Stephen Colbert plays a character on his Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report." What's the real Colbert like?
The question is more important than ever because of the CBS announcement that Colbert will replace David Letterman as host of "The Late Show" beginning next year. This means that Colbert will drop his "Report" character and bring out a different side of his entertainment skills. "I won't be doing the new show in character, so we'll all get to find out how much of him was me. I'm looking forward to it," Colbert said to the media.
An end date for Letterman and a start date for Colbert have not been determined.
The late night comedy host rarely steps out of character even when he participates in interviews on other programs because everyone knows him through his comedic stylings on "Colbert Report," but there have been a select few times where he has dropped the act to be his real self. In this interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2012, Colbert explained the difference between his real and fake self, and how "The Colbert Report" came to be:
In an interview with the late Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press," Colbert spoke about how he and his team create his Comedy Central show on a daily basis.
Colbert has also appeared on Letterman's Late Show. In this interview in 2010 he slips in and out of character while promoting an upcoming political event.
One of his most serious public appearances was made via a video for the It Gets Better project:
Here's a neat behind-the-scenes look at Colbert fleshing out a bit with one of his show's guests, Senator (at the time) John Kerry.
And finally, one of Colbert's most honest moments came on his own show when he spoke about his mother after her passing:
Do you think Colbert will have the ability to host a successful show out of character?
Photo/Video credit: YouTube / Comedy Central / NBC / CBS / It Gets Better