And that brings us to tonight’s WØRD: Truthiness

Five years ago today, Stephen Colbert hosted the very first ‘Colbert Report’, and introduced a word that he put in the show to represent giving people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument – Truthiness. This word has gone from being a quick throw away word to being listed in the New Oxford American Dictionary with Colbert explicitly credited as the one bringing the word into the lexicon.

Ben Zimmer of the New York Times has done a profile of the word Truthiness, including both the etymology of the word as well as some new perspectives on the influence of the word in our current political climate. When speaking with Colbert, Zimmer also brought new perspective on the naming of the Sanity/Fear event in DC:

Colbert, for his part, said that he’s amazed at how far truthiness has come. But as others have spread the word, he hasn’t felt the need to use it much himself. After Glenn Beck held a “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial, Colbert’s fans clamored for their own “Restoring Truthiness” event; Colbert has chosen instead to lead a “March to Keep Fear Alive” in Washington on Oct. 30. Truthiness, Colbert pointed out, is in no need of restoring, since it continues to define those who appeal to raw feelings at the expense of facts. “I doubt that many people in American politics are acting on the facts,” he observed ruefully. “Everybody on both sides is acting on the things that move them emotionally the most.”

So today, I give a Tip of the Hat to the word Truthiness, and to the longevity of the best show on television today, the ‘Colbert Report’ – cheers!

Tip of the Hat to Karenatasha for the NY Times link!


  1. Splendiferous_Zeppelin says:

    Oh God, five years?!??? Congratulations Stephen and cast! I remember when the show started, and how everyone was wondering, how is this going to last for more than ten episodes? Oh, if only they knew. And this particularly segment only gets better and better. He and his staff knew what they wanted to do from day one. What other show has a clearer thesis statement – no, make that thesis word – than this one? A great big SHOUT-OUT in honor of five years that have brought a great many people a great deal of joy.

  2. Happy five-year anniversary, “truthiness” and The Colbert Report! The world is a better, happier place with TCR in it. And here’s looking forward to the next five years. :)

  3. Congratulations! Mr. Colbert and the TCR Crew for a MASSIVE five years of Truthiness and laughter! Certainly, you have changed our world for the better!

  4. friedthing says:

    Yay, five years!! Congratulations Colbert Report folks! I hope you have an awesome party! (As a side note, I did have a cool anniversary project I was supposed to be finished with by today, but… I’m not. Eh, someday… or not.) Thanks for all the hard work; the show brings me (and zillions of other people) such crazy, crazy joy!!

    xox cheers *clink*

  5. Congratulations to Stephen and all the staff and crew of TCR for a fantastic 5 years! It’s been an amazing run, and I have to say the show really does seem to be going from strength to strength. :)

    By the way, if anyone would like to leave a message of congratulations on the forums, I’ve set up a thread for that purpose:

    Here’s hoping the show runs for many more years to come!

  6. pkyoubuggin says:

    Happy Anniversary to Mr. Colbert, The Colbert Report, and TCR staff. It is hard to believe this show has been on 5 years; but I absolutely rely on it, and I thank you, Stephen, for keeping the Joy Machine running all this time.
    The Nation is always pulling for you! You are the best at your craft, and this show is the best on television, hands down.

  7. Happy Anniversary, Colbert Report! *balloon drop* *champagne glass clink*

    Thank you for bringing us 5 wonderful years of love, laughter, and happiness, and here’s to 5 more!

  8. Karenatasha says:

    Five years–wow. I have to admit, I did not start watching it for a few years. There are still eps from the past I have to see! But I became a dedicated viewer from the moment I saw my first TCR.

    I have seen the “Truthiness” word clip before, but thanks for posting it! It just never, ever gets old. The sad thing: it’s as true today as it was back then.

    Oy–my recaptcha is super hard to read!

  9. riftcanyondreams says:

    Congratulations Stephen and the whole Report crew, and thanks for 5 years of this fantastic show. Keep spreading truthiness and joy!

