in "borderline-questionable taste," had sponsors pull out after its first episode aired, and was canceled after seven episodes. Colbert then worked briefly as a freelance writer for Saturday Night Live with Robert Smigel. Smigel also brought his animated sketch The Ambiguously Gay Duo to SNL from The Dana Carvey Show; Colbert provided the voice of Ace on both series, opposite Steve Carell as Gary. Needing money, he also worked as a script consultant for VH1 and MTV, before taking a job filming humorous correspondent segments for Good Morning America. Only two of the segments he proposed were ever produced, and only one aired, but the job led his agent to refer him to The Daily Show's then-producer, Madeline Smithberg, who hired Colbert on a trial basis in 1997.

During the same time frame, Colbert worked again with Sedaris and Dinello to develop a new comedy series for Comedy Central, Strangers with Candy. Comedy Central picked up the series in 1998 after Colbert had already begun working on The Daily Show. As a result he accepted a reduced role, filming only around twenty Daily Show segments a year while he worked on the new series.

Strangers with Candy was conceived of as a parody of after school specials, following the life of Jerri Blank, a 46-year-old dropout who returns to finish high school after 32 years of life on the street. Most noted by critics for its use of offensive humor, it concluded each episode by delivering to the audience a skewed, politically incorrect moral lesson. Colbert served as a main writer alongside Sedaris and Dinello, as well as portraying Jerri's strict but uninformed history teacher, Chuck Noblet, seen throughout the series dispensing inaccurate information to his classes. Colbert has likened this to the character he played on The Daily Show and later The Colbert Report, claiming that he has a very specific niche in portraying "poorly informed, high-status idiot" characters. Another running joke throughout the series was that Noblet, a closeted homosexual, was having a "secret" affair with fellow teacher Geoffrey Jellineck despite the fact that their relationship was apparent to everyone around them. This obliviousness also appears in Colbert's Daily Show and Colbert Report character.

Thirty episodes of the series were made, which aired on Comedy Central in 1999 and 2000. Though its ratings were not remarkable during its initial run, it has been characterized as a cult show with a small but dedicated audience. Colbert reprised his role for a film adaptation, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005 and had a limited release in 2006. The film received mixed reviews. Colbert also co-wrote the screenplay with Sedaris and Dinello.

Stephen Colbert joined the cast of Comedy Central's parody-news series The Daily Show in 1997, when the show was in its second season. Originally one of four correspondents who filmed segments from remote locations in the style of network news field reporters, Colbert was referred to as "the new guy" on-air for his first two years on the show, during which time Craig Kilborn served as host. When Kilborn left the show prior to the 1999 season, Jon Stewart took over hosting duties, also serving as a writer and co-executive producer. From this point, the series gradually began to take on a more political tone and increase in popularity, particularly in the latter part of the 2000 U.S. presidential election season. The roles of the show's correspondents were expanded to include more in-studio segments, as well as international reports which were almost always done in the studio with the aid of a greenscreen.

Colbert has appeared in several recurring segments for The Daily Show, including "Even Stevphen" with Steve Carell, in which both characters were expected to debate a selected topic but instead would unleash their anger at one another. Colbert also commonly hosted "This Week in God," a report on topics in the news pertaining to religion, presented with the help of the "God Machine." Colbert also filed reports from the floor of the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention as a part of The Daily Show's award-winning coverage of the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Presidential elections; many from the latter were included as part of their The Daily Show: Indecision 2004 DVD release. In several episodes of The Daily Show, Colbert filled in as anchor in the absence of Jon Stewart, including the full week of March 3, 2002, when Stewart was scheduled to host Saturday Night Live. After Colbert left the show, the duty of filling in for Stewart was assumed by Rob Corddry until his departure in August 2006. Corddry also took over "This Week in God" segments, although a recorded sample of Colbert's voice is still used as the sound effect for the God Machine. Later episodes of The Daily Show have reused older Colbert segments under the label "Klassic Kolbert." Colbert won three Emmys as a writer of The Daily Show in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Since October 17, 2005, Colbert has hosted his own television show, The Colbert Report, a Daily Show spin-off which parodies the conventions of television news broadcasting, particularly cable-personality political talk shows like The O'Reilly Factor and Scarborough Country. Colbert hosts the show in-character as a blustery right-wing pundit, generally considered to be an extension of his character on The Daily Show. Conceived by co-creators Stewart, Colbert, and Ben Karlin in part as an opportunity to explore "the character-driven news," the series focuses less on the day-to-day news style of the Daily Show, instead frequently concentrating on the foibles of the host-character himself.

