My giant collection of Stephen Colbert quotes


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Dec 28, 2006
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Stephen Colbert is quite possibly the only thing better than the Wii...
and here's a list of his quotes from his show's early epsiodes I compiled:

"Anyone can tell the news to you. I'm going to feel the news at you."

"They're elitist - constantly telling us what is or isn't true or what did or didn't happen. Who's Britannica to tell me that the Panama Canal was finished in 1914? If I want to say it happened in 1941, that's my right."

"If we're doing it, it's legal. Torture is illegal. Ergo -- that's Latin for "bite me" -- we do not torture. Doesn't happen."

"Torture is only cruel and unusual if we don't doit that often. From what I'm hearing, it's becoming cruel and usual. So from a constitutional standpoint, torture is a go!"

"You people are the glue that keeps out country together, the library paste that patriot children eat when the teacher's not looking. You are the bondo that covers up the rust holes in the left-rear corner panel of the '84 Chevette that is America."

Take a look at President Bush's approval ratings -- we clearly have no confidence in him. But do we throw him out? No. What kind of Democratic government is constantly bending to the will of the people?"

"The Church says women can't be priests because priests have to be like the apostles. And the apostles were all male, non-gay, spoke Aramaic, and lived in first-century Judea. If you're not all of those things, you're out."

"Most disappointingly, my own Catholic Church is against the death penalty. Pretty hypocritical considering they wouldn't even have a religion if it weren't for capital punishment."

"When it gets dark, burn some cars. Fantastic visuals -- the flames really light up the night sky in a gorgeous pyre that's beautiful, but also functional, since it also makes it a lot easier to see other things you might want to smash."

"This isn't the first time I've been called a heretic who must be silenced… Nazi Pope Benedict the Sixteenth wanted to excommunicate me for calling him a Nazi Pope."

"He believes the right to bear arms includes machine guns, and that before seeking an abortion, a woman should have to tell her husband. Even if he has a machine gun."

"Yes, 'Rocktober.' There was a time when we Americans took this month to celebrate the values of classic rock: pounding beats, grinding guitars, and one-syllable lyrics about boobs and elves."

"Ramadan marks the day the archangel Gabriel revealed the Koran to Mohammed in a cave. Halloween dates back to ancient Celts celebrating the Harvest of the Fields. Point: Ramadan. Caves are much cooler. Batman doesn't park in the Bat Field."

"Non-combat related? Those are accidents -- accidents don't count. And you know what, even if this war turns out to have been a big mistake, then that just means every death was an accident. And therefore nobody died."

"Ms. Parks' refusal to give up her seat on that bus was the first in a series of triumphs for the civil rights movement, and more importantly, it enriched our vocabulary by allowing us to call someone who is the first to do something the Rosa Parks of whatever it is they just did."

"Perjury's not a real crime; it's just lying about a real crime. Like manslaughter. It's not murder; it's beating someone brutally in a drunken bar fight, and they just happen to die. You can't blame someone for that."

"Kind of a pet peeve here: Israeli papers consistently have the most important story on the back page. That's known as burying the lead, Israeli editors. You are on notice."

"Looks like abstinence education is really working. That, and oral sex. Turns out over half of 15-19 year olds are taking frequent trips downtown. Well, however you kids are doing it, keep up the good work."

"As a journalist, it's not my place to editorialize. I'm here to objectively divide the facts into categories of good and evil, then you make up your own minds."

"America has a simple deal with the rich. We cut their taxes, and in return they inspire us with their gloriously macked-out cribs, golden toilets, and young, taut trophy wives."

On big oil: "Yesterday, executives from the world's five largest oil companies were dragged in front of Congress, because supposedly 'their profits are too high.' I know, it didn't make any sense to me either."

On breakfast: "Six days a week, you should eat whatever you want. But on Sundays, you have to chase it all out with a dose of bran. And it shouldn't be easy -- it should be like choking down a length of hemp rope. You'll thank me for it. It's nature's broom."

