Cultural impact of The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report, which premiered in American cable television on October 17, 2005, has had a massive cultural impact since its inception, when the show introduced the word "truthiness". Issues in and references to American and world culture are attributed to the character played by Stephen Colbert, who calls his followers the Colbert Nation. The Colbert Report is a late-night talk and news satire television program hosted by Stephen Colbert that aired on Comedy Central from October 17, 2005 to December 18, 2014 for 1,447 episodes. The show focused on a fictional anchorman character named Stephen Colbert, played by his real-life namesake. The character, described by Colbert as a "well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot", is a caricature of televised political pundits. Furthermore, the show satirized conservative personality-driven political talk programs, particularly Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. The Colbert Report is a spin-off of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, where he acted as a correspondent for the program for several years while developing the character.
The program was created by Colbert, Jon Stewart, and Ben Karlin. The show's writing was grounded in improvisation, and often lampooned current events stories. The show's structure also included a guest interview, in which the Colbert character attempts to deconstruct his opponent's argument. The show was taped in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, and the program's set is "hyper-American," epitomizing the character's ego. The show was taped and broadcast Monday through Thursday, with weeks taken off at multiple points in a given year for breaks. The Colbert Report saw immediate critical and ratings successes, leading to various awards, including two prestigious Peabody Awards. The show's cultural influence—which occasionally would require a fair degree of participation from the show’s audience, dubbed the "Colbert Nation"—extended beyond the program a number of times. This impact included the character running for U.S. President twice, co-hosting a rally at the National Mall, presenting a controversial performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and establishing a real Super PAC that raised a million dollars. In addition, the show inspired various forms of multimedia, including music and multiple best-selling books.