Stephen Colbert is an American comedian, television host, and author.
Let’s see some fun facts about him!
1. Stephen Tyrone Colbert was born May 13, 1964 in Washington, D.C..
2. He is the youngest of 11 children in a Catholic family.
3. He grew up on James Island, South Carolina. Colbert and his siblings, in descending order by age, are James, Edward, Mary, William, Margo, Thomas, Jay, Elizabeth, Paul, Peter, and Stephen.
4. His father, James William Colbert, Jr., was an immunologist and medical school dean at Yale University, Saint Louis University, and finally at the Medical University of South Carolina where he served as vice president for academic affairs.
5. Stephen’s mother, Lorna Elizabeth Colbert (née Tuck), was a homemaker.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. While Colbert sometimes comedically claims his surname is French, he is of 15/16ths Irish ancestry (one of his paternal great-great-grandmothers was of German and English descent).
10. Many of his ancestors emigrated from Ireland to North America in the 19th century before and during the Great Famine.
11. On September 11, 1974, when Colbert was ten years old, his father and two closest male siblings (by age), Peter and Paul, died 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.
12. Lorna Colbert relocated the family downtown to the more urban environment of East Bay Street in Charleston. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. Colbert attended Charleston’s Episcopal Porter-Gaud School, where he participated in several school plays and contributed to the school newspaper but was not highly motivated academically.
16. During his adolescence, he briefly fronted A Shot in the Dark, a Rolling Stones cover band.
17. 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.
18. 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. Arriving in 1982, he continued to participate in plays while studying mainly philosophy.
19. 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.
20. Despite the lack of a significant theater community at Hampden–Sydney, Colbert’s interest in acting escalated during this time.
21. After two years, he transferred in 1984 to Northwestern University as a theater major to study performance, emboldened by the realization that he loved performing, even when no one was coming to shows.
22. He graduated from Northwestern’s School of Communication in 1986.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. He gained considerable attention for his role on the latter as closeted gay history teacher Chuck Noblet. His work as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s news-parody series The Daily Show gained him wide recognition.
26. 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 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. His book, I Am America (And So Can You!), was #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2007.
30. Although, by his own account, he was not particularly political before joining the cast of The Daily Show, Colbert has described himself as a Democrat according to a 2004 interview.
31. 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.”
32. Colbert is a practicing Roman Catholic and a Sunday school teacher and an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery.
33. Colbert lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, Evelyn McGee-Colbert, who appeared with him in an episode of Strangers with Candy as his mother.
34. She also had an uncredited cameo as a nurse in the series pilot and a credited one (as his wife, Clair) in the film. McGee-Colbert actually met Jon Stewart, later a good friend of Colbert, before she met her husband in 1990 (at the world premiere of Hydrogen Jukebox).
35. She is the daughter of prominent Charleston civil litigator Joseph McGee, of the firm Buist Moore Smythe McGee. The couple has three children: Madeleine, Peter, and John.
36. Colbert preferred that his children not watch his show The Colbert Report, saying that “kids can’t understand irony or sarcasm, and I don’t want them to perceive me as insincere.”
37. Colbert took the Myers Briggs personality test during a segment of his The Late Show which resulted in him being an INFP.
38. Colbert’s mother died at the age of 92 on June 12, 2013, after a period of ill health.