Once upon a time, politics was so boring that merely flipping on CSPAN was a neo-Kevorkian enterprise that generally resulted in someone becoming so borderline-comatose that they were often-times forced to violently insert silverware into their eyes just to make sure they were still registering brain activity. Those were the dark days, back before a massive, earth-rending behemoth of uni-partisan political reporting named Stephen Colbert came around and rocked the faces off of everything with a pulse, shoving ten tons of political commentary up Americans' urethras with all the delicacy of a guy having his spleen assaulted with a vicious Fusion-Powered Jackhammer of Spleen Annihilation +4, and generally just making the entire political landscape of America his prison bitch.
Nobody really knows where this epic, unstoppable Juggernaut of Punditry originated from, or indeed even whether he was born to human parents or just crash-landed on Earth after the destruction of the Planet Colbertron. I'm told that he was apparently in some stuff before his role in the excellently-bitchin' cult hit Strangers with Candy, but I don't really know anything about that and can't be bothered to look into it right now. After SwC he went on to portray a marginally less effeminate character, serving as a voice for one member of SNL's relentlessly-fierce Ambiguously Gay Duo, and then worked as a news correspondent on the Daily Show for a while. It was only after he finally managed to liberate himself from the fetters of Jon Stewart's tyranny, however, that he truly began to demonstrate his awesomeness in all of its righteous, pinko-eviscerating glory. On his cable television program The Colbert Report Stephen really found his niche as a relentless smiter of other peoples' nutsacks, as he began to verbally tear new metaphorical assholes for everything from Communist sympathizers and bullshit Wikipedia entries to cities named Canton and any godless man-eating bears not currently getting their faces wrecked by Tom Wanyandie.
His service to our country did not go unappreciated, not only in our nation and across the globe, but even by people who traditionally hate America (i.e. liberals). In just six seasons of his program, this Paragon of Americana (Amerigona?) has been knighted by the Queen of Jordan, personally issued a Hungarian passport by the country's U.S. Ambassador, coined a half-dozen new words, sang a duet with Barry Manilow, had a holiday dedicated in his honor in the city of Oshawa, Ontario, and had an excellently-stoic portrait of himself placed in the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. He also briefly attempted to run for President (but apparently got bored and decided to say, "fuck it"), presented at three Emmy Awards ceremonies, traveled to Iraq, became the first TV show host to produce a week's worth of shows in the middle of a raging combat zone, and had his head shaved by the Commanding General of Operation Iraqi Freedom on orders from the President of the United States.
Colbert also has a particularly interesting/badass habit of lending his name to a bizarre menagerie of face-gnawing carnivorous beasts as well. In addition to the hockey mascot Steagle Cobeagle, various iterations of the Colbert name have been attributed to everything from turtles and bald eagles to a crazy nymphomanaical falcon named Esteban whose primary claim to fame is that he lives in downtown San Jose, eats pigeons, and has gets freaky with all the girl falcons he meets. Stephen has also had two new species of animals named after him – a trapdoor spider and some weirdo variety of trogloditic beetle which, according to the news article, sports, "extremely complicated genitalia". He also has an eponymous gourmet variety of ice cream that costs like fifteen bucks a pint, and was totally jobbed out of having his name on a wing of the Space Station and a state-of-the-art bridge in Hungary.
Stephen has a pretty decent relationship with outer space, which is also pretty sweet to the max gonzo. Not only does Colbert have a fully-armed-and-operational space station treadmill named after him, but he also basically impregnated the galaxy when his DNA was launched out of a space shuttle a couple months ago. Not a whole lot of people can claim that their genetic material once traveled so fast that it achieved escape velocity, or that it could potentially be used to repopulate the planet Earth after we as humans finally sack up and blow ourselves directly into Hell with a few billion metric fucktons of nuclear material.
Some mention must also be made of Stizzle Cobizzle's über-mecha controversial appearance at the White House Press Correspondent's dinner in 2006, where basically he went into a room, stood a few feet away from the President, the First Lady, and a bunch of high-ranking politicians, celebrities and press members, and uncompromisingly mocked the hell out of all of them. Now, I don't care who you are or what your political leanings may be (I generally make an attempt to remain as a-political as possible here at Badass of the Week, albeit admittedly I sometimes achieve that goal with varying degrees of effectiveness), but I think everybody can agree that talking massive amounts of shit about powerful people right to their faces takes a radioactive set of adamantium-plated balls the likes of which few can ever hope to have an opportunity to display. Democrats, Republicans, the media, members of the Ursidae family, and pretty much everybody else got totally pissed off, crushed soda cans on their foreheads with enough force to crumple aluminum, and started talking all this vitriolic smack about how Colbert was a total dick (something which, in my opinion at least, was kind of the point of the entire exercise to begin with). I mean, any time you give a talk somewhere and the guy who asked you to speak ends up getting fired because of it, that's kind of awesome. The speech did win Spike TV's award for "Gutsiest Move of 2006", which I guess is as impressive as things can get when you're talking about something like Spike TV.
Perhaps one of the most badass aspects of Colbert, however, is the now-legendary "Colbert Bump", where he can basically get tons of media exposure for anybody, anywhere, at any time and for any reason he desires. So, say for instance (and this is purely a hypothetical situation, mind you) that you're a relatively unknown author, but you've written a pretty interesting book that's being released in stores across North America in, say, four days. Basically, all this guy needs to do is sit across a wood table from you, cock his eyebrow like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson asking people whether or not they can smell what he may or may not be cooking, jab a finger in your direction and threateningly demand why you "hate America", and the next thing you know you're sitting on a beach in Mykonos having Greek bellydancers pour Ouzo smoothies in your mouth while you think about how great it is not to spend eight hours a day hunched over a desk trying to figure out why the hell your stupid computer locks up every time you try to sort your Sent Items folder in Microsoft Outlook. This guy is like King Midas with hair gel. He's given the bump to everyone from politicians to actors, his own book was number one on the New York Times Bestseller list for 29 weeks, and the book he co-wrote with the Daily Show folks held that prestigious honor for an additional 15. It's kind of like he eats Macbooks and craps out bestsellers, which rocks. He's also won enough Emmies, Peabodies, CableACEs, and god knows whatever the hell else that he could melt all that shit down, build a fifty-foot android of himself, and send the thing out to wreak havoc on Western civilization (which would be completely rad, by the way).
However, despite all of these sufficiently-badass details, any kind of bizarre, freaky hero-worship I may attempt to display on this website would pale in comparison to Stephen's own words, as described in the "About the Author" section of his bestselling book:
Stephen Colbert Is America.
Colbert DNA in Space
Colbert, Stephen. I Am America (And So Can You!). Grand Central, 2007.
The Complete List
About the Author