78 Quotes of Stephen Colbert

” Thankfully, dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. “
” I have a mug that actually verifies that I’m the world’s best dad. That’s a mug. That’s not me talking. You can’t just buy those. “
” Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the furthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness: a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say ‘no.’ But saying ‘yes’ begins things. Saying ‘yes’ is how things grow. “
” When my car runs out of gas, I buy a new one. I don’t want to ride around in a quitter. “
” Northwestern’s alumni list is truly impressive. This university has graduated best-selling authors, Olympians, presidential candidates, Grammy winners, Peabody winners, Emmy winners, and that’s just me! “
” If you love friends, you will serve your friends. If you love community, you will serve your community. If you love money, you will serve your money. And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself. And you will have only yourself. “
” I’m a junkie for exhaustion, and I’m a junkie for setting up my expectations too high and then trying to meet them. “
” In order to be a top-tier candidate, I need 7.5 million dollars, and I currently have 0.0 million dollars. “
” I heard that after you throw away a ‘New York Times,’ it takes over a hundred years for the lies to biodegrade. “
” I believe gender is a spectrum, and I fall somewhere between Channing Tatum and Winnie the Pooh. “
” My father always wanted to be ‘Col-bear.’ He lived in the same town as his father, and his father didn’t like the idea of the name with the French pronunciation. So my father said to us, ‘Do what you want. You’re not going to offend anybody.’ And he was dead long before I made my decision. “
” In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant. One motto on the show is, ‘Keep your facts, I’m going with the truth.’ “
” Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It’s certainty. “
” I like to do things that are publicly embarrassing, to feel the embarrassment touch me and sink into me and then be gone. I like getting on elevators and singing too loudly in that small space. The feeling you feel is almost like a vapor. The discomfort and the wishing that it would end that comes around you. “
” I would say laughter is the best medicine. But it’s more than that. It’s an entire regime of antibiotics and steroids. Laughter brings the swelling down on our national psyche and then applies an antibiotic cream. You gotta keep it away from your eyes. “
” Reality has a well-known liberal bias. “
” It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that’s not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. “
” In the media age, everybody was famous for 15 minutes. In the Wikipedia age, everybody can be an expert in five minutes. Special bonus: You can edit your own entry to make yourself seem even smarter. “
” I don’t accept the status quo. I do accept Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. “
” Who really wants to be themselves when they’re teenagers? “
” I used to write things for friends. There was this girl I had a crush on, and she had a teacher she didn’t like at school. I had a real crush on her, so almost every day I would write her a little short story where she would kill him in a different way. “
” I love being onstage. I love the relationship with the audience. I love the letting go, the sense of discovery, the improvising. “
” Late-night shows are ‘Chopped.’ Who are your guests tonight? Your guests tonight are veal tongue, coffee grounds and gummy bears. There, make a show … Make an appetizer that appeals to millions of people. That’s what I like. How could you possibly do it? Oh, you bring in your own flavors. Your own house band is another flavor. “
” I can’t prove it, but I can say it. “
” I not only loved studying theater, I loved being a theater major. It gave me an excuse to brood, to grow a beard, to wear black ‘at’ people. I didn’t just want to play Hamlet, I wanted to be Hamlet. “
” Isn’t an agnostic just an atheist without balls? “
” Use the word ‘zeitgeist’ as often as possible. Ideally, you want to find words that sound familiar but people don’t really know their definitions: ‘zeitgeist,’ ‘bildungsroman,’ ‘doppelganger’ – better yet, anything Latin. But avoid ‘paradigm.’ It’s so 1994. If you say the word ‘paradigm,’ everybody knows you’re a poser. “
” Don’t be afraid to make things up. Never fear being exposed as a fraud. Experts make things up all the time. They’re qualified to. “
” I’m a satirist, so I’ve got boxing gloves on if the person is worthy of satire. But I’m not an assassin. If that ever happens, it’s only because something happened during the interview that got me going, and then I had to translate my feelings to the mouth of the character. “
” I do love my country. I don’t think I’m particularly a good American. I don’t know what makes a good American. Other than somebody who – I like people who let other people alone. I think that’s a pretty good American. And I keep my hands to myself. So I’m an OK American. “
” I used to make up stuff in my bio all the time, that I used to be a professional ice-skater and stuff like that. I found it so inspirational. Why not make myself cooler than I am? “
” You can’t really be passionately moderate. It’s like wearing an ‘Extra Medium’ – it doesn’t exist. “
” I have a doctorate in fine arts from Knox College in Illinois. All I did was give a speech, and now everybody has to call me Dr. Colbert. “
” I started off at the Second City in Chicago… It’s an improvisational theater that ostensibly does social and political satire, but when I was there, we generally didn’t. We did character work, and we did just the silliest things we could think of. We weren’t all that concerned with, you know, changing the world through mime. “
” Shamelessness is a wonderful part of the character. “
” Status is always ripe for satire, status is always good for comedy. “
” I’m not here to affect you politically or socially. I’m here to make you laugh. I use the news as the palette for my jokes. “
” Make no mistake: I love women. I’m married to one, I was birthed by one, and I played one in my high school production of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ No one else could fit into the bodice. “
