Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American comedian, television host, and author. Colbert has hosted The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, a television talk show on CBS. Colbert originally studied to be an actor, but became interested in improvisational theatre while attending Northwestern University. He wrote and performed on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show before collaborating with Sedaris and he gained considerable attention for his role on the latter as closeted gay history teacher Chuck Noblet. His work as a correspondent on Comedy Centrals news-parody series The Daily Show gained him wide recognition, in 2005, he left The Daily Show to host a spin-off series, The Colbert Report. The series became one of Comedy Centrals highest-rated series, earning Colbert an invitation to perform as featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in 2006, Colbert has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Peabody Awards. Colbert was named one of Times 100 Most Influential People in 2006 and 2012 and his book, I Am America, was #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2007. Colbert was born in Washington, D. C. the youngest of 11 children in a Catholic family and 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, stephens mother, Lorna Elizabeth Colbert, was a homemaker. In interviews, Colbert has described his parents as people who also strongly valued intellectualism and taught their children that it was possible to question the church. 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 quite young. While Colbert sometimes comedically claims his surname is French, he is of 15/16ths Irish ancestry, many of his ancestors emigrated from Ireland to North America in the 19th century before and during the Great Famine. He offered his children the option to pronounce the name whichever way they preferred, Stephen started using /koʊlˈbɛər/ later in life when he transferred to Northwestern University, taking advantage of the opportunity to reinvent himself in a new place where no one knew him. Ed responded /ˈkoʊlbərt/, to which Stephen jokingly replied, See you in Hell and they were en route to enroll the two boys at Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut. Lorna Colbert relocated the family downtown to the 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. He developed a love of science fiction and fantasy novels, especially the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Colbert attended Charlestons Episcopal Porter-Gaud School, where he participated in several school plays and contributed to the school newspaper but was not highly motivated academically. During his adolescence, he briefly fronted A Shot in the Dark, 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
Colbert in November 2016
Stephen Colbert and his wife Evelyn McGee-Colbert at the 2006 Time 100
Colbert, in his television series persona, prepares to interview Michelle Obama. The set of The Colbert Report satirized cable-personality political talk shows.
Stephen Colbert greets troops and civilians at Al Faw Palace at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, June 5, as part of his "Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando" tour