Ever since it was announced that Stephen Colbert would be abandoning his character from The Colbert Report when he took over The Late Show, everyone's been wondering what exactly that means. Who is the real Stephen Colbert? While even Colbert himself might not be totally sure, here are the things we do know about the man, the myth, the legend...Stephen Colbert.
1. Stephen Colbert is a feminist. He even wrote a guest column for Glamour called "Stephen Colbert Shares Why He Thinks Women Should Be In Charge of Everything," and declared that he wants to use his new show to appeal to and celebrate women.
2. Stephen Colbert is a religious man. He played a super religious character on The Colbert Report and a priest on The Mindy Project, and had a lot of real-life experience to go off of. He's a devout Catholic, and didn't have to reach too hard whenever the character of Colbert started ranting in Bible verses. His favorite saint is St. Peter, just in case you were wondering.
3. Stephen Colbert is actually afraid of bears. His character always hated them on The Colbert Report, but the fear was real. He even starts dreaming of bears whenever something isn't going right in his life.
4. Stephen Colbert Pronounces His Last Name Wrong. "Coal-Bear" is the "French pronunciation," even though his ancestry is Irish, German and English. But before you start thinking Stephen Colbert is a giant poser, be advised! The reason Stephen pronounces his name "coal-bear" is out of respect for his father, James, who wanted it pronounced that way. Stephen's father and two of his brothers, Peter and Paul, were killed in a tragic plane crash when Stephen was only 10 years old. So...Yeah, we're just gonna give him that.
5. Stephen Colbert Is Married to His Mother. OK, so that's not totally accurate, but he is married to Evelyn McGee-Colbert, who appeared with him in an episode of Strangers with Candy as his mother. In real life, the couple has children: Madeleine, Peter, and John—who were actually not allowed to watch The Colbert Report, because, as Stephen has said: "Kids can't understand sarcasm, and I don't want them to perceive me as insincere."
6. Colbert Was a Fan-Favorite Correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, From 1997 - 2005. He was one of four original correspendents that also included Steve Carell. Everyone turned out OK, right? Colbert got his start in comedy as a receptionist and souvenir-seller (that's a thing?) at Chicago's famed Second City. He graduated to become an understudy for Carell and the rest is hiiiistory!
7. Stephen Colbert Was "Ambiguously Gay." Who could ever forget the awesome "Ambiguously Gay Duo" animated segments on Saturday Night Live? Colbert was Ace. Steve Carell was Gary. The world was always saved—via curious positions and supersexy tights.
8. Stephen Colbert Has Won Three Emmys. Two of them were for writing on The Colbert Report, beating out his alma mater, The Daily Show. His acceptance speech was: "Boo-ya, nanny nanny billy goat." Or maybe that's just how we imagined it.
9. Colbert Has Cajones. He caused quite the stir at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2006, saying this while standing a few yards from US President George W. Bush: "I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stsands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound—with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world."
10. Career Highlight, Duh: He Was the Letter Z on Sesame Street.
11. Another Career Highlight: He Got President Bill Clinton to Join Twitter as @PrezBillyJeff. "I'm insecure," admitted Clinton. "What if you tweet, and nobody tweets back?"
12. On The Colbert Report, Stephen Did Awesome Things Like Singing "Oopsy Daisy Homophobe" With Alan Cummings…(Making fun of LL Cool J and Brad Paisley's song "Accidental Racist"). We could watch it alllllll day.
13. He's Obsessed With The Hobbit. After proving he's pretty much the biggest Tolkien fan on the planet, he scored a cameo appearance role as a "Laketown spy" in the latest movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 2013, hosted a Comic Con panel and dressed up as Hobbit characters for a magazine feature he penned for EW.