In 2009, Rolling Stone interviewed Stephen Colbert the man. The magazine described him as "Ned Flanders — a preppy, earnest, gentle man miles from his onscreen persona." In the interview, he talked about his religion, discussed which politicians he likes to mock, and opened up about his family. When asked if part of him is in the character, he explained:
"Absolutely, and it does not matter to me if people can tell which is which. I enjoy stepping over the line. I was overjoyed by the Ohio State University study that said conservatives and liberals not only enjoy my show equally, but are each likely to think that I am on their side. That was an unexpected victory on my behalf. From the beginning of the show, I very much wanted to add a degree of veracity to my character, even though he's incredibly overblown and over-the-top. I think it's completely visible when I don't mean it. But occasionally I do mean it, and that helps with the confusion."
And if you were wondering if he'll bring more political talk to late night, he had this to say: "I don't really know much about politics. I don't really even like talking about politics much. I don't have an ax to grind. I get disappointed with both sides. But I do like human behavior."