Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. He is best known for hosting the satirical Comedy Central program The Colbert Report from 2005 to 2014 and the CBS talk program The Late Show with Stephen Colbert beginning in September 2015.
Colbert originally studied to be a dramatic actor, but became interested in improvisational theater while attending Northwestern University, where he met Second City director Del Close. Colbert first performed professionally as an understudy for Steve Carell at Second City Chicago, where his troupe mates included Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris, comedians with whom he developed the sketch comedy series Exit 57. He wrote and performed on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show before collaborating with Sedaris and Dinello again on the cult television series Strangers with Candy. He gained attention for his role on the latter as closeted gay history teacher Chuck Noblet.
Colbert's work as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news-parody series The Daily Show gained him wide recognition. In 2005, he left The Daily Show to host The Colbert Report.