The concept for The Report was first seen in a series of Daily Show segments which advertised the then-fictional series as a joke. It was later developed by Stewart's Busboy Productions and pitched to Comedy Central, which greenlighted the program; Comedy Central had already been searching for a way to extend the successful Daily Show franchise beyond a half hour. The series opened to strong ratings, averaging 1.2 million viewers nightly during its first week on the air. Comedy Central signed a long-term contract for The Colbert Report within its first month on the air, when it immediately established itself among the network's highest-rated shows.

Much of Colbert's personal life is reflected in his character on The Colbert Report. With the extended exposure of the character on the show, he often references his interest in and knowledge of Catholicism, science fiction, and The Lord of the Rings, as well as using real facts to create his character's history. His alternate persona was also raised in South Carolina, is the youngest of 11 siblings, and is married. The actual Colbert's career history in acting and comedy, however, is often downplayed.

Colbert received a chilly response from the audience. His jokes were often met with silence and muttering, apart from the enthusiastic laughter of a few in the audience. The major media outlets paid little attention to it initially. Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism professor Todd Gitlin claimed that this was because Colbert's routine was as critical of the media as it was of Bush. Richard Cohen, also writing for The Washington Post, responded that the routine was not funny. The video of Colbert's performance became an Internet and media sensation, and ratings for The Colbert Report rose 37% in the week following the speech. In Time magazine James Poniewozik called it "the political-cultural touchstone issue of 2006." Writing six months later, New York Times columnist Frank Rich referred to Colbert's speech as a "cultural primary" and called it the "defining moment" of the 2006 midterm elections.

Stephen Colbert is co-author of the satirical text-and-picture novel Wigfield: The Can Do Town That Just May Not, which was published in 2003 by Hyperion Books. The novel was a collaboration between Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Paul Dinello, and tells the story of a small town threatened by the impending destruction of a massive dam. The narrative is presented as a series of fictional interviews with the town's residents, accompanied by photos. The three authors toured performing an adaptation of Wigfield on stage the same year the book was released.

Colbert appeared in a small supporting role in the 2005 film adaptation of Bewitched. He has made guest appearances on the television series Curb Your Enthusiasm, Spin City, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and on the improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?. He voiced the characters of Reducto and Phil Ken Sebben in the Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law but left the show in 2005 to work on The Colbert Report. His characters were both killed, though he returned to voice Phil for the series finale. Colbert also has provided voices for Cartoon Network's The Venture Bros., Comedy Central's Crank Yankers, and American Dad!, as well as for Canadian animated comedy series The Wrong Coast. He appeared as Homer Simpson's life coach in the Simpsons episode "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs".

Colbert filled in for Sam Seder on the second episode of The Majority Report on Air America Radio, and has also done reports for The Al Franken Show. He appeared on a track on Wig in a Box, a tribute album for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Colbert read the part of Leopold Bloom in Bloomsday on Broadway XXIV: Love Literature Language Lust: Leopold's Women Bloom on June 16, 2005 at Symphony Space in New York City. He appeared in a series of TV commercials for General Motors, as a not-too-bright investigator searching for the elusive (and non-existent in real life) "Mr. Goodwrench." He also portrayed the letter Z in Sesame Street: All-Star Alphabet, a 2005 video release.

Colbert is a producer of The 1 Second Film, the world's largest nonprofit collaborative art film. His video request that IMDb list his credit for The 1 Second Film ("it is as valid as most of my credits") enabled thousands of the film's producers to be listed in the massive movie database until they were recently removed.

