Comedians in politics – Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert got famous playing a fictional character named Stephen Colbert, who plays a parody of televised conservative political pundits. Which sounds confusing, but it’s all so much more than that! He has over the years, been a significant part of three shows – ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’, ‘The Colbert Report’ and most recently, ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’. Through his years of being a political comedian, he has done a huge amount for American politics, in particular.

Stephen ColbertIn the Colbert Report, he plays his fictional alter ego, who uses his ridiculous irrational extremist theories to eventually lead on to a logical conclusion. During his ten years on the show, he used his comedic genius to really make a mark on American politics. His show had various segments such as the “Word”, “Better Know a District” and so on. In his Better Know a District series, he interviewed various representatives of districts in America, and he would inevitably make them stumble in the interview and say something that might get them into trouble, but is hilarious to watch. In 2009, he took his show to Baghdad for a week to cover the Iraq War, after which he was a passionate voice for the improvement of the lives of the troops and their families.

Probably his most maverick move yet was his run for the President of the United States, on both major party tickets, in both 2008 and 2012, as the character Stephen Colbert. This move was essentially to prove how easy it is to stand for President, or to misuse electoral funding. Subsequently, Colbert began hosting The Late Show. This show provides a more political approach as compared to its predecessor, The Late Show with David Letterman, or its competition, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In this show, he talks about all the important news in the United States, although it has been largely focused on the US Election.

He doesn’t feed into pop culture as much as his competition, and will have a movie star on his show as one of his guests, but his other guest will almost always be a significant figure in some other field – sports, politics, international relations, science, social networking, you name it. He also uses his show to occasionally promote the charity donorschoose.org which is focused on education. Regardless of whether he’s playing a character or a real person, Stephen Colbert has left a indelible mark on political news and satire.

Neha Prasad

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