On Terrell Owens: "The rule-Nazis at the Philadelphia Eagles have evidently forgotten something. Terrell is a very good football player. And people who are very good at something should be exempt from the rules."

On rioting: "When it gets dark, burn some cars. Fantastic visuals -- the flames really light up the night sky in a gorgeous pyre that's beautiful, but also functional, since it also makes it a lot easier to see other things you might want to smash."

On non-combat deaths in Iraq: "Non-combat related? Those are accidents -- accidents don't count. And you know what, even if this war turns out to have been a big mistake, then that just means every death was an accident. And therefore nobody died."

On Lauren Hutton's posing nude at 62: "If you're going to show the world what God gave you, Ms. Hutton, at least do it for an appropriate publication. Like Sexy Sixties, Mature Honeys, or Extremely Legal."

On Rosa Parks: "Ms. Parks' refusal to give up her seat on that bus was the first in a series of triumphs for the civil rights movement, and more importantly, it enriched our vocabulary by allowing us to call someone who is the first to do something the Rosa Parks of whatever it is they just did."

On perjury: "Perjury's not a real crime; it's just lying about a real crime. Like manslaughter. It's not murder; it's beating someone brutally in a drunken bar fight, and they just happen to die. You can't blame someone for that."

On Native Americans demanding resource reparations: "I am the first to admit that Native Americans have been screwed in this country? But that doesn't give them the right to screw us. You know how many wars we could fight with $100 billion? About a third of one."

On pant cuffs: "Pant cuffs kill. That's why I don't wear them. Plus, they're an extravagant waste of fabric and ironing resources. You know what, pant cuffs? You're on notice!"

On heroes: "You people are the glue that keeps out country together, the library paste that patriot children eat when the teacher's not looking. You are the bondo that covers up the rust holes in the left-rear corner panel of the '84 Chevette that is America."

On secret CIA prisons: "In the last week, there's been a lot of talk about whether the CIA has secret prisons in Eastern Europe. Well, they don't. They have 'prisons,' but not 'secret prisons' -- thanks to the blabbermouths at the Washington Post."

On Maureen Dowd: "New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has published a new book, "Are Men Necessary?" a series of essays defending her inability to get a date. Yes Maureen, men are necessary. As long as there are spiders to be killed, and jars of spaghetti sauce to be opened."

On the President's "bubble": "We don't want our President infected by germs of doubt. He needs to keep his head clear to make the best decisions he can, based on the sterilized information allowed to pass through his membrane."

On his mission for the night's show: "I promise you that I will give 110%. It's a big show, but there's no 'I' in team, and this team has a lot of heart, we never quit, we play all four segments, and personally, I'm gonna take it one step at a time, keep within myself, and let the show come to me. Because I've been watching a lot of film, studying tendencies, so I can stay frosty, get in the zone, look for my pitch, then go out there and have some fun. I want to thank God for giving me the strength to do tonight's show. And my momma."

On steroids: "Steroids set a dangerous example. When kids hear about their heroes taking drugs, they think it's OK to do it, too."

On steroids (counterpoint): "Any kid with the attention span to make that connection is already on Ritalin."

On watered-down Christmas symbols: "Take the Christmas tree, a tradition so deeply Christian that it predates Christ. In the ancient Roman feast of Saturnalia, they covered it with paper flowers and lit candles. Paper, wood and flame! Why do we have to make it more complicated than that?"

On treats: "If it's summer and you want a snack comprised of graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow, you have to go with a S'more, and that means getting all the supplies, building a campfire, and telling ghost stories. They're terrifying. Not worth it. I just want a cookie."

# On double-stick tape: "It's the magic substance that makes a spandex bathing suit stick to a ripe young buttcheek. Double-stick tape allows the suit to be cut dramatically higher, thus visually extending the leg."

On fraud: "'Chest' magazine is a medical journal? 'Chest' magazine?! Are you kidding me? How could anyone possibly know that? It's blatant misrepresentation. Do not buy 'Chest' magazine. And, to be safe, leaf through 'Butt' magazine before you buy it. They could be pulling the same stunt."

