Stephen Colbert is once again partnering with DonorsChoose.org, an organization that connects teachers in needy communities with donors who want to help. In honor of the initiative, the Late Show host reunited with his fourth-grade elementary school teacher, Ms. Katsos — or Mrs. Kiehling, as she’s now known, a fact Colbert steamrolls over.
In the heartwarming segment, Colbert tells Katsos that she was the teacher: “Everybody has one teacher that means more to them than anybody else from their childhood, and you were it for me.”
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Katsos described Colbert as “one of the brightest students I’ve ever taught,” while the host spurred her on. “And your vocabulary was beyond amazing,” she continued, prompting Colbert to add, “Don’t be parsimonious, please, keep talking.”
And though a lot has changed in 40 years, Katsos maintains that the old “Steve Colbert” — with a hard “T” — shines through the silent-T version. “There’s still a lot of boy in you, Stephen,” she told him, “in that you really love life. You enjoy people and you were dramatic, a little bit, so the drama still comes out.”
If you want to get a speck of dust in your eye that is most definitely not tears, check out the clip below. (Plus, see a cartoon reenactment of the time Colbert was determined to make Ms. Katsos laugh during a test.)