I am tangentially obsessed with Stephen Colbert. I’ve never really watched Colbert Report (except for the week he interviewed The Hobbit actors), nor have I read any of his parody books. But. I kind of circle his existence, watching a video clip here, noting a passing fact (he teaches Sunday School) there. He seems like a hilarious and decent human being, which is enough to make me slow down whenever I pass a magazine with him on the cover.
That was a very long introduction to say: I read Rogak’s biography of Stephen Colbert (the person, but also sometimes the character), and I can feel the obsession deepening. I mean, why would I spend 260 pages reading about the conception and execution of a show I have never really watched? Because Stephen Colbert is a fascinating individual who is both pompous and humble, hilarious and sincere, self-obsessed and family-focused. Of course, this because Stephen Colbert (decent human being) plays Stephen Colbert (patriotic idiot). I love them both, and all iterations between.
While I enjoyed reading about The Daily Show and Colbert Report, I was much more interested in the earlier chapters, covering his years as a child and teenager. Once his career overshadowed his family life (in the biography, if not in real life), I found myself wanting more personal information. I loved reading about his siblings, his amazing parents, his tragedy, his bullied years, his escape into fantasy, and his discovery of humor as a defense mechanism.
Now I need to fill in my Colbert gaps and watch everything he’s ever done.
No other comedian can generate headlines today the way Stephen Colbert can. With his appearance at a Congressional hearing, his rally in Washington, D.C., his bestselling book, his creation of the now-accepted word truthiness, and of course his popular TV show, nearly everyone (except the poor Congressional fools who agree to be interviewed on his show) has heard of him.
Yet all these things are part of a character also named Stephen Colbert. Who is he really? In And Nothing but the Truthiness, biographer Lisa Rogak examines the man behind the character. She reveals the roots of his humor, growing up as the youngest of eleven siblings, and the tragedy that forever altered the family. She charts his early years earning his chops first as a series acting student and later a budding improv comic, especially his close connection with Amy Sedaris, which led to the cult TV show Strangers with Candy. And Rogak offers a look inside how The Daily Show works, and the exclusive bond that Colbert and Jon Stewart formed that would lead to Colbert’s own rise to celebrity.
A behind-the-scenes look into the world of one of the biggest comedians in America, And Nothing but the Truthiness is an illuminating read for any resident of Colbert Nation.
Release Date: October 2011