On the Alito hearings: "You can't ask him what he thinks now. Because when is now? Is it now? No. Now? Moment's gone. Now? Sorry. Already past. By the time you're asking him what he's thinking right now, this 'now' has become that 'then.'"

On NASA's Mars rovers: "These robots were expected to live on Mars for only 90 days, but two years later, they're still working. This is not good. They're not powering down, they're unkillable, with clear survival instincts. This can only lead to one thing -- breeding. Why did we send two of them?!"

On Bears: "(reading a letter) 'Dear Stephen, why aren't you nicer to bears? I like them a lot! They make me laugh my head off. Love, Joshua.' Like a lot of kids, Joshua has been misled about bears. They won't make you laugh your head off, they'll tear your head off."

On cuteness: "Researchers studying visual signaling have found that cute images stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain aroused by sex, food, and mind-altering chemicals?. And cuteness serves as an alternative to psychoactive drugs like cocaine. You have not known true euphoria until you've done a line of puppies off a stripper's ass."

On dirty politics: "It's not pretty, but it's our system of government. And it works. It's like sausage: no one wants to see it made, and it will eventually destroy your heart."

On a successful Christmas: "Great work, Nation! But remember, now's not the time to let your guard down. I see it every year. Come January, the number of people who say 'Merry Christmas' really drops off. Look, it's easy to say 'Merry Christmas' when it's actually Christmas, the hard part is saying it year-round. So Merry Christmas, America."

On privacy: "If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about. People who hide things about themselves have a name: criminals. That's why you have to identify yourself to your neighbors if you're a sex offender. But I say, why not register everyone? Shouldn't law-abiding citizens be held to at least as high a standard as sex offenders?"

In conversation with Rep. Eliot Engel: "You've been vocal about the importance of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil, and yet you recently voted against drilling in ANWAR. Where does that leave us -- cow dung and steam?"

On Socrates: "On the plus side, he invented a teaching method of deductive reasoning called the Socratic Method. And he was such a fan of this method that he named himself after it. That's dedication. On the other hand, he was a bit of a chicken hawk. Sort of the Mary Kay Letourneau of ancient Greece. Now there's nothing wrong with being gay -- some of my best friends are going to hell. I'm just saying we don't make him the gym teacher."

On grammar: "Take a look at this sentence: 'Timmy and me went to the store to buy milk.' Wouldn't the correct grammar really be, 'Timmy and me and Jesus went to the store to buy milk?' Because Jesus is with Timmy and I wherever us go."

On assisted suicide: "A tip of the hat to the Supreme Court for upholding Oregon's assisted suicide law. You've got the right idea -- let's get rid of as many of those tie-dyed tree-hugging wusses as we can. I've said it before: Oregon is California's Canada."

On the BLT: "I'd forgotten what an honest sandwich it is. For those of you not familiar, 'BLT' stands for 'bacon, lettuce, and tomato.' A lot of people think the 'B' stands for 'bread,' and I can understand someone not wanting a lettuce and tomato sandwich. But, the bread is implied in the word 'sandwich.' Anyway, it's an American original. Everyone should have a BLT as soon as they can."

On Immigration: "There is only one solution: build a wall. A wall across our entire southern border. We should probably also close off our northern border - keep that socialized medicine out. And they can swim, so we'll probably want to do the coasts too. And while we're at it, let's put up a dome. We'll just punch a couple holes in it so we can breathe? free!"

On the Lieber/Marine Corps controversy: "Maybe I misspoke. I was not in the marines, I worked at a marina. Couple summers. And a lot of people who worked there didn't take it seriously, the 'fringe' workers. But then there was a group of us that were the 'core.' And I served some serious time in this marina core? next thing you know, [Lieber] will probably attack me for the year after high school I spent working at my aunt's beauty salon, The Hair Force."

On Wham-O: "Last week, the company that manufactures the Frisbee, the Slip n' Slide, the Superball and perhaps most importantly, silly string announced that it's been sold to China. Nation, China is not the place for Wham-O. Imagine the impact of a single Superball in a crowded Chinese bike lane!"