Colbert has released one book associated with The Colbert Report entitled I Am America (And So Can You!). It was released on October 7, 2007 by Grand Central Publishing. Grand Central Publishing is the successor to Warner Books, which published America (The Book), written by The Daily Show staff. The book contains similar political satire, but was written primarily by Colbert himself rather than as a collaboration with his Colbert Report writing staff.

On November 23, 2008, his Christmas special, entitled "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!", aired on Comedy Central. It was released on DVD on Tuesday, November 25, 2008. Stephen Colbert claims that it has been noted by many as the best Christmas special ever made.

Under his fictional persona in The Colbert Report, 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 he claimed was widely rumored to be a sign that he was indeed testing the waters for a future bid for the White House. On October 16, 2007, he announced his candidacy on his show, stating his intention to run both on the Republican and Democratic platforms, but only as a "favorite son" in his native South Carolina. He later abandoned plans to run as a Republican due to the $35,000 fee required to file for the South Carolina primary, however he continued to seek a place on the Democratic ballot and on October 28, 2007, campaigned in the South Carolina state capital of Columbia, where he was presented with the key to the city by Mayor Bob Coble.

On November 1, 2007, the South Carolina Democratic Party executive council voted 13–3 to refuse Colbert's application onto the ballot. “The general sense of the council was that he wasn't a serious candidate and that was why he wasn't selected to be on the ballot," stated John Werner, the party's director. In addition, he was declared "not viable," as he was only running in one state. Several days later he announced that he was dropping out of the race, saying that he did not wish to put the country through an agonizing Supreme Court battle. CNN has reported that Obama supporters pressured the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council to keep Colbert off the ballot. One anonymous member of the council told CNN that former State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum had placed pressure on them to refuse Colbert's application despite his steady rise in polls.

Though Colbert's real-life presidential campaign has ended, current Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada established in an interview on The Colbert Report that Colbert's campaign is still going strong in the fictional Marvel Universe, citing the cover art of a then-recent issue of The Amazing Spider-Man which featured a Colbert campaign billboard in the background. Background appearances of Colbert campaign ads continue to appear in Marvel Comics publications, as recently as August 2008's Secret Invasion #5 (which also features a cameo of an alien Skrull posing as Colbert). In October 2008, Colbert made an extended 8-page appearance webslinging with Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man issue #573.

Although by his own account he was not particularly political before joining the cast of The Daily Show, Colbert is a self-described Democrat. In an interview at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Institute of Politics, he stated that he has "no problems with Republicans, just Republican policies." He is also a practicing Roman Catholic, as well as a Sunday school teacher.

Colbert was the recipient of three Emmy Awards as a writer for The Daily Show in 2004, 2005, and 2006, along with the rest of the Daily Show writers, and also won the award for writing in 2008 as a writer for the Colbert Report. He was also nominated for three Emmys for The Colbert Report in 2006, including Best Performance in a Variety, Musical Program or Special, which he lost to Barry Manilow. Manilow and Colbert would go on to jokingly sign and notarize a revolving biannual custody agreement for the Emmy on the Colbert Report episode aired on October 30, 2006. He lost the same category to Tony Bennett at the 2007 Emmys and to Don Rickles at the 2008 Emmys.

In 2005 and 2006 Colbert was nominated for Satellite Awards for his performance on The Colbert Report. He was also nominated by the Television Critics Association for a TCA Award for The Colbert Report in 2006. Colbert received two Peabody Awards for his work on The Daily Show: Indecision 2000 and Indecision 2004.

In January 2006, the American Dialect Society named truthiness, which Colbert featured on the premiere episode of The Colbert Report, as its 2005 Word of the Year. Colbert devoted time on five successive episodes to bemoaning the failure of the Associated Press to mention his role in popularizing the word truthiness in its news coverage of the Word of the Year. On December 9, 2006, Merriam-Webster also announced that it selected truthiness as its Word of the Year for 2006. Votes were accepted on their website, and according to poll results, truthiness won by a five-to-one margin.

In June 2006, after speaking at the school's commencement ceremony, Colbert received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from Knox College.

In February 2007, Ben & Jerry's unveiled a new ice cream flavor in honor of Colbert, named Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream. Colbert waited until Easter to sample the ice cream because he "gave up sweets for Lent." Colbert will donate all proceeds to charity through the new Stephen Colbert AmeriCone Dream Fund, which will distribute the money to various causes.

