Amazing story behind Stephen Colbert’s recent “Americo-Roman regalia” outfit

Thanks to Milton H. and David S. for the tip! From the Austin American-Statesman (registration may be required):

Austinite forged ‘Patriot Armor’ for Stephen Colbert
The talk show host wore it on the June 7 show
By Joel Weickgenant
Special to the American-Statesman
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Like any good, if semi-fictional patriot, Stephen Colbert wants to show his colors.

So when Cullen Murphy, author of “Are We Rome?,” paid the Comedy Central talk show host a visit last Thursday to discuss whether this country resembles the Roman Empire, Colbert donned the Breastplate of Truthiness and interviewed the author in full Americo-Roman regalia.

“He veni, he vidi, but I vici,” declared Colbert just before making the transformation from well-coiffured host to neo-centurion.

The “Patriot Armor” worn by Colbert during the interview is the work of Austin artisan Matt Poitras, who makes a living selling handcrafted armor — based often on hit movies such as the recent blockbuster “300” — through his business, MP Filmcraft.

Poitras says the idea to make the armor came from discussing Colbert’s television persona with his roommate earlier this year.

“There’s an episode where you see him wielding a light saber over a blue screen,” says Poitras, whose first big-selling items were based on the “Star Wars” movie franchise. “There’s mascots named after him. People do things in his name” and Colbert features them on his show, Poitras says. “It’s all part of his persona.”

Colbert’s staff routinely sift through props, costumes or memorabilia sent by admirers.

“It happens all the time,” says Antonia Xereas, a stylist for Colbert. “People send in ties with eagles or bears. Somebody sent in an end table with an inlaid eagle.

“There have been a couple things that are really amazing.”

There’s amazing; then there’s the Patriot Armor.

The outfit includes a shaped-leather breastplate emblazoned with an eagle, lions and “Truthiness” insignia; epaulets attached to hinges that hold a red-and-white cape, framing the clean pale blue of the cloth; and a constellation of stars, decorative leather straps and tassels.

“(Colbert) fell in love with it. He wore it around the office for half a day,” Xereas says. “He was just excited that someone would go through the process and put so much thought in something they sent.”

Full text of article

And in case you missed that particular bit on the show, here’s a video.


  1. That picture will be the death of me! :lol:

  2. imoldfashioned says:

    Gah! Me too TraceyUK–bare feet!

  3. Ms Interpreted says:

    “(Colbert) fell in love with it. He wore it around the office for half a day . . .”


  4. Oh my God that’s so cool! I too am loling at the idea of him walking around the office in it hahahaha! I had been so curious about it so this was really interesting to read.

  5. Wow, I assumed it was from a costume shop. I’m amazed that the outfit was custom made for him. There’s a lot of love for Stephen out there in the Colbert Nation. (Rightly so!)

  6. Gaia Faye says:

    I actually didn’t notice the colors on the cape before and how it’s all basically red, white, and blue. Sheesh, I need to pay more attention.

  7. Hard to look at the cape when there are so many other areas to oogle :-)

  8. bowlofpetunias says:

    The Patriot Armor may appear on-screen again, Xereas says. Poitras is busy finishing a helmet for the ensemble.

    I can only hope. How awesome would that be?

  9. “(Colbert) fell in love with it. He wore it around the office for half a day,”

    Aha, that’s too great.

  10. barenjager says:

    I am more determined than ever to finish the Zulu Warrior Chief costume I’ve been working on.

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