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The Real Stephen Colbert Speaks at New Yorker Festival

Just yesterday while I was lamenting that Bill Maher forgot to interview Stephen Colbert (seen here with his wife and daughter at last month's Emmys), he was speaking (with his wife!) at the New Yorker Festival in Manhattan. He's known for giving few interviews and even fewer out of character and probably none with his wife, who puts up with it all, so this was a rare treat.

It appears it wasn't taped, but there are some great recaps. Here are some highlights of the highlights:

  • On playing Stephen Colbert, the character: "It's not in my nature to be a jerk — but I do enjoy it."
  • On why he ran for president: He refers to Bill O'Reilly and the egotism of his character: "I couldn't have the presidential election not be about me."
  • He hesitated before giving Bill O'Reilly the standard warning he tells all his guests — my character is idiot, disabuse me of my ignorance — but then went ahead. O'Reilly seemed unaware of the insult.

There's more! To find out how he perceives the political leanings (and relative intelligence?) of his audience,


  • He thinks his audience is a bit more centrist than The Daily Show and acknowledges that some viewers don't realize he doesn't believe what he's saying.
  • On teaching Sunday School: The kids are funny because they ask questions that "you thought were so deep in college."
  • Advice for a young satirist: "Go to Chicago. If you can't make it there, you can't make it anywhere."

For an even better recap, check out the Huffington Post's. They had an in-person view of the full Colbert, as it were.


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