Colbert was honored for the Gutsiest Move on the Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards on June 13, 2007 for his performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

In August 2007, Virgin America announced that one of their airplanes is named Air Colbert.

On October 28, 2007, Colbert received the key to the city of Columbia, South Carolina from Mayor Bob Coble.

On December 20, 2007 Colbert was named Celebrity of the Year by The Associated Press.

On April 2, 2008 Colbert received his third Peabody Award.

Colbert delivered the Class Day address to the graduating class of Princeton University on June 2, 2008, and accepted the Class of 2008 Understandable Vanity Award, consisting of a sketch of Colbert and a mirror.

Colbert also has been announced as the Person of the Year for the 12th annual Webby Awards.

In 2008, East Carolina University associate professor Jason Bond named a species of trapdoor spider Aptostichus stephencolberti in honor of Stephen Colbert.

On September 08, 2008, Comedy Central announced that Colbert's DNA will be digitized and sent to the International Space Station, to be deposited in October by video game designer Richard Garriott for an Immortality Drive.

To the top

Stephen Colbert presidential campaign, 2008

Colbert hosted the  Hail To The Cheese Stephen Colbert's Nacho Cheese Doritos 2008 Presidential Campaign Coverage.

On October 16, 2007, satirist Stephen Colbert (in the guise of his character) officially announced that he would run for President of the United States. This came after weeks of jokes about being pressured to do so by the public and stating that he would need a sign. Although the legitimacy of his campaign was questioned, he maintained that he was serious. Colbert had originally planned to run for both the Republican and the Democratic nomination in his home state of South Carolina. After learning that the fee to file for the Republican primary was $35,000, he abandoned plans to run as a Republican (he had previously stated that he could avoid FEC rules if he stayed under $5,000 in campaign expenditure). Although he paid the $2,500 fee to be included in the South Carolina Democratic ballot, he was denied a place on the ballot by the South Carolina Democratic Party executive council. On November 5, 2007, Colbert officially dropped his Presidential bid.

The campaign began in earnest on October 16, 2007, when Colbert officially announced his candidacy on his own 11:30 pm–12:00 am EST Comedy Central program, The Colbert Report. Colbert had earlier appeared on The Daily Show, the program immediately preceding his own on the Comedy Central lineup, but had stated that his final declaration of candidacy would be made on a "more prestigious show". Subsequent to his declaration, Colbert appeared on Meet the Press on October 21, 2007, where he asserted the reality of his campaign: "I'm far realer than Sam Brownback, let me put it that way," said Colbert.

Colbert's campaign touted him as South Carolina's native or favorite son candidate, running exclusively in that state and exclusively for that state's interests. "I am from South Carolina and I am for South Carolina and I defy any other candidate to pander more to the people of South Carolina, those beautiful, beautiful people," he said after his Colbert Report announcement. As such, he challenged Democratic candidate John Edwards'—himself a native South Carolinian—own prospective role. As Colbert began campaigning in South Carolina in late October, Edwards' spokesperson Teresa Wells teased Colbert about his sponsorship by Doritos nacho chips: "As the candidate of Doritos, his hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese. John Edwards has never taken a dime from taco chip lobbyists and America deserves a President who isn't in the pocket of the snack food special interests." The Edwards team also released a press release responding to Colbert directly: "Edwards was born in South Carolina, learned to walk in South Carolina, learned to talk to in South Carolina and will kick Stephen Colbert's New York City butt in South Carolina." One commentator suggested the humorous response might aid Edwards' image by presenting him as a candidate who could "make fun of himself". In addition, Edwards booked American film actor and celebrity Danny Glover to stump for him in South Carolina on the same day Colbert was making his appearance in the state; a chance at a "perfect political salvo", in the opinion of one reporter, although one left underexploited.

At various times, Colbert had mentioned Mike Huckabee, Vladimir Putin and even himself, as possible running mates. He also agreed to endorse Garry Kasparov's bid to win the Russian presidency in return for Kasparov's support for his campaign.

