Fake journalist Stephen Colbert, star of a new Comedy Central spoof, ruminates on his Southern roots, his former colleague Jon Stewart, and even Clay Aiken
Stephen Colbert
Credit: Steven Colbert: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com

On Comedy Central’s Daily Show spin-off, The Colbert Report (Monday-Thursday, starting Oct. 17 at 11:30 p.m.), newly promoted pundit Stephen Colbert will debate a worthy foe — himself — in a recurring segment called “Formidable Opponent.” Entertainment Weekly asked the real Colbert to warm up by interviewing his comic equal, also himself. (Claymates, please e-mail him directly.) — Mandi Bierly

STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): First of all, thank you for sitting for this interview. I know what a busy time this must be for you.
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): Yeah, it is. So let’s light this candle. First question?

STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): Okay. Um… You’re from South Carolina, but I can’t detect an accent. What would you tell other young people who want to erase all traces of their heritage?
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): Never give up hope, and play tapes of Tom Brokaw while you sleep.
STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): Can you still say, ”All y’all want a moon pie?”
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): I’d need to get drunk first.

STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): Fair enough. So,the show’s over, the lights are off, the cameras have bags on them, and you’ve let your hair de-gel: What’s the real Stephen Colbert like?
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): Sorry, did you want to answer that one?
STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): No, I’m sorry. Got confused. Heard my name and just jumped in. Go ahead.
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): …I’m a pretty normal guy, quiet, keep to myself.
STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): Wow, I sound like a serial killer. Speaking of which, how is Jon Stewart handling the betrayal?
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): Jon’s happy for me. In fact he sent me a fish wrapped in newspaper. It was delicious. Let me ask you a question.
STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): Go ahead. My life’s an open book.
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): If they made a Lifetime movie about you, what would they call it?
STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): Mother May I Sleep with Show Business: The Stephen Colbert Story. Who’s your journalistic idol?
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): Stone Phillips’ neck. Same question.
STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): Anderson Cooper’s hair. Finally…
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): I’m afraid we have to make this the last question.
STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): …I said ”Finally.”
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): You’re right. It’s just that mentally I’m halfway out the door. Wrap it up.

STEPHEN (INTERVIEWER): How will you know if the show is a success?
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): Well, it’s cable, so you can’t measure success by ratings or personal income. But when the phone rings and it’s Clay Aiken on the other end inviting me to sing ”The Little Drummer Boy” with him on his Christmas special…then we’ll know we’ve had an impact.
STEPHEN (SUBJECT): [Exits with Stylist]