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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.

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March 19th, 2013
02:48 PM ET

Web Exclusive: Who inspired Stephen Colbert to be a comedian?

Stephen Colbert's sister Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, who is running for Congress in South Carolina, says that Stephen is not the funniest Colbert.

"Ask my brothers and sisters, each of them is," says Stephen Colbert, laughing.

Colbert is one of 11 siblings, each of them funny in their own way, says the comedian. Colbert is the youngest.

"When I’m with them my wife says, 'You get so quiet, you’re so quiet.' I just want to hear them tell stories. I just want to watch them. They are the funniest people in the world to me," says Colbert.

Part of the legend of Colbert started with a funeral, and a joke.

"My father and my brother died very young, and I was 10 and we were on our way back from the funeral in Annapolis, and one of my sisters, either Mary made Margo laugh, or Margo made Mary laugh, and the other one fell on the floor of the funeral," recalls Colbert.

"I remember seeing them laugh, and even at that moment I thought I wanted to be able to do that," says the comedian. "I wanted in on the intimacy, to be able to make each other feel better even in that moment. That’s what I wanted."

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