Stephen Colbert breaks character for his sister’s congressional bid

March 19, 2013

Comedian Stephen Colbert, whose sister faces a primary vote in a South Carolina special  election Tuesday for an open House seat, says he's happy to take the rare step of breaking character in order to help her.

"She's my sister, and I'm willing to break the jewel of my own creation to try to do something for her," Colbert said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. "Like, I'm not worried about what it would do to me or my show to try to help her as myself, not as my character, but to help her as myself. And if people think that's not the right thing to do, I don't care. It's my sister."

Elizabeth Colbert Busch is a heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination for Sen. Tim Scott's (R-S.C.) old House seat. Republicans are likely headed to a two-week runoff, but whoever emerges should be favored to beat Colbert Busch in a strongly conservative district.

Colbert, who plays a conservative pundit every night on Comedy Central, rarely breaks character in public. He even stayed in character during testimony before a House committee on immigration reform in 2010 -- a performance that wound up being rather embarrassing for the politicians' involved.

But Colbert said he won't spare his sister on his show, either.

"I said, Lulu, I said if you do something funny, I'm making jokes about you," Colbert said.

When Tapper suggested that the much more straight-laced Colbert Busch wouldn't provide much material, especially compared to the GOP favorite, scandal-tarred former governor Mark Sanford, Colbert suggested she would be the butt of jokes too:

"Sure she will. She's now a politician," Colbert said. "Of course she will. She's perfectly human."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · March 19, 2013