December 21, 2007

Colbert Celeb of the Year?

While most TV characters remain boxed inside the frames of our sets, Stephen Colbert has routinely injected his on-screen persona into everything from the presidential race to ice cream.

In 2007, the mock pundit on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" exceeded the influence of most real pundits, orchestrating an ill-fated (and Doritos-sponsored) run for president and topping the best-seller lists with his book "I Am America (And So Can You!)." Colbert failed to get onto the primary ballot in his home state of South Carolina, dooming his hopes for the White House. And his show went 0-for-4 at the Emmy Awards, including an especially painful loss to Barry Manilow.

But Colbert did win one honor: He was voted AP Celebrity of the Year by newspaper editors and broadcast producers who said Colbert had the biggest impact on pop culture in 2007.

He finished just a nudge above J.K. Rowling, who authored the final book in her enormously popular "Harry Potter" series. Finishing third was Al Gore, whose year included an Oscar, an Emmy, a Nobel Peace Prize and the global concert Live Earth. Voting was otherwise spread out across many entertainers, including pop star Britney Spears, "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus, rapper Kanye West, comedy director and producer Judd Apatow and country singer Kenny Chesney.

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