Stephen Colbert’s Keynote Speech at the 68th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial

The complete audio of Stephen Colbert’s keynote speech at the 68th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, held on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at the The Waldorf Astoria, New York.

Not even the pope was immune Thursday night as Stephen Colbert cracked one-liners and took digs at luminaries from politics, finance and the media at a Roman Catholic charity dinner in New York City that’s perennially packed with big names.

Colbert, the satirical star of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” delivered his remarks at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan, where he noted many great speakers — and probably a few bar mitzvah DJs — had appeared before him.

Over the course of 10 minutes, Colbert said New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s outfit of robes and cap made him look like a “flamboyant Zorro,” joked that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was dating a CNBC anchor, called Mayor Michael Bloomberg a “tiny man” and said the modest Pope Francis would’ve likely held the black-tie fundraiser at an iHop.

“I am proud to be America’s most famous Catholic,” Colbert declared, turning to Dolan, who was sitting next to him on a dais that included Gov. Andrew Cuomo, CBS anchor Scott Pelley and others. “And I’m sure the cardinal is thinking, ‘Stephen, pride is a sin.’ Well, cardinal, so is envy, so we’re even.”


About 1,000 people paid $1,500 apiece to attend the dinner, which Colbert referred to as “Catholic Thanksgiving” because it falls on the third Thursday of every October.

“It’s like we all showed up at the same Halloween party dressed as the Monopoly guy,” he said. “And you know that’s kind of fitting because the Wall Street guys apparently have a get-out-of-jail free card.”

Full Article: ABC News.

The event raised $3 million for New York City’s neediest children. That is the most money raised in a year that a president has not been in attendance at the dinner.

Source: My Fox NY.

(Thanks to StephenSmile64 for the Tip!)

  • CN Helper

    I love that Stephen just went for it, put the comedy gloves on, but didn’t leave anyone unscathed, especially at the end. The biker gang quip at Ray Kelly was priceless. And poor Cardinal Dolan, he was particularly rough on him. I have never heard anyone make fun of a Cardinal like that – to his face! But luckily NY’s Card has a great and generous sense of humor. Speaking of which, like what Cardinal Dolan had to say at the end:

    “And our joy is deep, my friends, because as our speaker remarked last year at Fordham University, ‘A sense of humor comes from faith. Faith that everything is in God’s providential hands, a faith that frees us up to laugh.’ Thank you, Stephen Colbert.”

    • I haven’t listened yet, but read about the biker quip and LOVED it! The Daily News did say everyone was in stitches, so no offense taken, apparently.

      Nice closing line by Dolan.

  • sybarite123

    Must say it’s good to know that Colbert is a good Catholic!

    • Welcome to the Hub sybarite123!!

  • Caroline

    Oh my God, he is fearless. Actually it DIDN’T sound like people liked the Ray Kelly/biker clip. I mostly heard silence and some groans, but I think people may have been afraid to laugh. This is a big reason I love Stephen: he will go after powerful people … to their faces!

  • lockhart43

    Wow, He was everywhere last week/weekend! When I saw that Father Martin had posted about this on Facebook, I got excited. I can’t wait to listen to this!