Home > Interviews, Newspaper > Stephen Talks to the Charleston Post & Courier about the Upcoming MUSC Benefit.

Stephen Talks to the Charleston Post & Courier about the Upcoming MUSC Benefit.

On Friday, the comedian, actor and Charlestonian Stephen Colbert will appear at the Gaillard Auditorium for a benefit to raise money for an endowed chair in his father’s name at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. James W. Colbert served as the university’s first vice president for academic affairs from 1969 until his death in a plane crash in 1974. The school, which also named its education center after Dr. Colbert, calls him a “transformative figure” that helped MUSC adopt the traditions of academic medicine. His son, host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” spoke with Post and Courier columnist Brian Hicks about the benefit, his recent participation in the Charleston Bermuda Race and, of course, South Carolina politics.

Q: What does it mean to you that MUSC is creating an endowed chair in your father’s name?

A: My father was an M.D. but he was also an academician and a researcher. He believed in research universities and teaching. This chair and anything we can do to raise money for it is a fitting memorial. It’s maybe the most satisfying use of what little fame I have.

Q: What is the format of this show? What can we expect?

A: Jon Alter, formerly of Newsweek and now on MSNBC, is going to interview me on stage and we’ll take questions from the audience. We’ve done this before and it’s a very fun night. I’m so happy to be helping them with this. I’d just encourage everyone to come.

Q: What are the weirdest questions you’ve ever been asked?

A: People will ask me if I liked going to Dartmouth because they forget my character and I are not the same person. They will ask how Lorraine is, because that’s my character’s wife. I’m coming as myself. My character will show up a few times. The weirdest thing is people forget you have any personal space. I will talk to people in a hallway and they will follow me into the bathroom, and then into the stall.

Q: So how did you enjoy the Charleston Bermuda Race?

A: It was brutal and beautiful at the same time. One of the hardest things is we lost by two hours — that’s like one-tenth of one percent of the total race. It’s like running a 100-yard dash in 10.1 seconds and losing to someone who did it in 10 flat. So praise and glory to Hank Hofford, but it was pretty painful to cruise in at 4 a.m. and find out. That said, it’s an incredibly beautiful race.

Q: South Carolina politics provides you some pretty good material, doesn’t it?

A: South Carolina gives me all kinds of material, probably more than South Carolina wants. They’ve had some heavy hitters lately: Mark Sanford, Joe Wilson, Jim DeMint. But the problem for me is I have a great affection for my home state. I’d rather point out the positives, such as the fact that we produce more peaches than the state of Georgia. How are they the Peach State? I wouldn’t give my enemies a Georgia peach.

Q: How often do you make it back to Charleston?

A: As much as I can. I wish I could do what I do there. My wife is also from Charleston and when Easter rolls around and there’s still snow on the ground here, she looks at me like I’m a kidnapper.

Source: The Post and Courier.

  1. mrarkadinnfz
    June 27, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    @Katt Thank you so much for the recent comments sidebar! That’s going to be great! Now old posts will never die, they’ll just receded down the page. Hey didn’t General MacArthur say that?! šŸ˜‰ Thanks again.

    Nice little interview. I love the quote, “”I wouldn’t give my enemies a Georgia peach.” HA! And the line about his wife looking at him like he’s a kidnapper when there’s still snow on the ground during Easter.


    • karenatasha
      June 27, 2011 at 5:56 AM

      Those were my favorite lines, too! I adored the “kidnapping” one. And it’s so funny that he said exactly the same thing when I saw the taping–that he’d film in South Carolina if he could–and now is almost immediately confirming that.

      And by the way, native New Yorker that I am, I also get pretty annoyed when there’s snow on the ground on Easter! It shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be. And it never was when I was a child here. We have definitely altered the climate.


  2. lockhart43
    June 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    This was a sweet interview. I loved his line about honoring his father being “the most satisfying use of what little fame” he has. And the Georgia peach line cracked me up. The line about people forgetting he has personal space is a little unnerving, though.


    • susan209
      June 28, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      I agree. Fangirl though I may be, getting in the actual stall is just (if you’ll forgive the expression) a wee bit too much.

      And yes, “what little fame,” indeed! And Stephen, ehem, by the way, that snow on the ground in NY that you’re experiencing? That’s just our way of keeping you here in New York. Snow, ice, wind, rain… anything to keep a plane from taking off. Right, Karenatasha? (‘Cause you’re right — the weather in NY has completely changed since the 1960s & 1970s when nary a drop of snow could be seen on the ground in the spring.)


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