Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert has spent years developing his on-screen personality as a satirical version of a hardened red-meat conservative, much to the delight of his audience. But the comedian has stepped out of his conservative character in recent weeks to share his own political views and demonstrate the softer side of his real persona.
Colbert appeared at a Clinton Global Initiative event last weekend with former President Bill Clinton for a serious Q&A session. During the event, an audience member asked the famous comedian for his own views on philanthropy.
“I have a very Dickensian view of charity: widows and starving children,” Colbert said frankly. “I don’t know how to apply technology to that—but people who have no one to care for them. There are so many people, whether it’s sexual slavery, whether it’s—there are people who are abandoned. Abandoned people, individuals.”
Colbert added that if he did launch an initiative, “it would be something with child poverty or availability of food around the world.”
Colbert has also stepped out of his character both on and off the air to support his sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch in her South Carolina congressional race against former governor Mark Sanford.
Last Wednesday, the comedian publicly endorsed his sister on his show for her congressional race in South Carolina, explaining that he was inspired by MSNBC conservative host Joe Scarborough’s support of Sanford.
“Originally I wasn’t going to talk about this race on my nightly broadcast … but then I watched today’s ‘Coffee Joe Morning and the Funky Bunch,’” Colbert said. “This morning was just pure infomercial for his old buddy, Mark Sanford.”
Colbert was asked about his role in his sister’s campaign in March where he explained that he would “break the jewel of my own creation” to help her.
“I’m not worried what it would do to me or my show to try to help her as myself, not as my character, and to help her as myself,” he explained.