Before the "Report": Stephen Colbert's 13 best "Daily Show" segments

The beginnings of a beloved character

Published November 20, 2014 8:25PM (EST)

In just a few short weeks, Stephen Colbert will be leaving his blowhard political character behind, and in 2015 he'll take the reins at "The Late Show" on CBS.

Before "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" evolved into two of pop culture's satirical beacons; before polls found that many people got their news from Comedy Central's satirical programs; before Jon Stewart even sat in the host's chair at "The Daily Show," there was Stephen Colbert.

He began as one of the first "The Daily Show" correspondents during the Craig Kilborn years, while he was also working on "Strangers with Candy," with Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello. He continued as a senior political correspondent -- winning three Emmys as a "Daily Show" writer in 2004, 2005 and 2006 -- before taking the helm at "The Colbert Report." Here are some of his greatest moments from his "Daily Show" years:

Here's Stephen Colbert during Craig Kilborn's final episode in 1998. (Yes, they're discussing the Clinton impeachment.):

Here's an example of his long-running segment "This Week in God":

Stephen Colbert as Rev. Al Sharpton is a classic segment from December 2001:

And here's Colbert's actual interview with Reverend Al Sharpton:

This is a fabulous "Bush Medley" from 2003:

And we have part of his coverage of the Bush/Kerry election:

Here is Colbert mourning President Reagan:

Who can forget Colbert on the floor of the Republican National Convention?

And here's Colbert searching for WMDs. Spoiler, he doesn't find any:

And we have a sneak peak of "The Colbert Report," from September 30, 2003:

10 F#@king Years - Even Stevphen, from September 19, 2006:

And here are some "Klassics" curated by "The Daily Show":

And I'd be remiss not to share this clip below:

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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