Colbert-Hosted Biden Event Raised Record $26 Million

Stephen Colbert’s sit-down with Presidents Biden, Obama and Clinton at last night’s fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall proved to be every bit the draw the Biden campaign had hoped for.

According to campaign officials, the sold-out event raised a record-setting $26 million-plus for Biden’s reelection campaign.

Colbert’s on-stage discussion with the three presidents was at turns both serious and funny, with each warning of the possible perils of a second Trump presidency. In the photo-op of the night, Colbert, Clinton and Obama joined Biden in wearing his trademark aviator sunglasses.

Tickets to the fundraiser, which also featured appearances from Mindy Kaling, Queen Latifah, Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo and Lea Michele, ranged in price from $225 up to $500,000 a seat, with those contributing at higher levels offered the opportunity to have their photo taken together with all three Democratic presidents.

Although Colbert took part in a private Biden campaign reception with Kamala Harris in 2020, participating in a fundraiser of this scale was a first for a late-night host and would have been unthinkable back when Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight show. (Of course, the same could be said of Donald Trump being elected president.)

All jokes aside (and he still makes plenty about the president’s age), Colbert has spoken publicly about the personal connection he feels with Biden, pointing to his 2015 interview with then-Vice President as a defining moment for his show. 

It was Biden’s first interview after the death of his son Beau, and the two men–who both suffered unthinkable family tragedies decades ago, and who both happen to be Irish Catholic–engaged in a heartfelt discussion about love, loss and faith. 

It was then that Colbert, who had spent years in character on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, says he first fully embraced his true persona on air, reflecting years later in an interview with his friend Jon Stewart, “ when [Biden] left, I turned to [my producer] over there and said, ‘That nice old man just gave me my show.’”

Colbert has now officially returned the favor and then some.

“This historic raise is a show of strong enthusiasm for President Biden and Vice President Harris and a testament to the unprecedented fundraising machine we’ve built,” said campaign co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg. “Unlike our opponent, every dollar we’re raising is going to reach the voters who will decide this election — communicating the president’s historic record, his vision for the future and laying plain the stakes of this election.”

Not to be outdone, reps for Trump’s campaign say he expects to bring in $33 million himself next week at West Palm Beach fundraiser. Just don’t expect Stephen Colbert to show up.

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