The character of Stephen Colbert contains exactly 13.4 percent of the real Stephen Colbert.
At least that’s what Stephen Colbert — the real, Emmy-winning, Second City-bred actor-comedian — told the audience at Thursday night’s New York Comedy Festival panel discussion featuring him and his writers on The Colbert Report. Fans crowded into Town Hall in New York City to hear the man behind the political satirist and one-time presidential nominee share how the writing team works to produce a topical show every night, and how he separates his character from himself.
“He’s very dumb, and it’s an aggressive dumbness,” Colbert said. “You have to drive backwards at every joke.”
Flanked on both sides by 17 members of his writing team on stage, Colbert took questions from the audience, with many asking why only one writer on stage — Meredith Scardino — was female. Scardino responded by asking how the fan knew she was a woman, but Colbert took the serious route. “I don’t know why. We don’t go out there and say, ‘Give me men!’… I don’t look at the name on the packet when I first read it, because I just want to see what it is, I’m just trying to see if it’s making me laugh,” he said, explaining how he went about hiring new writers. “I don’t get the stats on that. It’d be wonderful to have a diverse writing staff, and I’m very lucky to have this staff.”
The rest of the night saw the panel unveiling anecdotes about their pitching meetings, how they approach guests, and what happens when Colbert breaks character. Below, we’ve picked out ten gems the team revealed: READ FULL STORY