Stephen Tyrone Colbert (/koʊlˈbɛər/, né: /ˈkoʊlbərt/; born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, writer, producer, actor, media critic, and television host.
Colbert originally studied to be an actor, but became interested in improvisational theatre when he met Second City director Del Close while attending Northwestern University. He first performed professionally as an understudy for Steve Carell at Second City Chicago; among his troupe mates were comedians Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris, with whom he developed the sketch comedy series Exit 57.
Colbert also wrote and performed on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show before collaborating with Sedaris and Dinello again on the cult television series Strangers with Candy. He gained considerable attention for his role on the latter as closeted gay history teacher Chuck Noblet. His work as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news-parody series The Daily Show first introduced him to a wide audience.
In 2005, he left The Daily Show to host a spin-off series, The Colbert Report. Following The Daily Show 's news-parody concept, The Colbert Report was a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows such as The O'Reilly Factor, in which Colbert portrayed a caricatured version of conservative political pundits. The series established itself as one of Comedy Central's highest-rated series, earning Colbert an invitation to perform as featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2006. Colbert has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Peabody Awards. He was named one of Time 's 100 most influential people in 2006 and 2012. His book I Am America (And So Can You!) was number one on The New York Times Best Seller list.
On April 10, 2014, CBS announced that Colbert had been chosen to succeed David Letterman as the host of the Late Show on CBS after Letterman's retirement in May 2015.