Colbert had planned to appear at the College of Charleston on October 27, but was unable to make the event due to a scheduling conflict. One beauty shop owner in Charleston turned down a request from one of the Colbert Report's staffers to use her shop as a staging ground for a Colbert campaign stop, finding the campaign unfunny and insufficiently serious. "I don't even know why he's running in South Carolina," said the Charlestonian. Bob Coble, mayor of Columbia, was more welcoming. On Sunday October 28, 2007, Coble presented Colbert a key to the city, "a proclamation that Colbert is truly 'South Carolina's Favorite Son,'" and a "necktie with Palmetto trees". Residents of the city had previously stated that although they knew Colbert would "use the visit as comedic fodder," they hoped the visit would bring humor and press coverage to the city. Colbert met with former Democratic governor Jim Hodges, who signed Colbert's campaign petition and offered himself as a possible vice presidential choice. Colbert declared to cheering crowds that "I love South Carolina almost as much as South Carolina loves me!", and that his slogan for improving the state in the 21st century will be "First to secede, first to succeed." Colbert also made an appearance the same day at the University of South Carolina, where, playing to interstate rivalry, he promised to "crush the state of Georgia".

Colbert had originally planned to run for both the Republican and Democratic nominations in his home state of South Carolina. Upon obtaining the forms to put himself on the ballot, however, he discovered to do so requires a non-refundable fee of $25,000 plus a $10,000 late fee for the Republican primary and $2,500 or three thousand signatures on a petition for the Democratic primary. On the October 31, 2007 episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert announced that he would no longer be seeking a spot on the Republican Party ballot, primarily because he was unwilling to write a $35,000 check to the Republican Party, but also because spending more than $5,000 on his campaign would make him subject to greater levels of federal election law. However, Colbert reaffirmed his bid for a Democratic ballot spot by displaying a photograph of himself holding a $2,500 personal check made out to the Democratic Party, as well as a notarized application form for the Democratic ballot.

The following day, November 1, 2007, the South Carolina Democratic Party executive council voted 13-3 to refuse Colbert's application onto the ballot. “The general sense of the council was that he wasn’t a serious candidate and that was why he wasn’t selected to be on the ballot," stated John Werner, the party's director. Colbert has announced that he will not continue his campaign.

On the April 28, 2008 episode of The Colbert Report, guest Feist said that she had been planning to offer her song "1234" as the official campaign theme.

At the 2008 Libertarian National Convention, Colbert received one write-in vote for the Libertarian nomination in the second round of voting.

Colbert's official sponsor was Doritos brand tortilla chips. In an October 26, 2007 appearance at Cornell University, Colbert declared that, if elected, he would be "as good for the country as Doritos are for your body". Colbert's campaign was initially called the "Hail To The Cheese Stephen Colbert's Nacho Cheese Doritos 2008 Presidential Campaign", until he was advised that the finances obtained from Doritos could legally be used to fund only his television show's coverage of the campaign, rather than the campaign itself. Colbert responded by adding the word "Coverage" to the title. Some commentators argued that such distinctions could have had serious legal ramifications for Colbert irrespective of how serious his campaign effort was. In order to avoid breaking election laws and maintain the distinction between coverage and activism, Colbert had to move a petition for South Carolina Democrats to sign from his show's website to an independent website that is not affiliated with his show. A spokesperson for Comedy Central, the network hosting The Colbert Report, stated that, based on "the law, prior rulings made by the Federal Election Commission and advice of expert outside counsel", there was nothing in the run that ran contrary to federal campaign election laws.

Colbert also stated on the aforementioned Meet The Press episode that he did not expect to win the presidency: "I don't want to be president. I want to run for president. There's a difference," he said. Colbert made no attempt to appear on the ballots in any other state primaries, and so it is unlikely that he would have been able to gather enough delegates to secure either party nomination unless he were to win other states by a write-in vote.

Write-in candidates must generally submit forms with intention to run prior to being written-in by the populace; however, some internet campaigns started to garner interest in writing-in Colbert as a purely satirical exercise.