On Canada: "Last fall, I welcomed a small country -- a tiny, socialist backwater -- to the Colbert Report family. It was called 'Canada,' and November 7th was the first night their corrupt government allowed the Report to air? Well, it looks like my balls rubbed all over Canada. They just elected a new Prime Minister: it's Stephen Harper, an America-lovin', healthcare-dismantlin' social conservative? I'd just like to point out that, in less than three months, I fixed Canada!"

On ignorance being bliss: "Oedipus had a great sex life before he started asking questions."

On depression: "There's some British psychologist who says that today, January 24th, is the most depressing day of the year. And he has to be right, because he has a formula. There it is. The variables stand for? ah, it doesn't matter."

On eavesdropping: "What if every time Superman wanted to use his heat vision or cold breath or (other Stephen) crush a lump of coal into a diamond! (first Stephen) Good one. What if he had to go to the Justice League and convince Aquaman to give him permission? I mean we're fighting Lex Luthor here. We can't be f$@^ing around with the Wonder Twins and that damn monkey Gleek."

On NASCAR: "NASCAR is switching to unleaded gasoline due to growing fears of leaded fuel's health effects on drivers, crews, and even spectators. NASCAR, you are shooting yourself in the foot. As I understand it, this is how you breed NASCAR fans -- by you get them to ingest more lead."

On the Vatican's stance against intelligent design: "Make up your mind, Vatican. First you're anti death-penalty, then you opposed the war in Iraq. Now you're telling me Jesus was a monkey? I know the pope's infallible, but that doesn't mean he can't make mistakes."

On Iraqi religious relations: "Last week, tensions boiled over between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq with the destruction of the Shiite Golden Mosque -- an action that could well foment a civil war. If we're lucky. Because if there's truly a civil war in Iraq, by definition, we're not part of it. It's called an exit strategy."

On being shaken up: "Last night, we did the Threatdown -- God, it's hard to even talk about this -- and for the first time, I didn't mention bears. It's winter, they're asleep, I didn't think it would be a problem. But today I see this in the Toronto Globe and Mail -- apparently a 700-pound polar bear showed up at a children's hockey game. I've said this before, they're after our kids -- they're tender, juicy, you don't even have to throw away the bones."

On doctors: "I've never been a fan of doctors. Who are they to tell me that a cholesterol count of 320 is 'dangerous.' Hey doc, take a look at this. It's a potato chip with peanut butter on it. Mmmm? tastes like deep-fried liberty."

On the previous nights' Olympic figure skating: "Sasha Cohen was radiant -- it was like glimpsing a woodland creature dancing in an enchanted forest. Oh, I would gladly hunt her. And Irina Slutskaya did a beautiful job. Slutskaya is, of course, a tragically unfortunate name. Our prayers are with her."

On the Dubai-owned ports situation: "This time, and I hesitate to say this, but while he may be in fact right, it feels like George Bush? is wrong. Oooo! That hurts my gut. My gut tells me that George Bush is always right. Ooo! That hurts my brain, 'cuz this is so clearly not the right gut political decision for him to have made. Ooo! There's my gut again. Bush is right. No, wrong. But he's right! Ooo! No! He can't be right and wrong at the same time!"

On Kellog's Pops: "I've always been suspicious of this particular cereal. It comes in that foil bag -- as if we need extra shielding from some sort of radioactive output."

On his time off: "It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, but I wound up having to hide out. Lay low. The press were hounding me all week because -- well, it's going to come out eventually -- I accidentally shot a guy. And we weren't sure how to release the information. We wanted to make sure we had all of the facts straight, since, again, it is a very complicated story of how this guy went from not shot to shot."

On American Olympic failures: "It's embarrassing. The U.S. Olympic team has dropped the ball. And not just on America, on something far more important -- American corporations. Take Bode Miller, skiing's bad-boy. He's got endorsement deals with Nike, Visa, Barilla, and Charles Schwab. Because I thought he was a winner, I bought running shoes on credit while investing in pasta."

