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Stephen Colbert

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Stephen Tyrone Colbert IPA: (born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, satirist, actor, and writer, known for his ironic style, particularly in his portrayal of uninformed opinion leaders and deadpan comedic delivery.

Unlike Stewart, who essentially hosts The Daily Show as himself, Colbert developed a correspondent character for his pieces on the series. Colbert has described his correspondent character as "a fool who has spent a lot of his life playing not the fool"—one who is able to cover it at least well enough to deal with the subjects that he deals with. Colbert was frequently pitted against knowledgeable interview subjects, or against Stewart in scripted exchanges, with the resultant dialogue demonstrating the character's lack of knowledge of whatever subject he is discussing. Colbert also made generous use of humorous fallacies of logic in explaining his point of view on any topic. Other Daily Show correspondents have adopted a similar style, and the convention of having more character-driven correspondent segments, with Stewart serving as a kind of straight-man foil, is now generally accepted as a part of the show's format.

Since October 17, 2005, Colbert has hosted his own television show, The Colbert Report, a Daily Show spin-off which parodies the conventions of television news broadcasting, particularly cable-personality political talk shows like The O'Reilly Factor and Scarborough Country. Colbert hosts the show in-character as a blustery right-wing pundit, generally considered to be an extension of his character on The Daily Show. Conceived by co-creators Stewart, Colbert, and Ben Karlin in part as an opportunity to explore "the character-driven news," the series focuses less on the day-to-day news style of the Daily Show, instead frequently concentrating on the foibles of the host-character himself.

On Saturday, April 29, 2006, Stephen Colbert was the featured entertainer for the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. Standing a few yards from U.S. President George W. Bush—in front of an audience the Associated Press called a "Who's Who of power and celebrity"—Colbert delivered a controversial, searing routine targeting the president and the media. In his politically conservative character from The Colbert Report, Colbert satirized the George W. Bush Administration and the White House press corps with such lines as:“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.”

Colbert was the recipient of three Emmy Awards as a writer for The Daily Show in 2004, 2005, and 2006, along with the rest of the Daily Show writers. He was also nominated for three Emmys for The Colbert Report in 2006, including "Best Performance in a Variety, Musical Program or Special," which he lost to Barry Manilow. Manilow and Colbert would go on to jokingly sign and notarize a revolving biannual "custody agreement" for the Emmy on the Colbert Report episode aired on October 30, 2006.


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