The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
When Colbert's not moving books or promoting TV shows with interview parodies, the fake news personality takes great pleasure in messing with the real world.
Take the run-up to last fall's presidential election, when the host ran ads in August 2011 urging Iowans to write in then-POTUS candidate Rick Perry "with an A for America" so that the misspelling would mess with a Republican poll. (A peeved Washington Post editorial said of Colbert's antics, ["There's] no excuse for trying to disrupt the presidential election system, as it appears Colbert has tried to do.")
More recently, Colbert, 48, married with three kids and living in Montclair, N.J., announced a legit political endeavor: He would help his sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who's running for a House seat in their home state, South Carolina, by hosting fundraisers in Washington, D.C., and New York. Such off-hour antics have been a boon for The Colbert Report, which for the first time since its October 2005 debut is beating Jay Leno's The Tonight Show in the key 18-to-49 demo while scoring an average nightly audience of nearly 2 million viewers.
With a cache of critical kudos (28 Emmy noms and two wins) and the least predictable guest lineup (Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, pig-farmer geneticist Carl Blake, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor), Colbert is the meta-quirk king of New York's late-night universe.
FUN FACT: Colbert was a castmember and writer on the short-lived The Dana Carvey Show alongside future Daily Show castmate Steve Carell, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and Louis C.K.