“Thankfully, dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.” – Stephen Colbert
I love Stephen Colbert.
To be honest I wasn’t his biggest fan when he was on the Daily Show. He was funny as hell but I was dubious about him having his own show. When I saw the first episode it felt like I got an “A-ha!”-moment. It wasn’t the Daily Show spin-off I thought it was going to be. This character had something entirely different to say.
What really grabbed me was “The Word”-segment. I’m a collector of words. Exhibit one: I use them often. Like now. There, did it again!
The first “The Word” was the now famous “Truthiness”. It’s defined by Merriam-Webster (I shit you not) as “truth that comes from the gut, not books” (Colbert’s original definition) or “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true” (American Dialect Society). Also, it was Merriam-Webster’s word of the year in 2006. Not too shabby for a first episode.
A while back I looked at some episodes from the first season and was blown away how much the writing and character had evolved. You don’t really see that when you’re tuning in year in and year out without looking back. It’s just natural progression. But it’s also enlightening to see that so much was there from day one. The direction was set and as things changed so didn’t he. He grew in depth, but always retained his core of, well, truthiness.
So, the last episode of the Colbert Report has aired. It was a beautiful “see ya later!”. I hope if nothing else that he (Stephen Colbert, the character) continues to write books. If you haven’t felt his books, go feel them now. They’re quite booky.
I don’t trust books. They’re all fact, no heart. – Stephen Colbert
Despite Stephen’s quote about books, I can’t count the number of great books (besides his own) i’ve gotten to read thanks to the show!
I’m going to miss coming home and watching Daily Show and Colbert Report back to back. I know that Stephen is going to do a great job taking over after Letterman on the Late Show. I’m looking forward to August or September when that show kicks off!
Still, this character is one of my favorites. It’s amazing how you can make such a clear point by saying something completely asinine. That’s true talent. Also, hard work. That’s one thing I admire. When Colbert speaks as himself (he actually DOES on occasion) he is really adamant about making it clear that it’s a team effort.
At this point i’m just oozing my love all over. My apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin. Yes, I did in fact have to get that one in there (no “that’s what she said”-jokes!).
I just want to add that i’ve learned so much about creativity and what it means to really embody a character through watching his show. He’s even reminded me of what life’s about at times.
So, I raise my glass to Stephen Colbert, all the writers, producers and staff on the show.
Thanks for the 9 years of laughs and here’s to a brand new era! Huzzah!
Stephen Colbert – 2006 Knox College Commencement
Stephen Colbert – 2011 Northwestern University Commencement