Is Stephen Colbert a liberal or a conservative?

Stephen Colbert - Liberal or Conservative
The question of whether Stephen Colbert is a liberal or a conservative is one that I’ve seen and heard asked more times than I can count. His deliberate fuzzing of the lines between Stephen Colbert, the actor, and “Stephen Colbert”, the pundit, make the distinction a harder one to draw than we sometimes credit.

Now, riding to the rescue of the confused and curious, we have an answer from none other than Stephen himself. According to this slideshow on the Huffington Post, Stephen gives us his definitive answer in the new book iSatiristas! (which Ann wrote about last month):

“There are times that my character’s ignorance of himself allows him to say liberal things or even hold liberal ideas without any knowledge of it. In reference to my character, he’s generally conservative… I myself sometimes agree with him. It doesn’t matter to me if my audience knows when that is, but I do sometimes agree with my character. But generally speaking, if you slap me across the face at three A.M. and say, ‘What are you?’ I’d say I’m a liberal.”


  1. lockhart43 says:

    I’ve known that he was liberal –though I like to think of him as a moderate liberal– but it’s nice to hear it from the man himself. :)

    There’s also a great quote from Stephen from an EW article in 2004 about the ’04 election: “Are you a Democrat?”
    “Listen, it’s a secret ballot. Yeah, I’m a Democrat. I’m not asking anybody to vote for Democrats or Republicans. I say everyone should vote for both candidates—except me. Just let me vote for Kerry. Then we’ll be fine. “

  2. MaryLovesColbert says:

    Hey! I just got this book for my birthday and I was glad to read this quote from him. I would have labeled him as a liberal, but it’s good to hear him say it. :)

  3. marleygirl84 says:

    My favorite moment of him speaking about his political beliefs was when he was on Janeane Garafalo’s radio show back in ’04 I think? He said that when he was a kid, his older siblings were always talking about politics to him and they were all anti-establishment liberal types, and he followed them. Then when they grew up they all turned conservative and he stayed the same. It was cute because he said that for them it was just a fad but he seemed to take it more seriously…..or something like that.

    I also remember reading an article once where he said he didn’t know just how liberal he was until he joined The Daily Show and Jon asked him to have a voice. It seems like before he started TCR he probably felt more defined but now he doesn’t really care about the labels of it as much, and he doesn’t mind blurring the lines.

    • Spoon At A Spork Fight says:

      Ooh, I’d love to hear the audio for that Garafolo interview. Help me, internets.

      I always liked the 2nd quote, too, about discovering his political leanings when he started TCR (and taking the most joy in blurring the lines, which I think is one of the philosophies of the show that makes it so much fun for everyone, since everyone likes to fancy themselves independent (and everyone likely has more independent “potential” than they realize, so yay).

  4. leorabk says:

    although it would be quite a sight to see i dont think i could ever bring myself to slapping stephen even if it meant him telling me he was a liberal!

    • Ms Interpreted says:

      See, if someone slapped me across the face at three A.M. and demanded to know what I was, my reply would probably be more along the lines of “incredibly P.O.ed that you just woke me up …”

      Well, that, or “terrified that there’s a stranger slapping me across the face at three A.M.” :)

      • leorabk says:

        hahhaha well i guess you have to train yourself to immediately respond with your political views ;D

      • Realistically, how about just a panicked “AAAAAaaaaaaaaaa!!!”

    • Karenatasha says:

      He’s the classic youngest child, who is usually more liberal than his/her older siblings. There have been many reasons advanced for this, but it seems to be true, generally. I know it is in my case.

      But interestingly, his father was probably what would have been called a “liberal” — or even left of that — for his stance on race. Especially in the south at the 50s and 60s. So there seems to be some level of liberalism in the family history.

  5. sydferret says:

    binary questions suck.

  6. damn! so wished he was republican.. oh well ill still watch and pretend

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