Stephen Colbert’s shocking ancestry

The family secret that reduced the star of the Colbert Report to tears:

Oh, the horrors!

Uber-Catholic Stephen Colbert had an emotional upset after finding out that – wait for it – his family descends from Lutherans.

The funny guy got the oh-so-shocking news while filming an episode of PBS’s  upcoming “Faces of America,” a four-part documentary that focuses on the lineage of celebrities.

“This one was kind of unexpected, but when the big bad Catholic Stephen Colbert found out he was actually descended from Lutherans, he got extremely emotional,” the show’s host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., told us at Monday night's Lincoln Center premiere of the series.

The episode, which airs on Feb. 10, will show the entire ordeal. “We didn’t stop the cameras. Obviously we wanted to capture that moment,” Gates confirmed.

He later added: “There were tears.”

And while a rep for PBS wouldn’t comment, a network insider says Colbert was indeed shocked by his family tree.

“It was really very intense,” says the source.

“He had a very candid reaction, and it definitely made it in the final cut of the show. He was very surprised and overwhelmed.”

Perhaps that was the point. The source added that each celeb’s personal history uncovered on the show is bound to elicit emotion.

Given that Colbert is a master at faux sincerity, what about this revelation might be cry-worthy? Do you see any evidence of his Lutheran blood?

via Reality isn’t funny for Stephen Colbert; ‘Faces of America’ reveals his family history.

HT: Mary Moerbe

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • theresa k

    Maybe he and Garrison Keillor will become friends now. :)

  • theresa k

    Maybe he and Garrison Keillor will become friends now. :)

  • CRB

    Doesn’t this fall under the topic of “religion”? : )

  • CRB

    Doesn’t this fall under the topic of “religion”? : )

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    Maybe he’ll have to start pronouncing the “T” in his name now?

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    Maybe he’ll have to start pronouncing the “T” in his name now?

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Were they ELCA Lutherans? He wouldn’t have to cry as hard then. :)

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Were they ELCA Lutherans? He wouldn’t have to cry as hard then. :)

  • JJay

    It should be noted that when The Colbert Report first started, “Lutherans” was one of the categories of people on his “On Notice” board. Not long afterwards, “Lutherans” were bumped off by a different group.

  • JJay

    It should be noted that when The Colbert Report first started, “Lutherans” was one of the categories of people on his “On Notice” board. Not long afterwards, “Lutherans” were bumped off by a different group.

  • http://thejcalebjones.tumblr.com The Jones

    I watched the show where he had Henry Louis Gates on and they talked about this. And Stephen “Captain Catholic” Colbert admitted that he was related to, in his words, “a heretic.”

    While I applaud his devotion to Catholicism, which shows itself in some very good defenses of Christian doctrine on this show, I’m still going to get tickled by his Lutheran loathing.

  • http://thejcalebjones.tumblr.com The Jones

    I watched the show where he had Henry Louis Gates on and they talked about this. And Stephen “Captain Catholic” Colbert admitted that he was related to, in his words, “a heretic.”

    While I applaud his devotion to Catholicism, which shows itself in some very good defenses of Christian doctrine on this show, I’m still going to get tickled by his Lutheran loathing.

  • Joe

    This appears to be a spoof of Wikapedia that appears to be all Colbert (not sure if he does the writing or not):

    http://wikiality.wikia.com/Lutherans

  • Joe

    This appears to be a spoof of Wikapedia that appears to be all Colbert (not sure if he does the writing or not):

    http://wikiality.wikia.com/Lutherans

  • SlyRobber

    Lutheran BLOOD!?!?! That is a chilling notion where a persons beliefs are “in their blood”. Are they “Pure” beliefs? Kind of Aryan? Are you going to proclaim it on a belt buckle around a certain reverse Hindu symbol? Please tell me you miss wrote.

    Just wondering.

  • SlyRobber

    Lutheran BLOOD!?!?! That is a chilling notion where a persons beliefs are “in their blood”. Are they “Pure” beliefs? Kind of Aryan? Are you going to proclaim it on a belt buckle around a certain reverse Hindu symbol? Please tell me you miss wrote.

    Just wondering.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I was kidding, SlyRobber! Making fun of the whole concept.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I was kidding, SlyRobber! Making fun of the whole concept.

  • theresa k

    Slyrobber,

    Please tell me YOU miswrote! Have you NO sense of humor. Do you even watch Colbert?!? :D

  • theresa k

    Slyrobber,

    Please tell me YOU miswrote! Have you NO sense of humor. Do you even watch Colbert?!? :D

  • Slyrobber

    No I did not misswrite. Even though I was born a Roman Catholic I always understood the Protestant movements of yore. The were a reaction against the monstrosity Rome had became through the ages. Ultimately demonstrated by their tasid support of the italien, Spanish, and Portuguese fascists and to a point Hitlers Germany. What I most deplore is the fact that these reformers for the most part have become what they decried even hated most in the then Roman Catholic Church an instrment of the plutocratic class with a fascist agenda only benfiting the two percent of the world. I once identified myself with the progressive world view of past popes like John XXIII but since have been seriously put off by ther opus dei Falange of the church that has taken over to ultimately serve the plutocrats of new Roman Empire that is now America.

  • Slyrobber

    No I did not misswrite. Even though I was born a Roman Catholic I always understood the Protestant movements of yore. The were a reaction against the monstrosity Rome had became through the ages. Ultimately demonstrated by their tasid support of the italien, Spanish, and Portuguese fascists and to a point Hitlers Germany. What I most deplore is the fact that these reformers for the most part have become what they decried even hated most in the then Roman Catholic Church an instrment of the plutocratic class with a fascist agenda only benfiting the two percent of the world. I once identified myself with the progressive world view of past popes like John XXIII but since have been seriously put off by ther opus dei Falange of the church that has taken over to ultimately serve the plutocrats of new Roman Empire that is now America.

  • Joe

    Sly – based on your posts I can only assume that you have no idea of what Lutheran doctrine teaches, especially concerning the Two Kingdoms.

  • Joe

    Sly – based on your posts I can only assume that you have no idea of what Lutheran doctrine teaches, especially concerning the Two Kingdoms.

  • Slyrobber

    Guilty ad charged. Thes “differences” are all smoke and mirrors for the ignorent masses. The relationship between you and GOD is a personal thing and needs not be complicated by power hungry high priests. The way we all treat the smallest amongst us is proof enough as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately many have turned the the golden calf as their true god.

  • Slyrobber

    Guilty ad charged. Thes “differences” are all smoke and mirrors for the ignorent masses. The relationship between you and GOD is a personal thing and needs not be complicated by power hungry high priests. The way we all treat the smallest amongst us is proof enough as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately many have turned the the golden calf as their true god.

  • http://www.nylaoisassociation.com Larry McEvoy

    Anybody know anything about Stephen’s ancestory on his Mother’s side. According to the program that line came from Co. Laois in the heart of Ireland. Laois’s motto was “Poor but Proud” and it was heavily planted by the British to help the London government crush the persistent local resistance movements.
    Sincerly,
    Larry McEvoy

  • http://www.nylaoisassociation.com Larry McEvoy

    Anybody know anything about Stephen’s ancestory on his Mother’s side. According to the program that line came from Co. Laois in the heart of Ireland. Laois’s motto was “Poor but Proud” and it was heavily planted by the British to help the London government crush the persistent local resistance movements.
    Sincerly,
    Larry McEvoy


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