Stephen Colbert spent a decade successfully playing a TV pundit on a satirical news show. Now, just days before he takes over as host of CBS' "The Late Show," he told Mo Rocca he's happy he doesn't have to pretend to be someone else any more.
Colbert was so convincing playing conservative blowhard "Stephen Colbert" on Comedy Central's long-running "The Colbert Report," that many questions surrounding his move to CBS have revolved around figuring out exactly who he really is outside of the TV character.
"I mean, it's understandable -- I worked really hard to be that other guy for ten years," Colbert told Rocca in an interview to be broadcast on CBS' "Sunday Morning" September 6. "I hope they'll find out pretty quickly that the guy they saw for ten years was my sense of humor the whole time. I'm not just a pundit -- I'm a comedian.
"It is, I guess, flattering that people thought I was an actual pundit or a newsman, eventually, over the years. But it's really nice not to have to pretend it any more!"
Colbert, who begins hosting "The Late Show" on September 8, said his goal for the new show is to have fun with friends. "And that means sometimes talking about things that you care about. We're going to want to be talking about what's going on in the world."
Colbert talks with Rocca about his career, "The Late Show," and his childhood. The 51-year-old married father of three is the youngest of 11 children raised in Charleston, S.C. -- and one of Colbert's earliest memories was watching Johnny Carson with his sisters, Margo and Mary.
He also opens up about losing his father and two brothers in an airplane crash when he was just 10. Colbert said the incident changed his view of the world.
"Oh, it certainly gives you one step back from society or what is considered normality," Colbert said . "Because it's a shock to the system to lose your father and your brothers at that age. And school and friends and homework and that value system suddenly doesn't mean anything any more.
"And I think it really helps if you're doing comedy, or maybe even specifically doing satire, that what seems normal no longer has status."
The Emmy Award-winning "Sunday Morning," hosted by Charles Osgood, is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET/PT. Executive producer is Rand Morrison.
- GALLERY: Stephen Colbert
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