Stephen Colbert Moments You'll Never Forget: 5 Times 'The Late Show' Host Exposed Political Lunacy [VIDEO]
Tonight’s the night! After months of waiting, Stephen Colbert will take over as host of The Late Show on CBS. But before he was just another soldier in the networks’ battle for late night ratings, he was a comedy voice of taking on the political establishment and actually had some influence.
From 2005-2014, Colbert hosted Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, performing with the persona of a right-wing bloviate with a lot on his mind, a character that he started on the cable network’s other political-themed nightly new series, The Daily Show. The Colbert Report was obviously meant as entertainment first, but the messages behind each and every episode were that of educating the public on media and politics through a satirical lens.
Colbert now enters a whole new arena and while the right-wing character is now gone by the wayside, we can always appreciate how he helped change the political climate over the past nine years.
Here are just some of the instance where Colbert was :
He Coined A New Word: "Truthiness"
Colbert introduced the word "truthiness" into American lexicon in the very first episode of The Colbert Report in 2005. The word is defined as a certain "truth" that you just know instinctively, without any acknowledgment of the actual facts. Those who follow politics alreay knew the concept well enough, but had never been able to give an exact name. "Truthiness" was named Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster in 2006.
His Testimony On Migrant Farm Workers
Testifying before Congress in 2010, Colbert stayed completely in character as he addressed the issue of migrant farm workers. The testimony featured such highlights as Colbert urging people to simply stop eating fruits and vegetables as well as this genius quote: "I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."
His Epic 2008 Presidential Campaign
"I have heard the call," Colbert said in a 2007 episode of The Colbert Report. "Nation, I shall seek the office of the president of the United States." Colbert made the announcement that he was running for president ahead of the 2008 election, adding to an already insane campaign season. Exposing the lunacy of presidential campaigns, with all of their pandering and shady financing, Colbert exposed just how ridiculous the whole process truly is.
His Exposé On Super PACs
Colbert helped expose the truth behind super PACs in a series of episodes in 2012. The late night host created his own super PAC, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" and partnered up with Trevor Potter, who served as general counsel to Sen. John McCain in 2000 and 2008. Colbert's take on super PACs actually resulted in a poll that showed more citizens were educated about the truth behind super PACs because of The Colbert Report than by cable news.
The Importance Of Satire
Colbert's stint as host of The Colbert Report educated many viewers about not always trusting those in positions of power. Colbert played a right-wing pundit to the extreme, but the messages and delivery present his performance were not far off from many pundits and politicians we see today. Like Jon Stewart, he has educated millions of viewers to be more watchful of the media's spin on important issues and allowed us to cut through all the nonsense.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert premieres Tuesday at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.