Stephen Tyrone Colbert, born on May 13, 1964, began his career in comedy, working in the improv comedy enterprise “Second City,” which became a pivotal first step in making Colbert who he is today. Known for his satirical and politically-edged humor, Colbert was chosen as David Letterman’s successor for “The Late Show” and has been one of the most famous late-night talk show hosts since 2015. His many years on television have earned him numerous awards, and he once hosted the Emmy Awards ceremony. Join us as we celebrate this television icon’s birthday!
Stephen Tyrone Colbert
May 13, 1964
Stephen Tyrone Colbert is one of the first people we think of when it comes to late-night talk shows. Thousands of people watch Colbert’s show as they unwind from their busy days in front of the TV while also enjoying the amusing interviews he conducts with notable members of the entertainment business. Colbert was born in Washington, D.C., on May 13, 1964. His zodiac sign is Taurus, and he is of German, English, and Irish descent. He is the son of Lorna Elizabeth and James William Colbert Jr. and the youngest of their 11 children. Colbert’s passion for the entertainment industry got its start in high school, where he participated in several productions.
Following graduation, he continued acting in plays while enrolling at Hampden-Sydney College to study philosophy. But it was during this time that he developed an interest in performing, and after two years, he transferred to Northwestern University to study theater. His initial ambition was to become a serious actor, but subsequently, he began to concentrate more on comedy and began doing improv. After receiving his degree, he started working for the “Second City” improv comedy company, where he worked as Steve Carell’s understudy and met Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, with whom he would later frequently collaborate.
Colbert made his television debut in the sketch comedy “Exit 57,” which Sedaris and Dinello had developed, in 1995. Following its cancellation, he spent six months in 1996 working as a writer and cast member on “The Dana Carvey Show,” where he reconnected with Carell and met writers Charlie Kaufman and Louis C.K., among others. However, it was also postponed, leaving Colbert jobless. In the past, Colbert has done some freelance work for “Saturday Night Live,” M.T.V., V.H.1, and “Good Morning America.” Thanks to the latter, he was hired to work in the news show parody “The Daily Show” in 1997, where he, as a fictionalized persona of himself, was a correspondent and appeared in various segments, as well as filling in for host Jon Stewart for many episodes. Colbert won three Emmys for his work on “The Daily Show” in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Colbert collaborated with Sedaris and Dinello at the same time on “Strangers with Candy,” a satire of after-school programs that aired in 1999 and 2000 and was turned into a film in 2005.
Colbert left “The Daily Show,” but not totally. After leaving, he started hosting his own spoof news show, “The Colbert Report,” a “Daily Show” offshoot. However, he served in a role that many see as an extension of his “Daily Show” character rather than serving as the show’s presenter. Comedy Central decided to extend a long-term contract with the show after it debuted to good ratings and quickly rose to the top of the network’s list.
The contract was extended by two years in 2012, and the show finished in 2014 with a major episode featuring previous guests. Colbert had the chance to perform as the featured act at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2006 and to give a Congressional testimony while acting in “The Report” in 2010. Colbert made his debut as the new host of “The Late Show” the following year when C.B.S. announced that he would replace David Letterman in that role. Colbert presided over the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony in 2017.
Colbert’s career in comedy starts when he is hired to work in “Second City.”
Colbert stars in “Exit 57” along with co-creators and “Second City” castmates Sedaris and Dinello.
After “Exit 57” gets canceled, Colbert goes on to work for “The Dana Carvey Show.”
After “The Dana Carvey Show” gets canceled, Colbert joins “The Daily Show” as one of its correspondents.
His popularity in “The Daily Show” allows him to leave the show to host his own spinoff, “The Colbert Report.”
Colbert takes over hosting “The Late Show” after Letterman leaves.
Why We Love Stephen Colbert
He is a well-established figure
Over the decades of his career, Colbert has gone from a part of the cast to the show’s central figure. Now, his presence is recognizable anywhere he is.
He is an inspiration to successful comedians
Colbert's comedic style and line delivery influenced many of his peers. John Mulaney, James Corden, Mindy Kaling, Hasan Minhaj, and Billy Eichner are among those who have credited Colbert as an inspiration.
He gives back
Colbert has given a great amount of money to many important charities aiding numerous causes over the years. He has also hosted high-profile charity events for Amnesty International.
5 Surprising Facts
He is half-deaf
When Cobert was young, surgery meant to repair his eardrum damaged his inner ear and left him deaf in his right ear.
He loves “The Lord of the Rings”
Colbert is a big fan of the fantasy epic and has an encyclopedic knowledge of it; he even appeared in one of the “The Hobbit” films.
He is an author
Over the years, Colbert has written a total of 10 books.
He is an ordained minister
Colbert used to teach Sunday School every weekend at his church.
He was in a band
When he was young, Colbert joined a Rolling Stones cover band.
Stephen Colbert FAQs
What illness does Stephen Colbert have?
In 2020, Colbert revealed he had been diagnosed with benign positional vertigo, an inner ear disorder in which changes in the position of the head lead to sudden vertigo.
Does Stephen Colbert have a daughter?
Yes, Colbert has one daughter.
Is Stephen Colbert a veteran?
No, Colbert has never served in the military.
Stephen Colbert’s birthday dates