Comedy Fest Names Colbert Person of Year

The Associated Press
Sunday, March 4, 2007; 2:46 AM

ASPEN, Colo. -- Stephen Colbert, a faux conservative who often honors himself on his Comedy Central show, was lauded by the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival as their "Person of the Year."

"What an honor. An honor to receive and an honor for you to give to me," Colbert said during the ceremony late Friday.

Often appearing to be a combination of Bill O'Reilly and Archie Bunker, Colbert emphasized that his television character is not him.

"He's not malicious, he's ill-informed, you know. It's just a product of his own education. And he thinks he's saying and doing the right thing, he's not actually trying to hurt anybody," said Colbert.

Colbert said he is writing a book.

It will be "what is best and what's worst about America," he said. "You know, it's 20 subjects ... all of the important things, the culture war, religion, hygiene, sports."

Colbert said he envisions his character preparing for each night's show by singing along with the Cheap Trick song "I Want You to Want Me," and doing a full-body shave.

"I never in a million years imagined that a character who was essentially based on O'Reilly a year and a half ago" would have this honor, Colbert said, and suggested he'll get weeks worth of content out of the Aspen honor.

© 2007 The Associated Press