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And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  256 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
A funny and personal portrait of the comedianwho becamethe headline-making, ground-breaking star of The Colbert Report.

“My name is Stephen Colbert, but I actually play someone on television named Stephen Colbert, who looks like me and talks like me, but who says things with a straight face [that] he doesn’t mean.”
—Stephen Colbert
No othercomedian can generate headline
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books
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And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (And Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert is book only for fans of Stephen Colbert. It's not that the author says lots of wonderful things about him, it's just that I can't imagine anyone not a fan of him and his specific brand of humor wanting to read a whole book about him. That said, this is not a great book. I often felt as if I were reading a paper researched and written by a high school student with a C+ grade average. It's only because of my interest i ...more
Sep 02, 2011 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: library-journal
Rogak (Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King) separates Stephen Colbert, the writer, actor, and family man from the right-wing pundit he portrays on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Through extensive research, she assembles a chronological account of Colbert’s life and career through mid-2010. While some of it reads like filler (Stephen, youngest of 11, isn’t born until page 27), the result is a conversational, multiperspective account of his life. Special attention is paid to la ...more
May 04, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-bio
5 stars to the author's son for a great title and cover, but only 2.5 stars to the content. This unauthorized biography is a compilation of previous interviews and magazine articles about Colbert that were used to cobble together a somewhat chronological telling of Colbert's life from birth to present (actually it goes back to the births of his parents). The book was full of typos; some were simple errors, but others made for confusing reading, like misstated dates and pronouns. Although it tell ...more
Ed Wagemann
Jan 23, 2012 Ed Wagemann rated it it was ok
Lisa Rogak's biography of Stephen Colbert would have been a huge disappointment, except that I wasn't really expecting much from it to begin with. All I was hoping for was maybe a few laughs--based on the cover whihc led me to believe that it is going to be a humorous read. Instead what I got was a typical formulaic celebrity biography that couldn't have been more stale and lifeless if it tried.
That would have been okay except that the book had the most annoying narative devise possible. On eve
Nov 26, 2011 Sarai rated it really liked it
This was kind of light on real information at times, but I still found it to be an interesting read. I enjoy Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report and it was nice to learn a little about the man behind the scenes. It seems a difficult task to gather real information about him, as noted by the author early on. As a Law & Order fan, I was also disappointed that it was not mentioned that he had a role on (I think it was)Criminal Intent. It was difficult watching it, having come from seeing him ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It's an unofficial biography, so what can you expect? I adore Stephen Colbert, so I had fun reading little anecdotes about him and stuff, and I particularly enjoyed the old photographs. In fact, I think what I learned the most from this book was that Stephen used to really enjoy wearing plaid pants. But most of this is second- or third-hand stuff, and most of it I took with a grain of salt.

I had a few issues - for one, I know that the author had a few quotes that were kind of wrong. Like on pag
Jan 25, 2012 David rated it really liked it
“This biography could have easily been titled The Tale of Two Colberts; however, Colbert’s signature ‘truthiness’ seems to befit the style and enjoyment Ms. Rogak obviously had writing And Nothing But the Truthiness.”

For me, a really good biography is one about a great leader who died at least 100 years ago. To include the very much living television personality and comedian Stephen Colbert to my reading list is either putting Colbert in high praise, or lowering my standards. I claim the former.
Harry Lane
Jan 30, 2012 Harry Lane rated it really liked it
When you see someone as talented and entertaining as Stephen Colbert, you wonder how he got that way. This book does a pretty good job of addressing that, detailing his childhood, education, and the apprenticeship he served in learning his comedic craft. But there remains some quality that just can't be captured in print, that would explain the source of the drive that keeps him going. I was disappointed at the brevity of Rogak's treatment of his appearance at the white house press correspondent ...more
Kate Woods Walker
Oct 31, 2011 Kate Woods Walker rated it liked it
If there's an interview she missed or a magazine article she overlooked, I can't imagine where author Lisa Rogak managed it. Her biography And Nothing But the Truthiness compiles every bit and snippet of public information about Cultural 900-lb. Gorilla Stephen Colbert, and presents it all in a readable, objective style.

