[[caption-width-right:265:Colbert on the set of ''The Late Show'', 2015]]

->''"Joy is the most infallible sign of the existence of God."''
-->--'''Stephen Colbert''' (the actual person)

->''"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."''
-->--'''Stephen Colbert''' (the character)

Stephen Colbert did not believe in books. They're all fact and no heart. (You may think [[http://www.makemeamerica.com he wrote one]], but it's just a transcription of what he hollered into a tape recorder. Over a three day weekend, no less.) A staunch supporter of UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush and devoted admirer of [[Series/TheOReillyFactor Bill O'Reilly]], Colbert lambasted the [[StrawmanPolitical liberal elite]] four nights a week on ''Series/TheColbertReport'' from 2005 to 2014. He is now immortal.

Okay, '''Stephen Tyrone Colbert''' (May 13, 1964-) is ''actually'' an improvisational comedian and political satirist. Best known for lampooning [[StrawmanPolitical bull-headed conservatives]] as host of the ''[[Series/TheColbertReport Report]]'' after years of being a popular correspondent for ''Series/TheDailyShow'', the massive success of that series led to his [[Series/TheLateShowWithStephenColbert taking over the reins]] of ''The Late Show'' in September 2015 following the retirement of Creator/DavidLetterman.

Between Colbert's ''Daily Show'' run and years on the ''Report'', he and Creator/JonStewart spent fifteen straight years as the greatest late-night comedy duo in the nation (and many would say the world). Between airing sister shows back-to-back for nine straight years, Stephen's six-year run as the acknowledged best correspondent on ''The Daily Show'', co-hosting the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in 2010, their epic [=SuperPAC=] shenanigans in 2011/2012, and co-anchoring eight consecutive "Indecision" election specials, [[HeterosexualLifePartners you really can't separate these two]].[[note]]You really can't. The ''Report'' was, during its final episode, revealed to have been just one long ''Daily Show'' segment.[[/note]]

While there are many similarities between Stephen Colbert the man and "[[AlterEgoActing Stephen Colbert]]" the character, there is a stark difference in that the character was, in Colbert's own words, "a well-intentioned, poorly informed, [[UpperClassTwit high-status idiot]]."

Oh, and Colbert is also known for that time he was invited to be [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7FTF4Oz4dI the featured entertainer at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner]] and, instead of providing typical light-hearted fare, comedically savaged President George W. Bush and the press to their faces, all in his show persona. ("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.")

His performance was an internet sensation, and the audio recording became the #1 album on iTunes, remaining a top download for months. New York Times columnist Frank Rich called Colbert's performance a defining moment leading up to the 2006 midterm elections, when the Democrats became the majority party in Congress. Colbert himself has said he did not necessarily mean to make a huge political statement, but only intended to be funny (although obviously for a different audience than the dinner coordinators would have liked), and did not realize how strongly his performance resonated until speaking with awed coworkers the next day. Despite all this, Colbert's performance initially got very little media attention, with many major news outlets like ''[[AmericanNewspapers The New York Times]]'' not even mentioning him in their day-after report on the Dinner. The mainstream media was widely criticized for this, seeing as the media itself was a major target for Colbert's mockery and thus the muted coverage was seen as self-serving.

On Sept. 24, 2010, having been invited to appear by committee chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren, [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/stephen-colbert-hearing-v_n_737813.html Colbert testified before Congress, IN CHARACTER, at the House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Immigration and Farm Labor.]] He did [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness drop character at one point]], when asked by Rep. Judy Chu [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu9SSxe5bz0 why he felt this issue was important.]]

Colbert eventually grew tired of maintaining his fictional persona and was considering ending the ''Report'' when a call came in about a new job opportunity. In 2014, CBS announced that Colbert would succeed Creator/DavidLetterman as host of ''The Late Show'' in 2015. Colbert confirmed that ''The Late Show'' (unlike his Congressional testimony) would not be performed in-character, but he does continue to make political commentary from behind his new desk. ''Series/TheLateShowWithStephenColbert'' premiered on September 8, 2015.[[note]]Where Colbert goeth, Stewart is sure to follow; Jon Stewart is an executive producer on ''The Late Show''. And ne'er the twain shall part.[[/note]]

Colbert came up in comedy through improv at Creator/TheSecondCity in Chicago (he even guest-starred on two episodes of the US version of the improv show ''WhoseLineIsItAnyway'') while slowly but surely leaving behind his ambitions to be a serious actor. (Thank God.) There he met lifelong friends Paul Dinello and Creator/AmySedaris, with whom he co-created and co-starred in ''Series/StrangersWithCandy''. He also did considerable voice acting in ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'', and was the voice of Ace in ''Series/SaturdayNightLive's'' ''The Ambiguously Gay Duo'' (fellow future Daily Show star Creator/SteveCarell was the voice of Gary). Even less known is his work on the short-lived ''Series/TheDanaCarveyShow'' and the even more obscure sketch show ''Series/{{Exit 57}}''. There's also performance as President Hathaway in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens''; he worked with DreamWorks again for ''WesternAnimation/MrPeabodyAndSherman''. His [[Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium Middle-earth]] expertise also earned him a [[TheCameo cameo]] in ''Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug'', followed by an exclusive on his interview with Smaug himself.

