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And Nothing but the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert
     

And Nothing but the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert

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by Lisa Rogak
 

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A funny and personal portrait of the comedian who became the headline-making, ground-breaking star of The Colbert Report.

"My name is Stephen Colbert, but I actually play someone on television named Stephen Colbert, who looks like me and talks like me, but who says things with a straight face [that] he doesn't mean."—Stephen

Overview

A funny and personal portrait of the comedian who became the headline-making, ground-breaking star of The Colbert Report.

"My name is Stephen Colbert, but I actually play someone on television named Stephen Colbert, who looks like me and talks like me, but who says things with a straight face [that] he doesn't mean."—Stephen Colbert

No other comedian can generate headlines today the way Stephen Colbert can. With his appearance at a Congressional hearing, his rally in Washington, D.C., his bestselling book, his creation of the now-accepted word truthiness, and of course his popular TV show, nearly everyone (except the poor Congressional fools who agree to be interviewed on his show) has heard of him.

Yet all these things are part of a character also named Stephen Colbert. Who is he really? In And Nothing But the Truthiness, biographer Lisa Rogak examines the man behind the character. She reveals the roots of his humor, growing up as the youngest of eleven siblings, and the tragedy that forever altered the family. She charts his early years earning his chops first as a serious acting student and later as a budding impov comic, especially his close connection with Amy Sedaris, which led to the cult TV show Strangers with Candy. And Rogak offers a look inside how The Daily Show works, and the exclusive bond that Colbert and Jon Stewart formed that would lead to Colbert's own rise to celebrity.

A behind-the-scenes look into the world of one of the biggest comedians in America, And Nothing But the Truthiness is a terrific read for any resident of Colbert Nation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rogak (who’s written bios of Shel Silverstein and Stephen King, among many others), traces the trajectory of political satirist Stephen Colbert. She takes her task seriously, having pored through the archives of the Medical University of South Carolina, where Colbert’s father was the vice president for academic affairs. Colbert had an “idyllic childhood,” growing up in a large, close-knit family, but in 1974, when he was 10, his father and two of his older brothers were killed in a plane crash: “Losing a role model so young, his father’s godlike image was ‘trapped in amber.’” After attending Northwestern as a theater major, he toured with Second City, developed sketch comedy shows for Comedy Central, and then joined The Daily Show, where he created the news correspondent character he described as “a Bill O’Reilly–like commentator, a very well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot.” When The Colbert Report was launched in 2005, the entire premise was based on that character, and enthusiastic fans will delight in Rogak’s lengthy, detailed behind-the-scenes coverage of both the show and Colbert’s controversial keynote speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The 40 pages of bibliographic notes indicate her extensive research for this engaging, entertaining biography, which succeeds in capturing Colbert’s anarchic, iconoclastic spirit. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“In this carefully crafted, behind-the-scenes biography, Rogak succeeds in uncovering the ‘truthiness' about the real Colbert.” —Booklist

“When The Colbert Report was launched in 2005, the entire premise was based on that character, and enthusiastic fans will delight in Rogak's lengthy, detailed behind-the-scenes coverage of both the show and Colbert's controversial keynote speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner. The 40 pages of bibliographic notes indicate her extensive research for this engaging, entertaining biography, which succeeds in capturing Colbert's anarchic, iconoclastic spirit.” —Publishers Weekly

“Gives us insight into the man behind the mouth.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A conversational, multiperspective account of his life. ... This is the first major biography of Colbert and one fans will appreciate.” —Library Journal

“Ms. Rogak's method of introducing Colbert the Person and Colbert the Character is near faultless. ... This biography could have easily been titled The Tale of Two Colberts; however, Colbert's signature 'truthiness' seems to befit the style and enjoyment Ms. Rogak obviously had writing And Nothing But the Truthiness.” —New York Journal of Books

“As close to a bio of the man — rather than the persona who hosts 'The Colbert Report' — that we'll see anytime soon.” —New York Daily News

“With a subject as interesting as Stephen Colbert the person, and discussion of a concept as original as the character of Stephen Colbert, the book is definitely worth reading.” —Washington Independent Review of Books

Haunted Heart is a thoroughly respectful overview of King's life, and a great starter biography for new fans.” —The Boston Globe on Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King

“Rogak … has pieced together King's sometimes erratic life scrupulously into a clean, swift read.” —The Times (UK) on Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King

“An authoritative and accessible biography, absorbing from cover to cover.” —Library Journal on A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein

“A tribute to the unusual life of an extraordinary man.” —The Daily Texan on A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein

“Rogak doesn't miss a beat.” —The Daily Californian on A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein

Library Journal
Rogak (Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King) separates Stephen Colbert, the writer, actor, and family man from the right-wing pundit he portrays on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Through extensive research, she assembles a chronological account of Colbert's life and career through mid-2010. While some of it reads like filler (Stephen, youngest of 11, isn't born until page 27), the result is a conversational, multiperspective account of his life. Special attention is paid to landmarks like the tragic plane crash that claimed the life of his father and two brothers, his success at Second City, and his ongoing Comedy Central reign—as well as his brief presidential bid, being named assistant sports psychologist for the 2010 U.S. Olympic speed skating team, and having a $5 million treadmill on the International Space Station named for him. VERDICT Though chiefly assembled from previously published interviews, this is the first major biography of Colbert and one fans will appreciate. With the 2012 election ramping up, there will be interest in this complete and compelling look at the wildly popular anti-news commentator. [See Prepub Alert, 4/25/11.]—Terry Bosky, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., West Palm Beach, FL
Kirkus Reviews

A serious(ish) look at the popular host of The Colbert Report.

Arguably one of the sharpest satirists of his generation, Stephen Colbert is a walking dichotomy: a sorta-liberal whose fictional persona is super-conservative; a public loudmouth and a private family man; a seeming rabblerouser with an intensely religious upbringing. Most viewers are aware that the persona the comic/actor/pundit/author displays on his show andin his bestselling book I Am America (So Can You!)is an act, so this biography is worthwhile in that it gives us insight into the man behind the mouth. The prolific Rogak (Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King, 2009, etc.) has a healthy appreciation for her subject, and the majority of her sources have nothing but good things to say about Colbert both as a person and a performer; she paints him has the smartest guy in the room, a gentleman you'd want to meet for lunch every day. The author does a nice job of balancing the different parts of his life and work, moving briskly from his religious upbringing, to his stints at Second City and on The Daily Show, to his breakthrough on The Colbert Report. (Some more information about his cult show Strangers With Candy would have been welcome.) Logically enough, the majority of the book is devoted to his Comedy Central hit, and fans of the show will appreciate Rogak's choices in terms of the segments and interviews she focused on.

A solid summation of Colbert's work and life to this point.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312616106
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

LISA ROGAK is the author of more than forty books. She is the author of the Edgar- and Anthony-nominated Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King and is the editor of the New York Times–bestselling book Barack Obama in His Own Words.

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