The Truth Behind Stephen Colbert’s Broken Wrist: Injury on the set of “The Colbert Report”



Nation, special alert!! I just received this clip a few seconds ago from an anonymous post-production intern named Justin at Stephen’s studio, and you won’t even believe your eyes when you see it. Believe my eyes for a second though, because what I saw might go down as the Zapruder film of American hero injuries. Apparently this footage is from last night’s show, when Stephen was amping up the crowd before he did his reports. If you have a week stomach, do not watch this. Personally I have a weak stomach, but I just ate, so I felt like it balances itself out. Oh man! I hope Stephen is OK. Check it out!

It’s been rumored that Stephen might possibly get a cast, so if Avery is posting this, maybe he got the cast. We’ll find out in about six minutes.

UPDATE: Well, Nation, it’s a sad day; Stephen really did need to get that cast. Stephen Colbert has, in fact, broken a bone and is now wearing a cast on his left wrist. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope everything mends beautifully. (By the way, Stephen . . . it’s “break a leg,” you know, not a wrist.)

For those of you who are curious, that video of Stephen falling is not actually from last night. The actual date of Stephen’s wrist injury, so far as we can tell from taping reports of people who were in attendance at the time of Stephen’s fall, was June 21st. You may remember a comment that Stephen made at the beginning of the episode on June 21st where he said he was nothing if not light on his feet, and if anyone in the audience was an osteopath to see him after the show. He was referring to this fall.

Here’s an eyewitness account of what happened, from Laaura, one of the Colboard members:

He came running out, as he usually does I assume, and as soon as I got a glimpse of him I was definitely like, “Holy s@#t! It’s Stephen Colbert!” He runs around the back of his desk, and as he is running and basically going to step down from the platform his desk is up on, he just slips, as if on a banana peel, and he falls backwards right on his @ss, yet he also managed to catch himself with his hands a little bit.

I seriously could not believe that he fell. I was just laughing and was shocked like “Is he alright?” He laid there on the floor for a little bit just laughing at himself it seemed and he also seemed a bit shocked himself that he just wiped out. He then got up and staggered over to the front row and basically collapsed I think, in between my uncle and the girl Jess. Then he mangaged to maneuver himself so that his whole body was completely lying across the front row. …

As Stephen was laying there he was still laughing at himself it seemed and he asked if anyone had any questions and I said a couple times, “Are you alright? Are you alright?” Though I know that he totally couldn’t hear me. I then sort of reached over and touched his shoe while I was asking that. Completely psycho move, but I couldn’t contain myself, I guess I just wanted to touch the shoe that just made him wipeout. Haha.

When he finally managed to stand up he was all, “who was that who caught me? You have soft hands” …

More eyewitness accounts are available on the Colboards.

Get well soon, Stephen! – Ms I
What she said – DB

Update II (7/27/2007 8:59a CST)

Here’s the video from last night’s show, which includes Stephen’s narration of the event (“Whoo! This is going to be a great show! Whoo! Great show! Everybody get up for the show tonight! Whoo! What a great audience! Whoo! It’s gonna be the Colbert Nat…. Oh my God! Oooh, I’ve hurt my wrist very badly. Oh please, no one post this on YouTube!”). It’s been suggested a few different places that the reason that Stephen chose a Beyonce song for the music played during the fall is the fact that Beyonce took a nasty fall at a July 24th concert. The NME online reports:

Beyonce took a dramatic fall down a flight of stairs at her concert in Orlando, Florida yesterday (July 24).

The star was in the middle of performing a song when she tripped and fell head-first down several stairs, drawing gasps from the audience.

The singer, who was wearing high heels and a red trench coat, immediately picked herself back up and continued dancing and singing ‘Ring The Alarm’.

After the song, Beyonce quickly left the stage. She soon returned to continue the show, and joked with the audience, “Don’t put it on You Tube,” reports E! Online.

The audience didn’t comply with her request, as several videos of the incident have appeared on the site.