She did manage to snag an interview or two with some (very!) peripheral characters to add a tiny bit of behind-the-scenes info, but for the most part it's unauthorized all the w
Feb 21, 2012 Michelle rated it liked it
The author never met or spoke with Colbert and all the quotes and information are from other articles, so it's a lot like the bio of dead people. The great accomplishment is how it draws from the many sources and clearly explains Stephen Colbert the person and how he came to create Stephen Colbert the character.

It's a good bio and fun to read because of the amazing humor of Colbert. The only downside is that the author/publisher would often pad out the book by putting a quote in large fonts afte
Nov 09, 2014 Steve rated it liked it
If you are younger than 18 and older than 34, you may not know that Stephen Colbert is the coiner of the word “truthiness.” In fact, you may not even be sure who Colbert is. At the very least, you may have never actually seen any of his work on stage, in the movies, or on the Comedy Central channel. I am in that latter category. To my knowledge, I’ve never actually seen Colbert’s comic acting, except, perhaps, his brief tenure in the finding Mr. Goodwrench commercials General Motors launched nea ...more
Oct 23, 2014 Beverly rated it liked it
Now, you may be wondering why I'd rate a book based upon my favorite celebrity so low. However, the rating is fairly high, considering the qualms I had with this book.

For one thing, I'm uncertain as to why Rogak feels the need to pepper pages liberally with bold, larger font quotations that fill up part of the page. This isn't a newspaper article. Is she doing it merely to eliminate space? The large quotations were redundant--we don't need her scoop on what the "most important thing" people said
Gene Kannenberg Jr
This was a quick (one-day) read. Basically an assembly of quotations from previously published interviews and profiles, which leads to some bizarre situations, where it *looks* like jokes are being passed along as "facts." But maybe that's just truthiness in action. I did learn a lot about Colbert's early life, though, and reading about the deaths of his father and brothers was devastating. Still, overall an amusing light read.
Brigit Zelenak
Dec 29, 2011 Brigit Zelenak rated it it was ok
Five stars for the man, two for the book. There’s no doubt Lisa Rogak researched her subject, but the resulting product came off like a not so thrilling episode of VH1’s ‘Where Are They Now?’

Try as I might, I never got past the feeling that 90% of her 247 pages were simply regurgitations of US Weekly and People Magazine. I’d hoped for more.
Jan 20, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it
My son has been a fan of Stephen Colbert from before he had his own show. It took awhile but he finally convinced me to watch the Colbert Report and I fell in love with his character. It was interesting to read about his background and learn more about him, and it only made me like him more. This biography revealed a lot to me about how he grew up and underscored some assumptions that I had made about his real personality. I also really enjoyed reading about how he went from wanting to be a seri ...more
Edward Sullivan
Mar 22, 2013 Edward Sullivan rated it liked it
If you're already a fan and faithful follower of Colbert's show, you won't find anything revelatory here. Most interesting to me was information about the pre-Daily Show years.
Mar 03, 2016 Akshay rated it it was ok
This book was a fortunate little find for me when I first got it - I had left a comment on a G+ discussion thread started by the good folks at The Colbert Report (this was back when some folks still held hope for G+ to actually become a thing!) and the next thing I knew, my comment had been selected a winner and I was shipped a complementary copy of this book!
Imagine my glee at that moment! Not only had I won a contest, but it was a BOOK and the icing on the cake was that it was the biography of
Nick James
Jan 16, 2013 Nick James rated it liked it
First off, Stephen Colbert is awesome. We don't have many good comedians today other than Cobert, Jim Gaffigan, Jon Stewart, and Jimmy Kimmel (and Fallon). This book is a very good informational text on Stephen's life before and after The Colbert Report and The Daily Show, but that's kinda bad thing. The book starts off talking too much about his parents and family, which I really don't care about. His dad and two brothers died in a plane crash, which is tragic, yes, but this is about Stephen, n ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
The best part of this book was probably the small tidbits of information like that Colbert played Dungeons and Dragons. Unfortunately, the book had these large scattered repeated phrases similar to how newspapers use quotes to try to draw you to the story. Why they felt the need to do this in a book you're already committed to reading, I'm not quite sure. There's a certain point in the book where they mention something about Colbert writing parts of books in 32 point font for the old grannies so ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Greg rated it it was ok
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed reading this book and essentially reliving Colbert's career which, at least starting with the Daily Show, I recall quite well. I give this only two stars because I don't think it was researched or written very well. This is a straight chronological report of unedited information. It wasn't clear to me that the author conducted any personal interviews as many of the quotes were familiar to me from interviews I've seen or read over the years. When I say unedited, I fe ...more
Apr 15, 2012 Gwen rated it it was ok
Recommended to Gwen by: Browsing at the library
Shelves: biography-memoir
First, this book had factual errors--Washington University =! Saint Louis University; Washington University =! Washington State University. Second, the book did not appear to have much in the way of original research, but rather a cobbled together history/biography of Colbert through interviews he'd done in the past. Good to have all the info in one place, but not necessarily the strongest of books or providing readers with much new information.

