The Colbert Report

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The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report-Logo.jpg
Premiere October 17, 2005
Finale December 18, 2014
Creator Stephen Colbert,
Jon Stewart,
Ben Karlin
Host Stephen Colbert
Network/Provider Comedy Central
Style 30-minute comedy news talk
Company Spartina Productions,
Busboy Productions
Seasons 10
Episodes 1445 + 4 specials
Origin USA

The Colbert Report is a comedic talk show spun off from The Daily Show. In the series, Stephen Colbert is the conservative pundit counterpart to Jon Stewart's liberal leaning Daily Show and bring his opinions of the issues of the day to the forefront in something of a megalomaniacal way. The show ended on December 19, 2014, as Colbert went on to replace David Letterman on the Late Show in 2015. His timeslot has been filled by The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.



The Colbert Report originated as a small bit on The Daily Show, in which Stewart would throw to a commercial of "The Colbert Report," starring Colbert as a loudmouth commentator styled after Bill O'Reilly. Colbert used his power to shout down interview subjects and, in one case, resize their satellite link-up window and push them off the screen. At the end, he would proudly proclaim that the "T" at the end of the series title was silent because "it's French, bitch."

In late 2005, Colbert voiced his concern about getting burned out on the correspondent angle he had been playing since 1997 on The Daily Show to Stewart and executive producer Ben Karlin. The three came up with the idea to pitch the fake Colbert Report segment as a full series to Comedy Central. The network, still reeling from the sudden departure of Dave Chappelle, had been introducing a multitude of talk and variety shows like The Showbiz Show with David Spade, Too Late with Adam Carolla and Mind of Mencia to fill the gap left by Chappelle. Comedy Central had also expressed some interest in expanding the Daily Show franchise. Doug Herzog greenlit the series for eight weeks without a pilot, reportedly based on a single sentence "Our version of The O'Reilly Factor with Stephen Colbert." They also gave it the old studio that had been recently vacated by The Daily Show in favor of a larger building.

The series debuted on October 17, 2005 following The Daily Show and almost instantly exploded with popularity. It was picked up by Canada's The Comedy Network within weeks of broadcast, despite the network typically waiting months at best to import programming from the United States. The first Word segment, "Truthiness", had profound impact on society. The American Dialect Society named it Word of the Year and Colbert's popularity would go on to be proven time and time again with accolades like being named one of Time's 100 most important people and very nearly having a bridge in Hungary named after him as a direct result of the show.

The format of the series is not quite as static as The Daily Show's but typically follows a pattern. At the end of most Daily Show episodes, Stewart and Colbert speak briefly over a fiberoptic link. Colbert introduces some things that he will cover in the episode at the actual beginning of his episode prior to the credits sequence. After the credits, Colbert speaks about some of the headlines of the day and his own life, which often leads into The Word, an analogue of Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points." After a commercial, Colbert typically uses this time for another recurring or otherwise special segment like Better Know a District. After a second break, he interviews the guest (who he goes to in a different area, rather than the guest coming to him) and gives some final thoughts before saying good night.


Actor Character Duration
Billed Cast
Stephen Colbert "Stephen Colbert" 1 2 3 4 5
Supporting/Recurring Cast
Eric Drysdale Bobby 1 2 3
David Cross Russ Lieber 1 2 3
Jordan Carlos Alan 1 2 3
Paul Dinello Tad 1 2 3


Season  Premiere Finale #
Comedy Central
2005 October 17, 2005 December 15, 2005 32
2006 January 9, 2006 December 20, 2006 161
2007 January 8, 2007 November 1, 2007 126
2008 January 7, 2008 December 11, 2008 159 + 2
2009 January 5, 2009 December 16, 2009 161
2010 January 4, 2010 December 16, 2010 161 + 2
2011 January 3, 2011 December 15, 2011 160
2012 January 3, 2012 December 13, 2012 157
2013 January 7, 2013 December 19, 2013 157
2014 January 6, 2014 December 18, 2014 160


DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
'Best Of' Collections
The Best of the Colbert Report November 6, 2007 1


Individual Episodes
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All November 25, 2008 1


External Sites