On the inaugural Stephen's Balls award: "It's to new house majority leader John Boehner, elected just a few days ago to reform the party--which is feeling the heat from lobbyist scandals. Well, CNN found out he rents his two-bedroom apartment from a lobbyist whose clients had an interest in legislation he sponsored. Mr. Boehner, Congratulations! You've just won a pair of Stephen's Balls! They're big brass ones, just like you must have."

On the USA in the Olympics: "We're going to kick ass! Have you seen some of the countries that signed up for this thing? Right there. Moldova isn't a country; she's a supermodel. And we are going to kick her ass!"

On a pressing issue: "I was looking at Time Magazine the other day. I don't read Time usually, just 'Man of the Year' and the annual 'Was Jesus Real' issue. But this caught my eye: 'Is America Flunking Science?' Well of course we are, now. Of course, back in the 80s, teenagers were actually using computers to create women in their bedrooms."

On Apple: "Actually, I'm considering a lawsuit over the video iPod. Nowhere does it say I shouldn't duct tape the player to the bill of a baseball cap so I can watch Toby Keith videos while I'm driving. Apple, this is irresponsible, but I'm willing to settle out of court."

On his Super Bowl pick: "Gotta be honest, I've always had a problem with Seattle. Not that it doesn't have guts. It's sandwiched dangerously between two Canadas: Canada-Canada and Oregon -- California's Canada. Save your letters, Oregon. I don't read anything written on birch bark. But I lost a bundle on a Seattle-based web startup back before the bust. My lawyers aren't done with you,!"

On the State of the Union Address: "Hope you caught the State of the Union Address last night. Big success for the President. I listened to it live during the show on my earpiece. Then, later, I watched it on TiVo, and then I downloaded it to my iPod and listened to it this morning while I read it to the paper."

On Alito's confirmation: "After a contentious debate on the Senate floor and months of fiery rhetoric, Samuel Alito was confirmed to the Supreme Court today. All you need to know? Stock up on Trojans."

On James Frey: "I respect him for making up his past. Shows character. Too many people just let their past happen to them. It's part of the culture of victimization -- 'Oooh, I had no control over the circumstances of my birth.' But when you decide to have had a difficult childhood, that -- that is really owning your past."

On Nightline's use of 'truthiness': "You know what was missing from that piece? Me. Stephen Colbert. But I'm not surprised. Nightline's on opposite me over on ABC. Same timeslot. We destroy them in the ratings -- I don't have numbers to support that, I just feel that it's true. So they play dirty, stealing content from my show."

4-19 update

On income taxes: "We'll never get the big government gorilla off our backs as long as we keep feeding the money monkey with our banana bucks. And it'll keep throwing its fiscal feces at us. I can run with this metaphor as long as I have to."

On the Journal of Paleolimnology claiming that Jesus didn't really walk on water: "Once again, scientists are telling us what 'may' have happened. If they had any balls, they'd just say this is what 'did' happen. with or without evidence. That's what the bible does."

On the next big San Francisco earthquake: "If the quake is powerful enough, San Francisco may even break off into the ocean. So San Franciscans, enjoy your grande-latte-politically-correct-alternative-lifestyle-sourdough-bread. But don't forget to wait an hour before you try to swim back to the mainland."

On not winning a Peabody: "I've been shilling for your stupid award since day one on this show, and all I expect in return is a lil' sugar-sugar come Peabody time. That's how this business works. One hand washes the other, I scratch your back you scratch mine. But then i guess it's easy to ignore a groundbreaking TV pundit when there's a doctor out there who plays by his own set of rules."

On Hitler's approval rating: "99 percent thought he was on the right track. And today, there's one thing everyone, Democrat or Republican, left or right, agrees about: there's no one worse than Hitler. And with his approval ratings at a new low, President Bush is just proving, once and for all, that he's the president least like Hitler."

On Oregon's fifth district: "The 5th has been home to an array of notable figures. Like Keiko the killer whale, who starred in the film 'Free Willy' before she was released into the ocean; and 2001 Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman, who sadly remains in captivity."