Colbert's campaign has been likened to the plot of the film Man of the Year, in which Robin Williams plays a comedian who runs for president, but more to comedian Pat Paulsen, who received over 200,000 votes when he ran in 1968 as a result of dissatisfaction with the current candidates at that time. While Colbert's motivation remains unclear, his campaign to "bring truthiness to the '08 race" remains popular.

Democratic candidate Barack Obama jokingly questioned the authenticity of Colbert's "native son" posturing: "I don't get much of an accent. If he's from South Carolina, he wasn't really down-home South Carolina — that's my impression. I can't picture Stephen eating grits, but who knows?" Colbert promptly ate several bowls of grits on the next night's show. Carol Fowler, the S.C. Democratic Party chairwoman, stated that Colbert's long absence from the state following his leave for college might backfire on him. The scheme might not work against the other candidates anyways. "By primary day, they’ll all be claiming to be from here," she said.

On November 8, 2007, the students of Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA elected Colbert as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the 2008 Democratic ticket as part of their 17th Mock Convention. John Edwards was elected as the Presidential candidate.

In the upcoming animated film Monsters vs. Aliens, Colbert was chosen to provide the voice of the President of the United States.

Comedy Central's Indecision 2008 coverage during election night, a program which featured both Jon Stewart and Colbert reporting on election results, referenced his failed South Carolina campaign. Upon announcing the results of the election in South Carolina, a state won by John McCain, Colbert's portrait was featured next to the two candidates, framed by Doritos chips.

The Facebook group "1,000,000 Strong For Stephen T Colbert" claims to be the fastest growing Facebook group in the site's history, having averaged 78 new members per minute It surpassed one million members on October 26, 2007, less than ten days after its creation on October 17. Colbert's group grew at such a rapid rate—as many as 83 people per minute for eight days in a row—that it led one Facebook representative to tell the New York Times that the group had begun "overloading one of our servers," a problem that has since been resolved. The achievement has been given as an example of the networking site's "uncanny ability to mashup the serious and the silly aspects of everything it touches." As of October 25, 2007, the group was the most popular political group on the site, outnumbering the 380,000 of Obama’s "1 Million Strong Group", the 500,000 of "Stop Hillary Clinton: (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary)" and the 615,000 of "I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who dislike George Bush!". Since reaching a peak of 1.5+ million members in late November the group has gone down slightly; however, it still remains extremely large.

To the top

Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

Stephen Colbert telling jokes several feet away from George W. Bush

On April 29, 2006, American comedian Stephen Colbert appeared as the featured entertainer at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, which was held in Washington, D.C., at the Hilton Washington hotel. Colbert's performance consisted of a 16-minute podium speech and a 7-minute video presentation, which were broadcast live across the United States on cable television networks C-SPAN and MSNBC. Standing a few yards from U.S. President George W. Bush—in front of an audience of celebrities, politicians, and members of the White House Press Corps—Colbert delivered a controversial, searing routine targeting the president and the media. Cable television personality Colbert spoke in the persona of the character he plays on Comedy Central's popular The Colbert Report, a parody of a conservative pundit in the fashion of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Colbert's performance quickly became an Internet and media sensation. Subsequent coverage has seen commentators debate the stand-alone humor content of Colbert's performance, the political nature of his remarks, and whether there was an intentional cover-up by the media in the reporting on the routine. Time's James Poniewozik noted that "days after Stephen Colbert performed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, this has become the political-cultural touchstone issue of 2006—like whether you drive a hybrid or use the term 'freedom fries'." Writing six months later, New York Times columnist Frank Rich called Colbert's after-dinner speech a "cultural primary" and christened it the "defining moment" of the United States' 2006 midterm elections.

Colbert still occasionally references this performance on The Colbert Report and included the speech in the appendix of I Am America (And So Can You!).

Colbert gave his after-dinner remarks in front of an audience that the Associated Press described as a "Who's Who of power and celebrity". More than 2,500 guests attended the event, including First Lady Laura Bush, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, China's Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, AOL co-founder Steve Case, model and tennis player Anna Kournikova, and actor George Clooney. For his performance, Colbert took on the role of the character that he plays on his television show, The Colbert Report. He spoke directly to President Bush several times, satirically praising his foreign policy, lifestyle, and beliefs, and referring to his declining approval rating and popular reputation.

