How much is Stephen Colbert worth?
|Net Worth:||$75 Million
|Date of Birth:||May 13, 1964|
|Country:||United States of America|
This funny man was Jon Stewart‘s right hand man before landing his own show — The Colbert Report.
Who Is Stephen Colbert
What a tragedy it would have been if Stephen Colbert had followed his childhood dream of dramatic acting. There’s no doubt he would’ve been good at it—his talent for creation is immense, and his commitment to character absolute. But what we would’ve missed is Stephen Colbert, the character of his own creation, the uninformed talking head and coiner of “truthiness,” who has somehow managed to make himself an essential voice in American political discourse.
American comedian Stephen Colbert has a net worth of about $75 million dollars, as of 2020.
Stephen Tyrone Colbert was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on James Island, one of the 100 or so Sea Islands that hug tightly to the mid-Atlantic coastline. His father James was a physician and university administrator, his mother Lorna a homemaker. Though the household was devoutly Irish Catholic, his parents insisted on intellectualism and questioning authority—an insistence that must have been exhausting, considering that the Colberts had 11 children: Jimmy, Eddie, Mary, Billy, Margo, Tommy, Jay, Lulu, Paul, Peter, and the youngest, Stephen.
When asked in an interview how he developed his sense of humor, he replied, “Freud claimed that people don’t develop a sense of humor until their sense of childhood happiness has vanished.” It’s easy to point at the day Colbert lost his childhood happiness: on September 11, 1974, when he was 10, his father and two brothers, Paul and Peter, were killed in a plane crash near Charlotte, North Carolina. He “just kind of shut off” after that and would through most of high school, consuming a sci-fi book every day and burying himself in the fantasy worlds of Dungeons & Dragons and Lord of the Rings. Despite such obvious nerddom, he was voted wittiest student at his high-school. “And that’s when I thought,” he says, “maybe I should be a comedian.”
An Improvised Career
He was more interested in theater than comedy, and did a few plays in high school and a few in his first college, the conservative, all male Hampton-Sydney College in Virginia. Though he would leave after two years for Northwestern University, his time in Virginia made him realize that he loved performing, even when there was no reward.
At Northwestern, he met legendary improv teacher Del Close and fell in with Close’s ImprovOlympic and Annoyance Theatre, an accomplished, if somewhat haughty, troupe devoted to long form improvisation. Though his Annoyance castmates looked down on the famous Chicago improv-comedy theater Second City as “not real improv,” Colbert found himself working there after an expensive post-graduation trip through Europe. He initially answered the phones, but after taking some classes was invited to join the group as the understudy of future The Daily Show colleague Steve Carell.
With an already razor sharp wit now honed from years of training, Colbert moved steadily up the castes of Second City while shedding his dramatic actor dreams once and for all. When Colbert’s Second City troupe-mates Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello were approached by HBO in 1994 to create a sketch comedy series called Exit 57, they brought Colbert from Chicago to New York to help write and act in it. The series was critically celebrated but under-watched, and was cancelled after 12 episodes.
Colbert then wrote briefly for The Dana Carvey Show, which segued into freelance work for Saturday Night Live (voicing Ace in The Ambiguously Gay Duo would be Colbert’s lasting legacy), but had trouble finding steady work for the year following Carvey’s cancellation. “I thought I made a huge mistake in what I decided to do for a living,” he said. Having recently married with a baby daughter, Colbert’s primary motive was feeding his family and paying rent. So when he was approached to be a correspondent for a fake news program called The Daily Show, he saw it as a paycheck, and signed on.
Colbert was the longest correspondent in the history of the show, from 1997 to 2005. He took a reduced role in 1998 to work on Strangers With Candy, again with Sedaris and Dinello, but returned after it’s cancellation to become one of The Daily Show‘s most popular characters. Colbert essentially invented the template for Daily Show correspondents, what he describes as a “poorly informed, high-status idiot,” so much so that many of the subsequent correspondents (such as Ed Helms, Aasif Mandvi, and Rob Corddry) started out imitating him.
His character was so popular that Comedy Central signed Colbert on The Colbert Report, a sort of Daily Show extension with a blowhard bent. Parodying a right-wing bombast—most notably Bill O’Reilly, whom he refers to as “Papa Bear”—Colbert shows up four nights a week to mock politicians and pundits alike.
