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Stephen Colbert Brings Anderson Cooper To Tears With His Personal Insights About Grief

@AC360/Twitter

They say that some of the greatest comedy springs from the greatest tragedy.

And that sentiment is most certainly true when it comes to Stephen Colbert.

While many know the comedian as a smart, funny, and charismatic late night personality from critically acclaimed shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, it may come as a surprise that Colbert has dealt with an incredible amount of loss in his life.


Sitting down with CNN host Anderson Cooper for a candid interview on Anderson Cooper 360° on Thursday night about everything from Donald Trump to Lord of the Rings, Colbert opened up about the tragic death of his dad and two brothers in a plane crash when he was just 10 years old, and the profound impact it had on his life.

Cooper, who has also dealt with his own share of familial death, also lost his father at age 10, as well as his older brother, Carter, who jumped to his death from his mother's apartment building when Cooper was 21.

The subject of loss was particularly fresh in Cooper's mind following the recent death of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, in June from stomach cancer.

At a particularly poignant moment during the interview, Cooper read a quote from Colbert about grief and loss that brought him to the verge of tears.

"You told an interviewer that you have learned to, in your words, 'love the thing that I most wish had not happened,'" Cooper started before an extended pause.

He continued, his voice breaking as he choked back tears:

"You went on to say, 'What punishments of God are not gifts?'"

Cooper asked:

"Do you really believe that?"

"Yes," Colbert responded with a sad smile after collecting his thoughts.

"It's a gift to exist. And with existence comes suffering. There's no escaping that."

The powerful moment quickly went viral on Twitter, with viewers thanking both Colbert and Cooper for the raw emotion and honesty they displayed in the interview:








Recently another Anderson Cooper moment brought many online to tears as he paid tribute to his late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.

For anyone who has experienced loss, the Colbert interview is a nice reminder that our grief can serve a powerful purpose, and that our shared humanity can still come shining through even in times of great division.

The Stephen Colbert biography, Stephen Colbert: Beyond Truthiness, is available here.

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