Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

late night

Watch Great Moments of Stephen Colbert Out of Character

Stephen Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman come 2015, CBS announced today. Colbert's been on TV for more than a decade, but a lot of that has been in character as "Stephen Colbert," a blowhard persona Colbert developed on The Daily Show and then perfected on The Colbert Report. Colbert has reportedly said that his Late Show will not be done in character, and that makes sense: The Colbert Report itself is a satire, whereas Late Show simply is not. Even if Colbert is most familiar as "Colbert," there's plenty of material out there with him out of character — and some where he plays completely different characters altogether. Here are some highlights:

Accepting an award from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

Here's Colbert interviewing America's science hero Neil deGrasse Tyson:

In 2012, Colbert and his wife Evie sat down for an hour-long chat with Oprah:

On most awards shows, Colbert appears in character, but not when he's giving Emmy acceptance speeches.

Colbert explained some of his process on Meet the Press:

And you can see that exact process in action here with John Kerry:

Getting in the way-back machine, here's Colbert on an episode of Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn. He's not fully earnest here, but it's more of an ironic naïveté than you see on The Report:

This is from almost 100 years ago, when Colbert was a tiny child guest-starring on Whose Line Is It Anyway?:

America already has Jimmy Fallon, so we don't really need another late-night host who sings every night, but Colbert certainly has the vocal chops to do so. Here he is in Company:

Photo: Paul Porter/BFAnyc.com