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Colbert Shows Real Self on CBS Sunday Morning

(CBS News) - Stephen Colbert spent a decade successfully playing a TV pundit on a satirical news show.

Now, just days before he takes over as host of CBS’s THE LATE SHOW, he tells Mo Rocca he’s happy he doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else anymore, in an interview for CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH CHARLES OSGOOD to be broadcast Sept. 6 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network.

Colbert so convincingly played the conservative blowhard on “The Colbert Report,” that many questions surrounding his move to CBS have revolved around figuring out exactly who he really is outside of the TV character.

“I mean, it’s understandable. I worked really hard to be that other guy for 10 years,” Colbert tells Rocca. “I hope they’ll find out pretty quickly that the guy they saw for 10 years was my sense of humor the whole time. But I’m not just a pundit – I’m a comedian. And it is, I guess, flattering that people thought I was an actual pundit or a newsman, eventually, over the years. But it’s really nice not to have to pretend it anymore.”

Colbert, who begins hosting THE LATE SHOW on Sept. 8, says his goal for the new show is to have fun. “The goal is to have fun with my friends,” he tells Rocca. “And that means sometimes talking about things that you care about. We’re going to want to be talking about what’s going on in the world.”

The 51-year-old married father of three is the youngest of 11 children raised in Charleston, S.C. One of Colbert’s earliest memories was watching Johnny Carson with his sisters Margo and Mary.

Colbert talks with Rocca about his career, THE LATE SHOW, and his childhood. He opens up about a tragic incident that changed his life – losing his father and two brothers in an airplane crash when he was just 10. Colbert says the incident changed his view of the world.

“Oh, it certainly gives you one step back from society or what is considered normality,” Colbert says. “Because it’s a shock to the system to lose your father and your brothers at that age. And school and friends and homework and that value system suddenly doesn’t mean anything anymore. And I think it really helps if you’re doing comedy or maybe even specifically doing satire, is that what seems normal no longer has status.”

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