On whether men should cry: "It's never okay for men to cry. You know who cries? Girls. And little babies. And little baby girls. A man holds it in. Until his eyeballs swell up to the size of baseballs, his throat feels like it's about to explode, and his gut just aches like there's a snake wrapped round his heart. Sure, that's why we die earlier, but it's worth it. At least we don't look weak."

On Tom Delay: "He would rather step down than allow the baseless attacks on his sterling reputation to cost republicans his seat in Congress. As he should. He redrew every district in Texas to get that seat. Soon, we'll be seeing a lot less of Congressman Delay. But we'll always remember the golden smile he shared with the world when he was booked for conspiracy."

On how a water park could solve our immigration problem: "The top of the slide is in San Diego, but the catch pool is in Juarez."

On his letter from Toni Morrison: "'Dear Mr. Colbert. Please let me introduce myself. My name is Toni Morrison. Even before becoming the first African American to win the Nobel Prize?' See what he's doing there? He's laying the groundwork to tap me into the Nobel Prize club. Should I go for the Nobel Prize? (resounding applause!) Okay, we're going to look into it. How hard can it be? They gave one to Arafat."

On why it should be OK to clone horses: "Breeders have been playing God by controlling racehorses' genetic material for hundreds of years. And the fact is, it works for people, too. For a thousand years, the aristocratic families of Europe have been marrying each other and they make great leaders."

On taxes: "It's important to pay your taxes, but it's just as important to pay as little tax as possible. Think of it as putting big government on a diet. The treasury is your fat friend who wants to eat your ice cream cone--but it's your cone, you worked hard for it, and you'll be damned if tubby two-by-four is going to slobber all over it."

On Jill Carroll's release: "She is safe and sound. Fantastic news. Proves Iraq has finally turned a corner. People may not be greeting us as liberators, but we are being greeted as we're liberated. Here she is this morning receiving a plaque from an Iraqi journalist -- I believe she was voted 'most likely not to return to Iraq.'"

On his bad mood: "Not been pretty around the office today. I made a couple of interns storm off in tears. Paul, Tom, you can't quit if you're not being paid, so come on back if you want that college credit."

On a scientist winning the religious Templeton Prize: "Listen science, your attempts to discover the awesome, mysterious forces that formed and continue to shape our universe have nothing to do with religion. Keep your 'hard evidence' chocolate out of our 'personal faith' peanut butter. God found Adam under a cabbage leaf. Read the bible."

On the apocalypse: "The apocalypse is clearly upon us, Nation! It's go time. Stock up on locust repellant, and avoid drinking the bloody river water. Jesus is coming round the mountain on his six white horses. I mean, take a look at this corona during the eclipse. That's god saying 'with this ring, I thee end.'"

On marriage: "It is an accepted fact that if you're a single woman over 35, you're less likely to find a husband than you are to be devoured by a circus lion in a convenience store."

On California's 29th District: "How does the 29th avoid a reputation as a west-coast den of iniquity? With parades! From Altadena's Old Fashion Days to Pasadena's Cherry Blossom Parade, there's something for everyone who's fascinated by slow-moving chunks of papier-mache."

On having a baby eagle named after him: "I'm so excited, Nation, my whole life's going to change after this. Even though I'm already a father of three beautiful humans, I've always wanted an eagle. You know, someone you can toss around the old mouse carcass with."

On treasured Easter symbols that are under attack: "Easter is the holiest of Christian holidays, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion at the hands of you-know-who. Doesn't take a biblical scholar to see how Jesus is related to things like colored eggs."

On gay adoption (to Lieber!): "Here's what you don't get, Mr. Lieber. Gay adoption undermines the basic family unit. Now, I know to you, a family could be anything; two guys, a pet rock, a Martian, and a dildo. 'Gee, dad! Can we play ball? I don't know son, are you gay yet? Cause you know how angry it'll make one of your dads if you don't kiss the captain of the track team.' Bottom line, you hate children."