LA Improv Pals Recall Early Genius of Stephen Colbert

Pound for pound, Stephen Colbert remains the funniest man on TV. And per a write-up this week in the Chicago Sun-Times, this man’s talent was evident from a very early college age.

Several of Colbert’s one-time Improv troupe mates at Northwestern, who performed together as the No Fun Mud Piranhas, are now based in LA. They, along with others, recall how obvious it was that Colbert was part of a special comedy breed. Here’s how Joy Gregory, writer-producer on Swingtown, Jericho, and a number of other TV shows, remembers it:

“Even then he was someone who, when he got going, you would just kind of step out of his way and let him go,” Gregory says. “He was clearly really gifted and brilliant. Not to say that he wasn’t a very generous, giving scene partner, because he was, but I observed that I was not the only one who would often give him the reins in a scene.”

The same sort of sentiments are expressed by actor Marc Goldsmith, whose credits include The King of Queens and 3rd Rock from the Sun. He tells reporter Mike Thomas that he “always kind of looked up to [Stephen’s] intelligence, wondering, ‘Did this guy travel the world? How is he so smart, only being a year older than me?’”