    I’m proud to be a member of the Colbert Nation. :)

  10. Happy Anniversay to Stephen and the entire TCR staff. Thank you for an amazing five years of laughter. Looking forward to another 5 years.

  11. I owe so much to this show, especially the amazing friends I’ve made over the past 5 years. Happy Anniversary, TCR.!

  12. Thankyou so much Stephen and TCR staff for making me smile, seemingly simple or dispensable but actually so important – I treasure the laughter you bring me.

  13. I actually can’t believe it’s been ONLY five years. Stephen has become such an important part of my day-to-day life it’s hard to imagine a time when he wasn’t!

    Happy Birthday, Colbert Report!

  14. lockhart43 says:

    *massive balloon drop*

    Happy 5th Anniversary TCR! Big congrats to Stephen, the writers, and the crew on taking what could have been your basic, run-of-the-mill show, and turning it into not only an incredibly successful piece of satire, but a work of art. I can’t imagine my life without TCR, and I’m so grateful for all the laughter it brings me every day. :D

  15. Congratulations and many thanks to Stephen and his entire crew for bringing us Truthiness, joy, and magnificent satire over 5 wonderful years. Here’s to many more!

  16. MaryLovesColbert says:

    I couldn’t log in yesterday, so this is late, but….Happy Anniversary to Mr. Colbert and the entire TCR staff! Five years, wow. Seems like it was only yesterday that I found this awesome show and this awesome site. As other people have mentioned, I owe this show so much..amazing friends and so many laughs. Keep up the great work, guys!

  17. RustyBucket says:

    There once was a boy from Charleston, Carolina
    Who wanted to do * something *, sorta, kinda.
    So he dropped the accent, and the hard “T”
    And hopped on a flight to the Windy City.

    He entered the THe-A-Tur to star on the Stage
    Hoping to be the Lankiest Hamlet of the Age
    But then the Furies sent him Paul and Amy
    Who said “F**k the Bard, baby. Embrace the Crazy”.

    At first he resisted!
    NO! I want to be serious!
    A couple nights at Second City,
    And the laughter made him dizzy.

    So as Shakespeare was dusty and old,
    And let’s face it: Chicago gets f**king cold,
    He got on a plane bound for the East Coast,
    To be the correspondent for a new Daily Show host.

    Oh the Joys of those times, such mirth to be seen
    With Sasquatch, Ted Hitler, and the God Machine
    We saw bananas, licked desks, and impaled baseball bats,
    Hell, Pet Sedentary, Geraldo and weight lifting cats.

    Now that his comedic prowess began to grow,
    It was now time for him to move to his own show.
    Truthiness, he coined on the very first day.
    Universal acceptance! Could it be any other way?

    So he spent the first year getting named for things
    Like bridges and aeroplanes and asteroid rings
    Then, in what must have been some kind of mistake,
    He was invited to the Bush White House, for a bit o’ steak.

    Now I had never heard of this man before,
    But when he started talking, my jaw hit the floor.
    With poetic structure, and searing like the bite of gin,
    Our very own Marc Antony, proceeded to bury him.

    From that moment on, he was on the map.
    And whoa the Press Corps sure didn’t like that!
    “Oh he’s not funny!!!”, they tried to opine,
    While the rest of us asked if they’d like cheese with that whine.

    The Gifts and Glories began to pour in.
    A toilet on the space station – no wait, a treadmill
    Psuedo-portraits hanging in the Smithsonian
    Some Elf-movie sword, and genuine armor of a Centurion.

    He got into mock-battles with his ex boss,
    (By the way, it’s been awhile since the last Toss)
    Fights with Conan, and Dances with Rain
    (Dear Stephen, please don’t do that again)

    Now, he’s a bit clumsy, we will all admit,
    What with stitches on his face, and a broken wrist
    But he manages to accomplish great charitable feats
    From the fact he does NOT land on his own two feets.

    We honor you for reaching the First Five,
    And know that Stewbug swells with pride.
    We look forward to another Five Years of Wit.
    Cuz we’ll be depressed as hell if you decide to quit.

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