Stephen Colbert

Active - 1999 - 2014  |   Born - May 13, 1964 in Charleston, South Carolina, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

Share on

Biography by Andrea LeVasseur

Comedian Stephen Colbert was born in 1964 in South Carolina and studied philosophy at the all-men's private liberal arts school Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Moving to Chicago to study theater at Northwestern, he got involved at Second City, where he met fellow comedians Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello. The three of them moved to New York to create the sketch comedy show Exit 57, originally aired on Comedy Central. As a writer for The Dana Carvey Show, Colbert got the chance to write for Saturday Night Live for several seasons. While working on SNL, he met up with animator Robert Smigel and provided voices for TV Funhouse's "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" (along with the voice of Steve Carrell). Colbert has also provided voices on the puppet show Crank Yankers and the Cartoon Network series Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

Colbert saw his career begin to really take off with his role as a senior correspondent for The Daily Show on Comedy Central. He joined the series in 1997 when Craig Kilborn was still the host and held on when Jon Stewart took over in 1999. That same year, Colbert teamed with Sedaris and Dinello to create Strangers With Candy, an after-school special parody of sorts on Comedy Central. Meanwhile, Colbert's schtick on The Daily Show became more and more relevant, as the political climate in the United States became increasingly polarized following 9/11. His satirical take on uber-right-wing TV-news journalists proved so incisive and hilarious that in 2005, he parlayed it into a spin-off comedy news show of his own, the immensely popular The Colbert Report. Colbert would continue with the show for years, tweaking the format to fit the ongoing political culture. The Colbert Report ended in late 2014, with Colbert retiring his "Colbert" character. Several months later, he was announced as David Letterman's successor on CBS' The Late Show, and Colbert made his Late Show debut on Sept. 8, 2015.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Youngest of 11 children.
  • Is deaf in one ear.
  • Was the voice of Ace (and Steve Carell was Gary) on the animated "Ambiguously Gay Duo" sketches on Saturday Night Live.
  • Has an eclectic collection of Lord of the Rings merchandise, including a Gandalf for President button.
  • Popularized "truthiness" after making it the Word of the Day on the debut episode of The Colbert Report; the American Dialect Society named it the Word of the Year in 2005.
  • Delivered the 2006 commencement address at Illinois' Knox College, where he received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. 
  • Also in 2006, Colbert spoke at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, where his humor, aimed not only at politicians but at the media, rubbed many the wrong way.
  • His bizarre, often hilarious 2007 book I Am America (And So Can You!), which he pushed shamelessly on The Colbert Report, was a bestseller.
  • Made a comical "attempt" to run for president in 2008.
  • Four episodes of The Colbert Report were taped in 2009 in Iraq. He performed his typical, odd act there, explaining to the New York Times that, "If I tried to tailor my material to people in the Army, there’d be two things. A, that’d be patronizing. And B, I’d be wrong."