A Rare Look at Colbert Out of Character


I’m not sure if you’re more of a Daily Show or Colbert fan, as the two are similar, but opposite types of comedy. Stewart is maybe, Cracked, poking fun at things while informing. Colbert is more The Onion, arguing against things by using reductio ad absurdum.

As such, Colbert is almost always “in character.” The character being a sort of amalgam of every Fox News host out there, though I believe he was originally inspired by Bill O’Reilly years ago. We hardly ever get to see him as Stephen himself, which is why this behind the scenes video is kind of cool.

I’ve always wondered if guests know what they’re getting into when they sit down for a Colbert interview. Turns out, at least in the “important” interviews like this one with John Kerry, he lets them in on the gag, and says they can either play along or refute him. This is in contrast to say, The Daily Show’s correspondent segments where clearly the people on camera have no idea they’re being played. No, I refuse to use the word “trolled” here even if it fits.

Similar Posts


  1. Very interesting look… I would imagine there is a certain percentage of viewers out there that aren’t quite in on the whole “he’s in character thing.” I’ve heard some people quote him on stuff as if its legit… then again I could be hanging out with total idiots, which is a strong possibility.

    Anyway, I miss “Even Stevphen.”

  2. I went to a filming of a Colbert episode once. Before every they start filming he comes out and talks to the audience out of character and its really cool. He was very humble and nice and then to watch him turn around and become that character is impressive to say the lest.

  3. So joe, you are claiming that all these people in the field pieces (the ones with ridiculous bill ideas or borderline racist/homophobic organizations) are so self aware, and distanced they have the ability to not only laugh at their own stupidity but also act it out so they produce comedy gold?
    Healthy dose of skepticism is good joe, but don’t take it too far.

  4. And as to Colbert – I wouldn’t be surprised if in 200 years the world ‘Colbertian’ would unironically mean ultra conservative.

    Just like ‘machiavellian’ means amoral, and opportunist now and Machiavelli was basically Colbert of his time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.