I’ve been a fan of Playboy’s interviews since my youth when I would steal my father’s magazines and read them (yes, for the interviews — not the pictures). My only hope is that one day I’ll work for Playboy (yes, as an interviewer, not as a centerfold). And since I also love Stephen Colbert, it was quite a nice surprise to see him featured in the November issue. Read some choice excerpts below, and read the full article by clicking HERE.
On his right-wing counterparts
Take Mr. Bill O’Reilly. He was a perfectly lovely guest, but he wouldn’t be his personality. He wasn’t an unpleasant person. I have no complaints other than the fact that I booked Bill O’Reilly and I got William O’Reilly.”
On human behavior
“I’m surprised there aren’t more unbalanced people in the world, because being alive is not easy. We’re just not that nice to one another. We’re all we have, and Jesus, are we sh*tty to one another. We really are.”
On his friendship with Jon Stewart
“I would say the thing that has kept me from being as good a friend to Jon as I would like is just that I’m such a fan. I am gobsmacked by his abilities. But that being said, we go out to dinner, and we sometimes pick up the phone just to say, ‘How are you?’ Or, ‘Do you mind if I tell you how I am? I had a shitty week.’”
“I suppose fear is like a drug. A little bit isn’t that bad, but you can get addicted to the consumption and distribution of it. What’s evil is the purposeful distribution of fear … If you’re injecting fear into other people, then you’re trying to kill their minds. You’re trying to get them to stop thinking … Fear is an attempt to impose tyranny over someone’s mind. It’s an act of oppression.”
On the death of his father and brother (in a plane crash when Colbert was 10)
“Any curiosity I have probably comes from my dad. He was a big thinker, a true intellectual. His idea of a good time was to read French philosophy, often French Christian philosophy”
“It’s just as keen but not as present. But it will always accept the invitation. Grief will always accept the invitation to appear. It’s got plenty of time for you … I’ve always liked that phrase He was visited by grief, because that’s really what it is.
On his teenage science fiction fandom
“In some ways it was about escape. I think there’s absolute truth in escaping the reality of your present predicament. And that can just be about being young. It doesn’t have to be a tragedy. There’s a tragedy to being 13. Things are changing. Friends are changing. Your body is changing. You need to escape that. My additional emotional crises don’t necessarily explain my interest in it.”