In April 2006, when he was invited to deliver the keynote address of the White House Correspondents Association dinner in front of President Bush and a crowd the AP referred to as “a who’s who of power and celebrity.” Traditionally, the keynote speaker gently teases the president. Colbert gave a scathing satirical address that silenced the room for 20 minutes. The video went viral immediately, and Colbert went from spin-off to left wing hero overnight.
A Not So Serious Man
Colbert has stretched comfortably into his position at Comedy Central with a devoted audience all his own. He has three children and still teaches Sunday school. He has won a number of Emmys and has been awarded Person of the Year by The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the the Cross Examination Debate Association, and GQ, among others. And while his character never fails to mention his own gravitas, Stephen Colbert, the man, shakes it away. The commonality to all his comedy is to never take anything too seriously—including, and perhaps especially, himself.
Defining Quote “Yup. I’m an actor. I hate to blow everyone’s illusions.”
Young Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up the youngest of 11 children in Charleston, South Carolina. At the age of 10, Colbert lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash. Raised from then on by a single mother, Colbert being to act in plays and developed a love for theater. He attended Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia to study philosophy, but transferred to Northwestern University after two years to study theater.While attending Northwestern, Colbert began to do improvisationalsketch comedy at Chicago’s Annoyance Theater as part of the city’s famous ImprovOlympic. After graduating in 1986, Colbert took a job at the city’s other famous improv comedy theater, Second City, where he eventually joined the touring company as the understudy to future Daily Show co-star Steve Carrell.
The Move to TV
While at Second City, Colbert met and made friends with cast mates Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello. The three joined forces to create the sketch comedy show Exit 57, which was picked up by Comedy Central in 1995 and ran for one season on the network.
After Exit 57 was canceled, Colbert joined the writing staff and cast of ABC’s short-lived sketch comedy The Dana Carvey Show, alongside Carrell, Robert Smigel and Louis C.K. Once again, the show lasted less than a season.
Stephen Colbert and ‘The Daily Show’
In 1997, Colbert joined the cast of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. He played one of four staff “reporters” on the show, which at that time was hosted by Craig Kilborn. When Jon Stewart took over in 1999, Colbert began to take on a more prominent role. It was during these years that Colbert’s “character” — the know-it-all blowhard he would eventually take to his own series. Colbert remained on the show until 2005, once again working alongside Carrell and occasionally filling in for Stewart as anchor when needed. He won three Emmy Awards for his work on the show, in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
‘Strangers with Candy’
In 1998, while still working on The Daily Show, Colbert reunited with his Exit 57 cast mates to co-create and co-star on the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy. The comedy, a parody of after-school specials (on which Colbert played a closeted-gay high school teacher), ran for three seasons from 1998 to 2000. In 2006, a feature film version of the now-cult series was released to poor box office and mixed reviews.
‘The Colbert Report’
By 2005, Colbert had become a popular enough fixture on The Daily Show to warrant his own spin-off. With The Daily Show as its lead-in, the Colbert-hosted The Colbert Report premiered in 2005 and became an instant hit. A parody of FOX News shows like The O’Reilly Factor, The Colbert Report features the comedian in full “character” mode, spouting often-nonsensical conservative dogma while actually satirizing the Right. After being nominated for three years in a row, Colbert finally took home an Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Emmy for the Report in 2008.
In 2007, Colbert published his first book, the satirical I Am America (And So Can You). It quickly reached the top of the New York Times Bestseller list.
Also in 2007, Colbert announced that he would make a bid for the 2008 presidential election in his home state of South Carolina. Within a month, his ballot application was denied.
In 2008, Colbert debuted his own Christmas special on Comedy Central: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All. It was released as an album in 2009, and won the 2009 Grammy Award for Outstanding Comedy Album.
Additional Stephen Colbert Facts
- Colbert is deaf in his right ear.
- He has won three Peabody Awards for his show The Colbert Report.
- In 2006, Colbert was invited to speak at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, where he delivered a now-infamous and scathing routine on President Bush and his staff — all of whom were in attendance.
- Colbert provides the voice for one half of Robert Smigel’s recurring Saturday Night Live animated short, “The Ambiguously Gay Duo.”
- Time magazine named Colbert one of the 100 most influential people in 2006, and he was named Person of the Year at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream named their “Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream” after the comedian.
- In 2008, a professor at East Carolina University named a species of spider after Colbert.
- Also in 2008, it was announced that Colbert’s DNA would be sent to the International Space Station.