Stephen Colbert: 5 Things to Know

Stephen Colbert - PR Portrait - 1 - 2011
Comedy Central

On the heels of his major FEC victory, get to know the man behind the Colbert character.

Stephen Colbert made more headlines than usual on Thursday when his "Colbert Super PAC" was approved by the Federal Election Commission, allowing him to produce and air political ads to run during his show. The comedic media pundit argued that his political behavior should be considered an editorial, subject to free speech.

In honor of The Colbert Report host's game changing victory, here are five facts about the real Stephen Colbert.

STORY: Stephen Colbert Gets FEC Blessing To Start Super-PAC

1. Born in Washington, D.C., Colbert was raised in Charleston, South Carolina. Colbert quickly learned to suppress his southern accent by imitating American news anchors after observing that Southerners were often portrayed in the media as less intelligent.

2. The "t" at the end of Colbert's surname wasn't always silent. His father, James, had wanted to change the pronunciation, but kept "Coal-Bert" out of respect to his father. He did, however, give his children the freedom to pronounce it any way they liked. Stephen adopted the pronunciation that we know today while in college at Northwestern University.

STORY: Stephen Colbert Gives Graduation Speech at Northwestern (Video)

3. His father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash on September 11, 1974. It was during this time, after moving downtown and enrolling in a new school, that Colbert developed a love of science fiction and fantasy novels.

4. One of Colbert's first gigs in show business was as an understudy for Steve Carrell in the Second City's touring company. While on tour, he met Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, with whom he later worked on Comedy Central's Exit 54 and Strangers with Candy among several other projects.

STORY: Emmys: Stephen Colbert Derides Jimmy Fallon for Including Him in 'For Your Consideration' Package (Video)

5. Colbert's wife, Evelyn, appeared alongside her husband in an episode of Strangers with Candy playing his character's mother. In the film adaptation, she nabbed a part of his wife, Clair. They live in New Jersey with their three children.