Many of Colbert's jokes were directed at President Bush, while other jokes lampooned the journalists and other figures present at the dinner. Although most of the speech was prepared specifically for the event, several segments were lifted, largely unchanged, from The Colbert Report, particularly from the opening "truthiness" monologue on the first episode of the show, where Colbert advocated speaking from "the gut" rather than the brain and denounced books as "all fact, no heart". Colbert framed this part of the speech as though he were agreeing with Bush's own philosophies, saying that he and Bush are "not brainiacs on the nerd patrol", thus implicitly criticizing the way Bush positions himself as an anti-intellectual.

Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32 percent approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in 'reality'. And reality has a well-known liberal bias. ... Sir, pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it's two-thirds empty. There's still some liquid in that glass, is my point. But I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash.

Colbert received a chilly reception from the audience. His jokes were often met with silence and muttering, apart from the enthusiastic laughter of a few in the audience, such as Antonin Scalia's hearty laughter as Colbert teased him. This was in stark contrast to the warm reception that Bush received at the event for his skit with impersonator Steve Bridges, which immediately preceded Colbert's monologue.

At the end of his monologue, Colbert introduced what he characterized as an audition video to become the new White House Press Secretary (Scott McClellan having recently left the position). The video spliced clips of difficult questions from the White House press corps with responses from Colbert as Press Secretary. Colbert's podium included controls marked "eject", "Gannon" (a reference to erstwhile White House reporter Jeff Gannon, who once asked Bush a question that some in the press corps considered "so friendly it might have been planted"), and "volume", which he used to silence a critical question by David Gregory.

The video continued with Colbert fleeing the briefing room and the White House, only to be pursued by Helen Thomas, who has been a vocal critic of the Bush administration. The footage of Thomas' pursuit of Colbert is not spliced, as Thomas had agreed to participate in the video. At one point, Colbert picks up an emergency phone and explains that Thomas "won't stop asking why we invaded Iraq". The dispatcher responds with, "Hey, why did we invade Iraq?" The entire second half of the video is a spoof of horror film clichés, particularly the film Westworld, with melodramatic music accompanying Thomas's slow, unwavering pursuit of Colbert, and Colbert loudly screaming "No!" at various intervals. Heavily distributed online, a portion of the mock audition tape later aired on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central on May 2, 2006.

Although President Bush shook Colbert's hand after his presentation, several of Bush's aides and supporters walked out during Colbert's speech, and one former aide commented that the President had "that look that he's ready to blow".

Cable channel C-SPAN broadcast the White House Correspondents Dinner live on Saturday, April 29, 2006, and rebroadcast the event several times in the next 24 hours. C-SPAN also aired a segment that included the guests arriving, followed by Bush's skit, that excluded Colbert. The trade journal Editor and Publisher was the first news outlet to report in detail on Colbert's performance, which it called a "blistering comedy 'tribute'" that "left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close" and "quite a few sitting near him looked a little uncomfortable at times, perhaps feeling the material was a little too biting—or too much speaking 'truthiness' to power".

The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune both covered the dinner, but neither contained coverage of Colbert's comic tribute. The wire services Reuters and the Associated Press both set aside three paragraphs to cover Colbert's routine in their articles on the event, and The Washington Post mentioned Colbert several times throughout its article. The most extensive print coverage came from USA Today, which dedicated more space to Colbert's performance than to President Bush's skit. Videos on the Web sites of CNN and Fox News had clips of the Presidential comic routine, but no footage of Colbert's satirical performance. On their morning shows, the Monday after the event, the three major networks and CNN's American Morning played clips of Bush's routine, but did not include footage from Colbert's portion of the event. The day after the dinner, Howard Kurtz played clips of Colbert's performance on his CNN show Reliable Sources. On the Fox News show Fox & Friends, the hosts mentioned Colbert's performance, criticizing him as going "over the line". Tucker Carlson, a frequent target of The Colbert Report before and after the event, further criticized Colbert as being "unfunny" on his MSNBC show Tucker.

