On being his alter ego, "Stephen Colbert": "Some people perceive me as an assassin or at least someone who can slip under your guard with a knife. But if you watch what I do, that's almost never the case. It rarely turns into anything combative."On his right-wing counterparts: "Take Mr. Bill O'Reilly. He was a perfectly lovely guest, but he wouldn't be his personality. He wasn't an unpleasant person. I have no complaints other than the fact that I booked Bill O'Reilly and I got William O'Reilly."On human behavior: "I'm surprised there aren't more unbalanced people in the world, because being alive is not easy. We're just not that nice to one another. We're all we have, and Jesus, are we sh*tty to one another. We really are."On joining a cult: "I'm interested in what makes someone a cult figure and what engenders cult adherence, what engenders that behavior … I'd love to be a cult member, just another loyal follower. It sounds very comforting."On his friendship with Jon Stewart: "I would say the thing that has kept me from being as good a friend to Jon as I would like is just that I'm such a fan. I am gobsmacked by his abilities. But that being said, we go out to dinner, and we sometimes pick up the phone just to say, 'How are you?' Or, 'Do you mind if I tell you how I am? I had a sh*tty week.'"On fear: "I suppose fear is like a drug. A little bit isn't that bad, but you can get addicted to the consumption and distribution of it. What's evil is the purposeful distribution of fear … If you're injecting fear into other people, then you're trying to kill their minds. You're trying to get them to stop thinking … Fear is an attempt to impose tyranny over someone's mind. It's an act of oppression."On the death of his father and brother (in a plane crash when Colbert was 10): "Any curiosity I have probably comes from my dad. He was a big thinker, a true intellectual. His idea of a good time was to read French philosophy, often French Christian philosophy.On grief: "It's just as keen but not as present. But it will always accept the invitation. Grief will always accept the invitation to appear. It's got plenty of time for you … I've always liked that phrase He was visited by grief, because that's really what it is. On extending his contract through 2014: "I try not to think of it in terms of years. You can't do 161 shows. It can't be done. All I can do is today and tomorrow and have some idea of what we're doing next week. That's all I can worry about. I have a script for today, I have probably half a script for tomorrow, and that's as far down the road as I ever look. I know the mechanism of my show, and I know how it works. There's a joy in that."On predicting the future: "I have no exhaustion in doing the show. I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. I can't predict what we'll be trying to make jokes about in the next six months. I don't know what the next super PAC game will be for us or who will win the election. You can't plan for any of that. If I thought I knew what was going to happen, it wouldn't be worth doing. The challenge is how joyfully, with what sense of fun and adventure and playfulness, we will greet it. We don't have to look for what the next thing will be. If experience is any judge, it'll come flowing toward us like a river."
The full feature is available at www.playboy.com/stephencolbert And, as always, just read it, and don't look at the dirty pictures.