Update III (7/27/2007 4:00p CST)

The story has hit the AP wire (“Stephen Colbert Says He Broke Wrist on Set of TV Show Before Taping“). But the story got the date wrong.

From the article:

The host of “The Colbert Report” revealed on Thursday night’s show that he broke his left wrist while running around the New York studio before taping a recent episode. Colbert removed a large “No. 1” foam hand to unmask a small cast.

“I didn’t want to draw attention to it. I didn’t want to play on your sympathy,” Colbert said before dramatically grimacing.

The fall happened June 27, before the show went on a two-week hiatus, a spokesman for Comedy Central said Friday. Colbert, 43, was only recently fitted with a cast.

The accident happend on June 21, not the 27th, as witnessed by multiple attendees (mentioned above).


  1. oh no! :( i hopes he’s okay!

  2. Everyone seems to believe that Avery (and Stephen) aren’t really telling the truth here. Stephen hurt his wrist on June 21st, and (from what I know) a few people who were at the show that day claim that this is what they remember from a month ago. Either way, I hope he tries to be a bit more careful in the future. Poor guy.

  3. @ meaculpa:

    I heard those crazy bastards waited quite a while to greet their star after the show too. ;)

  4. That “they” did, DB. That they did. ;p

  5. I’m confused. Every time I’ve broken one of my limbs, I’ve waited around a week until I get my cast. It’s been over a month since he fell… why the hell didn’t he get one sooner? Just a thought. Perhaps I’ve just been getting mine freakishly early or something. I don’t know.

  6. @Katie

    Don’t quote me on this, but I think that if the injury is a hairline fracture, it can go unnoticed and become worse over time.

  7. He’s had the cast for awhile.

    I went to the show on 7/19, and he had it on for the toss, and then he took it off before he did the show. He made a comment about having “seriously broken his wrist.”

    I was going to wait for him after the show, but it ran long, and he came rushing out of the studio pretty quickly. I had a mini conversation with him from his car (he called out to me, as I was dejectedly walking away, what a nice guy), and he flashed his cast and did a couple pictures. It was great/so kind of him.

  8. @Marisa:

    I know he’s been wearing a brace almost since the first night that it happened, but I the plaster cast only went on yesterday, apparently.

  9. It does seem an inordinately long time between the
    time of his initial injury and getting the cast. I
    hope he wasn’t in a lot of pain before he got the cast. Anyway, I hope he’s not in pain now either. :(

  10. All that milk he drinks and he broke a bone? He better be happy that he wasn’t raised by my grandma because we had the “Walk It Off” and “Green Rubbing Alcohol or Mercurochome” Healthcare plans.

    He should let the audience sign his cast.

  11. Pobrecito Esteban! I guess he needed a plaster wrist cast because he was moving it around too much with the removable brace? You couldn’t tell from his frequent gestures on the show that he was injured. Such a trooper!

  12. Check out the Anthony Romero video again, he only uses his right hand to high-five the audience.

  13. @MC:

    I did notice that. Poor Stephen. That has got to suck.

  14. TheLakeEffect says:

    I just got back online. I had to find out about this from a newscrawl on a 24 hour news channel…

  15. I was in the audience on Thursday June 21st 2007, but I wasn’t in the front row. Yes that was definitely the night he broke his wrist and made the joke about asking if anyone in the audience was an osteopath. When the camera was off between segments, he was clearly in pain. I think he used an ice pack a few times. Everyone in the whole room was hoping it wasn’t serious but we found out later it was actually a broken wrist.

    Later reports said June 27, but that was a typo. I’m guessing that in someone’s handwriting a 1 looked like a 7.

    Your eyewitness is correct. It looked a lot like someone slipping on a banana peel and yes he did lie down across the laps of four or five people in the front row and stayed there for about a minute.

    • Thanks for the firsthand report, sbunny8! Hopefully you’ll come back and chat again. We’re a friendly bunch!

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