- Rolling Stone: Many people think you're the exact opposite of the character you play, but is there a degree to which part of you is what you make fun of in your character?
- Stephen Colbert: Absolutely, and it does not matter to me if people can tell which is which. I enjoy stepping over the line. I was overjoyed by the Ohio State University study that said conservatives and liberals not only enjoy my show equally but are each likely to think that I am on their side. That was an unexpected victory on my behalf. From the beginning of the show, I very much wanted to add a degree of veracity to my character, even though he's incredibly overblown and over-the-top. I think it's completely visible when I don't mean it. But occasionally I do mean it, and that helps with the confusion.
- RS: What are some of the things the character says that you also believe?
- SC: I've had guests who come on to put forth their argument through a book – liberal, anti-Bush-administration screeds and I have enjoyed standing toe-to-toe with them. Not always because I disagree with what they're saying, but because I don't enjoy how facile their argument is and how it is based upon dislike rather than argument. But sometimes I just blanketly disagree with the liberal position of my guest, and it gives me great joy and great juice to do the interview.
- The interviews are my favorite thing to do on the show now. I have my plan, and I have three or four questions I know I'm going to ask, but generally speaking, I'm trying to pay attention to what they're doing so that I can ignorantly deconstruct their argument.
- RS: A lot of people view what you do as liberal versus conservative. But what you're saying is that the show is really about people who are flexible in their beliefs versus those who are fixed in their beliefs?
- SC: If there's a target in our present society, it's people not willing to change their minds. If you're not willing to change your mind about anything, given how much is changing and how the sands are shifting underneath our feet, then that dishonesty is certainly worthy of a joke or two.
last night i went to a graduation trip to disneyland and all the seniors were in california adventure watching a world of color show that was designed specifically for us, so there were a ton of clips of parents from disney with their kids, and there was a whole montage dedicated to simba and mufasa, and at one point the water stopped and all the lights turned off, and all you hear is simba say, “dad?” and in unison all the seniors yell “NO”