‘Music from that summer will undo me’: Stephen Colbert on losing his father and brothers as a child
The late show host spoke to TV news anchor Anderson Cooper about grief, loss and growing up with it.
Late-night show host Stephen Colbert opened up about dealing with the loss of his father and elder brothers at a very young age, in a conversation with news anchor Anderson Cooper.
Cooper, who lost his father when he was ten, also lost his mother recently and broached the subject, saying, “We don’t talk about grief a lot. People aren’t comfortable talking about it. One of the things I found in the last two months since my mom died, is people coming up to me on the street or reaching out to me on Instagram or wherever and sharing their loss, and their grief with me. And I found that the most helpful thing.”
Colbert, the youngest of 11 brothers, lost his father and the two brothers closest to his age when he was ten, in September 1964.
Speaking about the incident, he said, “There’s another guy. There’s another Steve Colbert, there’s that kid before my father and my brothers died and...It’s actually kind of difficult. I have fairly vivid memories from right after they died to the present. It’s continuous and it’s contiguous, but there’s a big break in the cable of my memory at their death, and everything before that has got an odd, ghostly tone.”
“They died on September 11, 1974,” Colbert continues. “And the music from that summer leading up to it...will undo me, in an instant. The song of the summer was Band On The Run. Do not play Band On The Run around me.”
Talking about dealing with death as children, the two men described how loss had shaped their relatively untainted world views at the age of ten. While Colbert escaped into science fiction, Cooper said he became a catastrophist – plunging himself into extreme activities convinced that he would find and fight death before it found him.
A clip of the video posted on Twitter received over 1.5 million views over the weekend. Several social media users, in turn, shared their own stories of loss and grief.