In June 2009, Mr. Colbert visited U.S. troops in Iraq on a four-day “Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando,” sponsored by the U.S.O. It was the first comedy show entirely taped, edited and broadcast in a war zone.
There is a claim that anyone who comes on the Report receives the "Colbert bump," immediately vaulting the guest to stardom, fame, and fortune. Like Midas turning everything he touches to gold, Stephen Colbert can turn losers into winners, just be interviewing them on his show. Stephen Colbert first coined the term Colbert bump to describe the effect appearing on his program would have on candidates running for office.
No fewer than nine copycat super PACs, all playing off the name of Colbert’s Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow committee, are now operating, most having sprung to legal life in recent days, according to federal records.Taken together, Colbert and his super PAC spawn represent about 2.5 percent of all the nation’s established super PACs.
In 2008, Colbert briefly ran for president, entering the Democratic primary in his native state of South Carolina. (He hadn’t really switched parties, but the filing fee for the Republican primary was too expensive.) In 2010, invited by Representative Zoe Lofgren, he testified before Congress about the problem of illegal-immigrant farmworkers and remarked that “the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables.”
Fully 43% of Colbert’s regular viewers are younger than 30. More than a third of Colbert’s regular viewers (36%) describe their political views as liberal. Stephen Colbert’s viewers are among the least likely to seek out sources that reflect their political views. Only 15% of regular viewers of The Colbert Report say they prefer news sources that share their point of view, while 79% say they prefer sources without a political point of view.
There are a couple of ways that Colbert thinks from the gut. Sometimes he's a relativist. There are many kinds of relativism but the form Colbert seems to espouse is called "individual relativism." All forms of relativism suggest that there is no truth in a universal sense; truth is relative. Individual relativism suggests that truth is relative to individuals.
On The Report, Colbert assumes a character best described as a caricature of several right wing television pundits, most notably fellow Catholic Bill O'Reilly. This character is confusingly (and perhaps tellingly) also called Stephen Colbert. Like his character, the out-of-character Colbert unflinchingly self-identifies as Catholic. What can be argued is whether or not Colbert belongs to a recognizably Catholic culture, as defined by a shared system or storehouse of distinctive symbols and language.
Colbert hosts his program in character, relying on "deadpan satire." Colbert parodies the new breed of self-indulgent, conservative news personalities and his character and show are formal, stylistic appropriations of generally right-wing news reporting.
Stephen Colbert the character began as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show in 1997 and evolved into a satiric embodiment of right-wing TV hosts and self-important journalists — principally based on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, with a dash of Stone Phillips and Geraldo Rivera. The Report launched in 2005, with Colbert as executive producer.
Boston University has offered a seminar called "The Colbert Report: American Satire" for the past two years, which explores Colbert's use of "syllogism, logical fallacy, burlesque, and travesty," as lecturer Michael Rodriguez described it on the school's Web site.