Speed Reads

Late Night Antics

Here's what Stephen Colbert is like out of his Colbert Report character


Stephen Colbert has been in his Stephen Colbert character for so long — keeping up the conservative-pundit shtick even while roasting President George W. Bush, hosting a rally on the National Mall, and testifying before Congress — that when CBS announced Thursday that he is taking over The Late Show from David Letterman at the end of the year, a lot of people were curious about what a late-night Colbert talk would will be like without Colbert's Colbert Report alter ego.

In 2012, Colbert (the person) sat down with David Gregory on Meet The Press, and talked about what it's like to be "Stephen Colbert" (the character), his views on satire and politics, how he differs from Jon Stewart, and why he does almost everything in character. "I've got no business doing something like" testifying before Congress or running for president, Colbert said, "but my character thinks he does, and through him I can say things that are hopefully in a more palatable way than I could ever."

If you can sit through some talk about the 2012 election, you get a sense of what an out-of-character Stephen Colbert might be like on The Late Show. --Peter Weber