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TDS Rewatch2003.09.30 | First The Colbert Réport ‘commercial’

Fittingly, “The Colbert Report” itself began as a joke of sorts. In 2003 “The Daily Show,” on which Colbert was a regular, began running brief commercials for something called “The Colbert Réport,” which promised to drive “straight past the issues.” The show didn’t exist, nor at the time were there any plans for it. These bits were mostly just a jab at O’Reilly. But in 2005 Stewart persuaded Comedy Central to think about doing the show for real and Colbert was given an eight-week tryout, which proved so successful that “The Colbert Report,” minus the French accent, quickly became a fixture in the late-night lineup. NYtimes