Learning details of Colbert's background and his p
Mar 27, 2016 Carol rated it it was ok
I am a fan of Stephen Colbert, and I had not read most of the interviews the author used to put together this book, so although it was not particularly well written, it worked for me.
Sep 14, 2015 Varsha rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
Slightly better than the biography about Jon Stewart, but very repetitive. I swear I read the same sentences from the other book.
Shelly Nuessle
Aug 10, 2015 Shelly Nuessle rated it liked it
Rogan is a lazy writer. Some of this is verbatim from her Jon Stewart bio. But still enjoyable because of the subject
Nov 09, 2015 Stevie rated it liked it
Shelves: random
I have noticed that Ms. Rogak has written several biographies. This book lead me to believe that she might be trying to hurry and get as many written as she can before her demise. It doesn't seem as though she has any association with Stephen Colbert. Nothing comes from interactions the author has had with Colbert, but second hand from other sources. If this is so, I don't understand why you would write a biography about someone, who is still alive, with out ever personally talking with that per ...more
Ellen Marchessault
Feb 07, 2016 Ellen Marchessault rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
A quick and entertaining read for any fan of Stephen Colbert.
Christopher J.j.
Feb 09, 2015 Christopher J.j. rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
A compilation of news about Colbert. No actual interview with him.
Nov 02, 2011 Betsy rated it it was amazing
While I love Stephen Colbert's brilliant comedy, I don't know much about his personal life or his earlier work as a comedian (other than knowing he was in Second City and his hilariousness on Strangers With Candy and The Daily Show).

I'm only a couple chapters in, but already I love this fascinating read on his parents, siblings, and his childhood.

Update: After finishing this book, I've decided that it's a must read for anyone who loves Colbert. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. Well researched a
Mar 24, 2013 Davie rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished
For fans of Colbert that haven't read any press or interviews about him or the show. Because the source material appears to be entirely prior press and interviews, with the exception of some quotes from very minor acquaintances (someone who once did a summer internship with the Daily Show, etc).

Still, the life is pretty interesting and the whole thing can be inhaled in just a few hours. Writing is not great, but nothing worse than what would appear in Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography, actually l
Elena Johansen
I don't read a lot of biographies, but this struck me as mostly dry factualness with the odd sentence or two of sensationalism, which always seemed out of place. I was uncomfortable with way Rogak handled the tragedies of Colbert's childhood, the tone often felt insensitive. And once I reached the second half of the book, it was a blow-by-blow accounting of The Daily Show/The Colbert Report, most of which I already knew, having been a fan since the early 2000s.
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Daily Show / Colb...: Colbert biography? 1 20 Jan 16, 2012 05:52PM  
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Lisa Rogak is the New York Times bestselling author of over 40 books on a wide variety of topics, from writers and their cats to sabbaticals to cemeteries in New England.
Through the years, in addition to writing books on an almost-schizophrenic range of topics, she has published newsletters and books, started a greeting card company for dogs and cats, bought and sold vintage funeral equipment, and
More about Lisa Rogak...

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