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Stephen Colbert

Birthdate: 13. May 1964

Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, singer and television host. He is best known for hosting the satirical Comedy Central program The Colbert Report from 2005 to 2014 and the CBS talk program The Late Show with Stephen Colbert beginning in September 2015.Colbert originally studied to be a dramatic actor, but became interested in improvisational theater while attending Northwestern University, where he met Second City director Del Close. Colbert first performed professionally as an understudy for Steve Carell at Second City Chicago, where his troupe mates included Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris, comedians with whom he developed the sketch comedy series Exit 57. He 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 attention for his role on the latter as closeted gay history teacher Chuck Noblet.

Colbert's work as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news-parody series The Daily Show gained him wide recognition. In 2005, he left The Daily Show to host The Colbert Report. Following The Daily Show's news-parody concept, The Colbert Report was a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows including The O'Reilly Factor, in which he portrayed a caricatured version of conservative political pundits. The series became one of Comedy Central's highest-rated series, earning Colbert an invitation to perform as featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2006. After ending The Colbert Report, he was hired in 2015 to succeed retiring David Letterman as host of the Late Show on CBS. He hosted the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2017.

Colbert has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Peabody Awards. Colbert was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2006 and 2012. Colbert's book, I Am America , was listed No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2007.

Works

„We claim no respectability. There's no status I would not surrender for a joke.“

—  Stephen Colbert

Rolling Stone interview (31 October 2006)
Context: We claim no respectability. There's no status I would not surrender for a joke. So we don't have to defend anything.

„Over the last five years you people were so good — over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.“

—  Stephen Colbert

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (2006)
Context: As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America — with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side. But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good — over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

„Before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers.“

—  Stephen Colbert

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (2006)
Context: Before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Someone from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail.

„Language has always been important in politics, but language is incredibly important to the present political struggle.“

—  Stephen Colbert

New York Magazine interview http://nymag.com/news/politics/22322/ (16 October 2006)
Context: Language has always been important in politics, but language is incredibly important to the present political struggle. Because if you can establish an atmosphere in which information doesn't mean anything, then there is no objective reality. The first show we did, a year ago, was our thesis statement: What you wish to be true is all that matters, regardless of the facts. Of course, at the time, we thought we were being farcical.

„Answer honestly… Disabuse me of my ignorance.“

—  Stephen Colbert

On how he would recommend Colbert Report guests approach interviews, on A Conversation with Stephen Colbert (1 December 2006).
Context: Answer honestly... Disabuse me of my 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. The friction between reality, or the truly held concerns of the person, and the farcical concerns that I have, or my need to seem important, as opposed to actually understanding what’s true... Where those two things meet is where the comedy happens. So be real. That's the best thing you can do. And call me on my bullshit.

„In the media age, everybody was famous for 15 minutes. In the Wikipedia age, everybody can be an expert in five minutes.“

—  Stephen Colbert

Wired Magazine article http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/colbert.html (14 August 2006)
Context: Get your own entry in an encyclopedia... In the media age, everybody was famous for 15 minutes. In the Wikipedia age, everybody can be an expert in five minutes. Special bonus: You can edit your own entry to make yourself seem even smarter.

„I'm surprised at the reaction it got. I went down there and did exactly what I wanted. I didn't expect it to be some sort of cultural-political line in the sand.“

—  Stephen Colbert

On the reaction to his performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, in Entertainment Weekly (4 January 2007)
Context: I'm surprised at the reaction it got. I went down there and did exactly what I wanted. I didn't expect it to be some sort of cultural-political line in the sand. I did the style of jokes I'd been doing for six months. The fact that anybody found it surprising or alarming that I would do that was educational to me.

„Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes.“

—  Stephen Colbert

Knox College commencement address http://www.knox.edu/colbert.xml (3 June 2006)
Context: Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes.

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„If you don't give power to the words that people throw at you to hurt you, they don't hurt you anymore — and you actually have power over those people.“

—  Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert - It Gets Better (13 July 2011) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BThRZbCs-p8
Context: If you don't give power to the words that people throw at you to hurt you, they don't hurt you anymore — and you actually have power over those people. … So, if you can, realize that the things that people say about you — they don't really matter — it's who you are. And the older you get, the more you'll understand that — because it gets better. And people get nicer too.

„Truthiness is tearing apart our country“

—  Stephen Colbert

AV Club interview http://www.avclub.com/article/stephen-colbert-13970, (25 January 2006)
Context: Truthiness is tearing apart our country, and I don't mean the argument over who came up with the word. I don't know whether it's a new thing, but it's certainly a current thing, in that it doesn't seem to matter what facts are. It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It's certainty. People love the president because he's certain of his choices as a leader, even if the facts that back him up don't seem to exist. It's the fact that he's certain that is very appealing to a certain section of the country. I really feel a dichotomy in the American populace. What is important? What you want to be true, or what is true?

„I believe in America. I believe it exists.“

—  Stephen Colbert

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (2006)
Context: I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. And I cannot wait to see how the Washington Post spins that one tomorrow.

„But you have one thing that may save you, and that is your youth. This is your great strength. It is also why I hate and fear you.“

—  Stephen Colbert

Knox College commencement address (3 June 2006)
Context: But you have one thing that may save you, and that is your youth. This is your great strength. It is also why I hate and fear you. Hear me out. It has been said that children are our future. But does that not also mean that we are their past? You are here to replace us. I don't understand why we're here helping and honoring them. You do not see union workers holding benefits for robots.

„I would say laughter is the best medicine. But it’s more than that. It’s an entire regime of antibiotics and steroids.“

—  Stephen Colbert

Entertainment Weekly interview http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20006490,00.html (4 January 2007)
Context: I would say laughter is the best medicine. But it’s more than that. It’s an entire regime of antibiotics and steroids. Laughter brings the swelling down on our national psyche, and then applies an antibiotic cream... Obviously, it’s a challenge to make light of the darkness but, um, it’s better than crying about it.

„He wants to do the right thing but has none of the tools to achieve it. Because he has no curiosity, he doesn't like to read and he won't listen anybody, except the voices in his head.“

—  Stephen Colbert

On his character in The Colbert Report in an interview on Larry King Live (11 October 2007) http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/larry.king.live/
Context: We worked very hard to keep him from being a jerk by keeping in mind he's well intentioned. Just poorly informed. He wants to do the right thing but has none of the tools to achieve it. Because he has no curiosity, he doesn't like to read and he won't listen anybody, except the voices in his head.

„I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone".“

—  Stephen Colbert

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (2006)
Context: I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone". Fox News, I hold a copyright on that term.

„I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things.“

—  Stephen Colbert

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (2006)
Context: I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound — with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

„As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America — with the exception of Fox News.“

—  Stephen Colbert

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (2006)
Context: As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America — with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side. But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good — over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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