Officially OneOfUs and [[ProudToBeAGeek unashamedly so]]. When Creator/ViggoMortensen was a guest on ''Series/TheDailyShow'', Jon Stewart played a recording of Colbert reciting [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings the many names of Aragorn]]. (In addition, Mortensen had had a set of chocolates shaped like ''Lord of the Rings'' characters sent to Colbert's office, and Stewart's receiving this news was essentially speculating on how powerful a {{Nerdgasm}} Colbert would have). When CNN misused an image of the Balrog on 6/6/06, he proceeded to rattle off a list of references to ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' without even using notes. Colbert also keeps a set of [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons polyhedral dice]] in his desk at ''The Colbert Report'' and is the current keeper of ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's mighty shield (delivered after Steve Rogers' [[DeathIsCheap short-lived]] [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfCaptainAmerica death]]) and [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Andúril]] (gifted to him by Aragorn himself). Get behind this man on the battlefield. He also won the popular vote in the 2008 election (in the Marvel universe). After [[AwesomeMomentOfCrowning being knighted by the Queen of Jordan with Andúril]] his full name has been expanded to ''Sir'' Dr. Stephen T. Colbert [[NotThatKindOfDoctor D.F.A.]] He has given "a shout out to all [his] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic bronies]]." (Before he admitted he had no idea what it meant, looked it up, and promptly took it back.) Finally, he declared that he was the new First Lady of France after French President Hollande's sex scandal resulted in the seats being rearranged at a White House function so that Colbert was in the former First Lady's chair.

Oh, and he's also a practicing Roman Catholic who teaches Sunday school on the weekends. He can recite the Nicene Creed, the TenCommandments, and a truly staggering amount of Catholic trivia from memory[[note]]seen on the ''Report'' and again on the ''Late Show''[[/note]], and calmed down the notoriously interview-shy [[Music/TheWhiteStripes Jack White]] by engaging him in a Catholic trivia contest. On ''The Late Show'', Pope Francis' 2015 visit to the USA occasioned a positive barrage of Catholic jokes, as well as more serious discussions with an all-Catholic panel on issues of faith vs. social progressivism and the meaning of being an American Catholic in the present day.

He is also known for coining the words 'truthiness' and 'wikiality', as well as the ColbertBump.
!!Things that have been [[InternetCounterattack named after Stephen]] include:

* [[Series/TheColbertReport A TV show]]
* [[Series/TheLateShowWithStephenColbert Another TV show]]
* Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle (a hockey mascot)
* Stephen Jr. (a bald eagle)
* Stelephant Colbert (an elephant seal)
* Stephanie Colburtle the Turtle ([[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a turtle]])
* Aptostichus stephencolberti (a species of trapdoor spider)
* Agaporomorphus colberti (a species of diving beetle, named for him as a birthday present)
* [[http://www2.pms-lj.si/illiesia/papers/Illiesia04-04.pdf Diamphipnoa colberti]] (a species of stonefly, never mentioned on the show)
* Colbert (a stuffed moose, formerly named Ebersol, ridden by both him and Bob Costas during the [[UsefulNotes/OlympicGames Vancouver "'010" Olympics]]; unfortunately had to be re-renamed after going to NBC's archives since it and Comedy Central are rivals)
* Not [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megyeri_Bridge#Naming_poll a bridge in Hungary]] - although he did win the online contest to decide the name, the Hungarian ambassador to the U.S. appeared on his show, and told him that, in Hungary, bridges can only be named after dead people.
** As well, a requirement was [[StarfishLanguage fluency in Hungarian]].
*** Which Colbert met by demonstrating that he knew that "híd" was Hungarian for "bridge."
* A treadmill (''not'' a [[Series/TheBigBangTheory toilet]]) on the International Space Station, the "Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill" ([[FunWithAcronyms C.O.L.B.E.R.T.]]). We believe that that puts NASA in the lead when it comes to insane acronyms, surpassing [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Aperture Science]].
* The first of Richard Branson's airplanes upon expanding the Virgin brand to Virgin Atlantic as well. Once made an emergency landing due to birdstrike. Geese are On Notice.
* A Ben & Jerry's ice cream: "Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream".[[note]] For the record, it's vanilla ice cream with a caramel swirl, filled with chocolate chips and bits of chocolate covered waffle cone.[[/note]] And it is delicious. [[FriendlyEnemy And it's certainly better]] than Creator/JimmyFallon's "Late Night Snack".