Much of the initial coverage of the Correspondents Dinner contrasted the audience's very positive reaction to President Bush's comedy routine with actor Steve Bridges ("The president killed. He's a tough act to follow—at all times", said Colbert.) with Colbert's remarks, which received a far more muted response. On his show, Colbert joked that the unenthusiastic reception was actually "very respectful silence" and added that the crowd "practically carried me out on their shoulders" even though he was not ready to leave.

Even though Colbert's performance "landed with a thud" among the live audience, a clip of Colbert at the dinner became an overnight sensation, turning into a viral video that spread across numerous Web sites in various forms, with the sites that offered the video seeing massive increases in their traffic.

According to CNET's site, Colbert's speech became "one of the Internet's hottest acts", and searches for Colbert on Yahoo! were up 5,625%. During the days after the speech, Google saw twice as many searches for "C-SPAN" (the television network that broadcast the event)—an uncommon occurrence—as well as a surge in Colbert-related searches. The blog Crooks and Liars, one of the first places to host the video, not only recorded their busiest day on record, but Nielsen BuzzMetrics ranked their post of the video clip as the second most popular blog post for all of 2006. Clips of Colbert's comic tribute also climbed to the #1, #2, and #3 spots atop YouTube's "Most Viewed" video list. Before YouTube took down the video under pressure from C-SPAN, the various clips of Colbert's speech had been viewed 2.7 million times in less than 48 hours. In an unprecedented move for the network, C-SPAN demanded that YouTube and iFilm remove unauthorized copies of the video from their sites. Google Video subsequently purchased the exclusive rights to retransmit the video and it remained at or near the top of Google's most popular videos for the next two weeks.

Three weeks after the dinner, audio of Colbert's performance went on sale at the iTunes Music Store and became the #1 album purchased, outselling new releases by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, and Paul Simon. The CEO of, which provided the recording sold at iTunes, explained its success by saying, "you had to not be there to get it." It continued to be a top download at iTunes for the next five months and remains a top-selling audiobook on the service.

On May 3, 2006, The New York Times published an article addressing the controversy. The paper acknowledged that some had "chided the so-called mainstream media, including The Times, which ignored Mr. Colbert's remarks while writing about opening act." The Times then quoted several passages of Colbert's more substantial criticism of the president and covered various reactions to the event. On May 15, The Times' Public Editor, Byron Calame, wrote on his blog that more than two hundred readers had written to complain about the exclusion of any mention of Colbert from the initial, lengthy article covering the dinner. Calame quoted The New York Times' deputy bureau chief in Washington, who said that a mention of Colbert in the first article could not have been long enough to do his routine justice, but also that the paper should have printed a distinct in-depth article on Colbert at the same time, rather than days after the fact.

Colbert's performance found a wide variation of positive and negative reactions from the media. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News Online columnist Heather Mallick wrote, "Colbert had the wit and raw courage to do to Bush what Mark Antony did to Brutus, murderer of Caesar. As the American media has self-destructed, it takes Colbert to damn Bush with devastatingly ironic praise." Liberal radio host and comedian Al Franken, who performed at the dinner twice during the Bill Clinton administration, said, "I thought that what Stephen did was very admirable." In its year-end issue, New York magazine designated Colbert's performance as one of the most "brilliant" moments of 2006.

On his television program, Jon Stewart remarked, tongue in cheek, "apparently was under the impression that they'd hired him to do what he does every night on television." Attorney and columnist Julie Hilden concluded that Colbert's "vituperative parody" might have been unfair under different circumstances, but that Bush's record of controlling potential criticism created a heightened justification for others to criticize him when they could get the chance.

The New York Times published five letters to the editor on Colbert's performance in its May 3 and May 4 editions—all of which were strongly supportive of Colbert, and some of which were critical of The New York Times for reporting only critical reactions.

Arianna Huffington reported that Colbert told her he had "strenuously avoided reading anything about his appearance", and personally remained unaware of public reactions to it. Colbert's wife, Evelyn, said she was considering tracking down and saving references from publications and blogs so that Colbert could read something about the public reaction if he chose to at a later time.

On June 13, 2007 he was presented with a Spike TV Guys' Choice Award for "Gutsiest Move". He accepted the award over video conference.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia