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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

Will Congress approve Obama's plan to defeat ISIS? Plus, the latest on Ray Rice and the NFL.

Will Congress approve Obama's plan to defeat ISIS? Plus, the latest on Ray Rice and the NFL.

March 18th, 2013
06:13 PM ET

Stephen Colbert steps out of character to help sister's campaign

With a screeching eagle and a cocked brow, "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central has resonated with audiences for nine seasons and counting

The one time protégé of "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart now has his own wax figure at Madam Tusseaud's, a bathroom-adjacent painting in the National Portrait Gallery and, oh yes, a few Peabody Awards.

But now Colbert is breaking character to dip his toe into real politics – supporting his sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who works in business development at Clemson University and is running for Congress as a Democrat in their home state of South Carolina.

This is the first election Colbert has become involved in.

"I've actually worked very hard not to get involved in an election because I think people expect me - and I don't want to speak for Jon [Stewart], but people expected of Jon to exercise political power because we talk about politics a lot, and we did the rally and stuff like that," says Colbert.

But this time is different, says the Comedy Central star.

"She's my sister and I'm willing to break the jewel of my own creation to try to do something for her. Like I'm not worried about what it would do to me or my show to try to help her as myself, not as my character but as myself, and if people don't think that's the right thing for me to do, I don't care, it's my sister and I'm willing to help her," says Colbert.

Besides, Colbert says, "I've met these people and my sister is in the top decile."

And he would know. Colbert's faux conservative pundit shtick is basically the longest-running spoof of Washington, D.C., on television.


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