” If you don’t give power to the words that people throw at you to hurt you, they don’t hurt you anymore. And you actually have power over those people. “
” The truthiness is, anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news ‘at’ you. “
” The trouble with the jokes is that once they’re written, I know how they’re supposed to work, and all I can do is not hit them. I’m more comfortable improvising. If I have just two or three ideas and I know how the character feels, what the character wants, everything in between is like trapeze work. “
” Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead. I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth. “
” I liked comedy as a kid. When I was a kid, I’d go to sleep to, like, Bill Cosby albums every night. I’d listen to ‘Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow… Right!’ and ‘Wonderfulness,’ which are two of his most famous albums. Then the next night, I’d flip them over, ’cause it was the old stackable turntable. “
” The interesting thing about grief, I think, is that it is its own size. It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you. “
” There’s nothing wrong with being gay. I have plenty of friends who are going to hell. “
” I spent my first two years at a small all-male college in Virginia called Hampden-Sydney. That was like going to college 120 years ago. The languages, a year of rhetoric, all of the great books, Western Man courses, stuff like that. “
” I deliver my Truth hot and hard. “
” I’m very comfortable with uncomfortable situations, and I think that can seem odd to people, that I like the thrill of discomfort. “
” I don’t like books, they’re all fact, no heart. “
” I wrote things for the school’s newspaper, and – like all teenagers – I dabbled in poetry. “
” You shouldn’t listen to us at all if you’re looking for information. We don’t take ourselves seriously on any level; we’re just comedians. “
” I just think Rosa Parks was overrated. Last time I checked, she got famous for breaking the law. “
” I’m a huge news junkie. I love what the news does. “
” My brother Billy was the joke teller. My brother Jim had a really sharp, cutting wit. And the teller of long stories, that was my brother Ed. As a child, I just absorbed everything they said, and I was always in competition for the laughs. “
” My mom kind of led me toward acting. She wanted to be an actress when she was younger. That made me interested in it when I was a kid, because she and I are very close. “
” All I can do is today and tomorrow and have some idea of what we’re doing next week. That’s all I can worry about. “
” We have this idea in our minds that there’s this separation of church and state in America, which I think is a good thing. And we extend that to our politics – not just church and state, but it’s also there’s a separation of religion and politics. But of course there isn’t. “
” I’m an actor. I hate to blow everyone’s illusions. “
” I’ve been accused of being unambitious, but what I do takes up every minute. I’m executive producer, I’m a writer and the host. “
” If I had free time to go to Los Angeles to shoot a movie, I would rather spend it with my kids. “
” What the right-wing in the United States tries to do is undermine the press. “
” I have a morality. I don’t know if it’s the best morality. And I do like thinking. If people perceive that as a moral intellectualism, that’s fine. That’s up to them to decide. “
” There’s a degree of narcissism involved in anything in show business. I mean, you can’t do it without a healthy ego. Why would you want anybody to listen to you? “
” I look, absolutely, like I’m going to sell you insurance. “
” I’m not just a pundit – I’m a comedian. “
” The first time I met Jon Stewart was at the press conference that Comedy Central held to announce Jon would be the new host of ‘The Daily Show,’ which back then was not called ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.’ “
” My favorite off-camera memory of Jon Stewart is watching him jump from the second level of a tuna tower into the waters off Grand Cayman. “
” We are thrilled that Jon Batiste is joining ‘The Late Show’ family of products. For my money, nobody plays like Jon Batiste. And you can trust me, because it is my money. “
” When I got to ‘The Daily Show,’ they asked me to have a political opinion. It turned out that I had one, but I didn’t realize quite how liberal I was until I was asked to make passionate comedic choices as opposed to necessarily successful comedic choices. “
” I loved George Carlin and Dean Martin. I was one of those kids who had every comedy album. “
” I have tender feelings for Nixon because everybody has warm feelings about their childhood. Actually, I didn’t like the Watergate trials ’cause they interrupted ‘The Munsters.’ “
” I started as a straight actor. I’d go onstage, and I’d think, ‘Wow, this is the only thing I want to work really hard at. I will rehearse fifty times on a single scene; I don’t care – I’ll do it again.’ “
” I don’t perceive my role as a newsman at all. I’m a comedian from stem to stern. You can cut me open and count the rings of jokes. “
” I love ‘Sunday in the Park with George.’ I saw that when I was just, just starting theater school, and I remember singing ‘Finishing the Hat’ or at least reading the lyrics to ‘Finishing the Hat’ and other songs from ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ to my mom to try to explain why I wanted to be an artist. “
” The letters that say ‘I’m getting the messages you’re sending me through the television screen’ are not great. But those are few and far between, thank God. I get wonderful letters, and people send me artwork. “
” I am highly variable in my devotion. From a doctrinal point of view or a dogmatic point of view or a strictly Catholic adherent point of view, I’m first to say that I talk a good game, but I don’t know how good I am about it in practice. “
” I’m a simple man with a simple mind. I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. “
” That’s my parenting style – ‘Go watch the TV.’ I’m one of 11 children, and my mother’s parenting style was, ‘There’s the TV. Go watch it. Mommy’s got 10 other people to take care of.’ “