Stephen Colbert to receive an Oscar Wilde Award
27 January 2015: Stephen Colbert will be honored at the 10th annual Oscar Wilde Awards on 19 February at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica. Colbert is best known as the host, writer and executive producer of the long-running Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning series "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central. He will succeed David Letterman as host of Late Show on CBS in September.
The Oscar Wilde Awards, hosted by the non-profit US-Ireland Alliance, honors the creative Irish and introduces people in the entertainment world in Ireland to those in the US. Abrams, previously celebrated as an “honorary” Irishman, will emcee the event and Irish painter Colin Davidson was earlier announced as another recipient this year.
On learning of his selection for an Oscar Wilde Award, Colbert told US-Ireland Alliance president Trina Vargo, “My great-great grandfather sailed from Limerick with but two goals: 1) get a job digging the Erie Canal, and 2) party in L.A. I am proud to fulfill his dream."
Colbert’s first book, I AM AMERICA (And So Can You!), spent 29 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller's List in 2007; debuting and occupying the #1 spot for 13 weeks. His second book AMERICA AGAIN: Re-Becoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t was released in October 2012 and spent 17 consecutive weeks on The New York Times Bestseller’s List. Colbert won a 2014 Grammy Award in the category of “Best Spoken Word Album” on behalf of the audiobook.
Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Colbert graduated from Northwestern University and quickly made a name for himself as a member of Chicago's famed Second City improv troupe. Beginning in 1997, Colbert was the longest-tenured and most diverse correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He helped the show win numerous Emmy® and Peabody Awards® as an on-air personality and writer for the news satire.
The Oscar Wilde event has become known for its casual atmosphere and for also introducing Irish performers to a broader audience. Performers this year include singer-songwriters Gavin James and Megan O’Neill. Previous recipients and presenters have included Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, Fiona Shaw, Hylda Queally, Brian Burns, Paul Rudd, James L. Brooks, Michelle Williams, Tom Cruise, Al Pacino, Anjelica Huston, Jodie Foster, Julia Roberts, and Kate Winslet.
Major sponsors of the event include Accenture and The Resurgent Film Group.