Why "The Colbert Report's" interviews can never be replaced

Stephen Colbert's satirical conservative persona made for a viewing experience that will never be matched


Sarah Gray
December 16, 2014 2:00AM (UTC)

For nine years, Stephen Colbert satirical conservative persona made him one of the most interesting interviewers on TV. When he chose to push the envelope — as he often did — Colbert's character was able to ask squirm-worthy questions to great effect. (Guests, of course, were not left in the dark, as can be seen in behind-the-scenes footage.)

Regardless of guests' prior knowledge, there still was a tension, and an element of surprise, that Colbert's character brought to each interview segment. His character was a live-wire, and it made his "Colbert Report" interviews something we'll miss when the show wraps for the final time on Thursday.

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To celebrate his final four shows, here are some of Stephen Colbert's most notable interviews from over the years:

1) We have to start with this interview with Bill O'Reilly: 

2) And of course there was first-ever guest, Stone Phillips:

3) And his most recent guest from the "Hobbit," the dragon Smaug:

4) Stephen Colbert has spoken to a number of politicians, including Hillary Clinton:

5) And recently he sat down with President Obama:

6) However, politicians, journalists and dragons are only the tip of the iceberg. Colbert also spoke to members of the Russian band Pussy Riot:

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7) And Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence:

8) Beloved departed comic, Joan Rivers:

9) He has interviewed Neil deGrasse Tyson 10 times:

10) And has spoken to a number of authors, including Toni Morrison:

11) And the late Maurice Sendak:

12) More of his best interview moments have been included in the montage below:

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Sarah Gray

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

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Colbert Countdown Stephen Colbert Stone Phillips The Colbert Report Toni Morrison Video

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