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Stephen Colbert Overcome With Emotion Before On-Air Tribute to Late Staffer Amy Cole

Stephen Colbert Overcome with Emotion Before Tribute to Staffer Who Died
Stephen Colbert. Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Stephen Colbert became visibly emotional before an on-air tribute to staffer Amy Cole at the end of the Monday, April 1, episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Cole, who was Colbert’s longtime executive assistant, spanning his time on The Colbert Report and The Late Show, died on March 31 after a brief illness. She was 53.

“That’s it for The Late Show,” Colbert, 59, began, before pausing for several seconds and tapping his desk as he gathered himself.

“Good night,” he concluded, before standing up and walking off set. The show then displayed a black title card with Cole’s picture and the text, “Dedicated to Our Friend Amy Cole, 1970-2024.”

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Cole’s obituary says she died “peacefully” and is survived by her parents, two sisters and five nieces and nephews.

“Working with Colbert for 16 years was more than a job to Amy,” the obituary reads. “It gave her a purpose and provided an opportunity to showcase herself as an incredible teammate to everyone involved. She was adored by her entire Late Show work family, and she will be greatly missed.”

Cole’s colleagues flooded social media with their thoughts and tributes. Director and producer Jake Plunkett posted via X, “Words cannot measure how big a loss Amy Cole is to this world. F–k cancer.”

Stephen Colbert Overcome with Emotion Before Tribute to Staffer Who Died
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Late Show writer and producer Opus Moreschi added, “Amy Cole was a beacon of light and joy and calm in the swirling chaos of our workplace. I am absolutely gutted that she’s gone.”

Moreschi and Plunkett both encouraged their followers to donate to Cole’s favorite charity, Radio Lollipop. Her obituary also referenced the charity, which provides care and entertainment services to hospitalized children.

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“All donations received through this appeal will be shared equally between the Radio Lollipop Texas and New York chapters and will go directly to supporting the children that we work with as a gift in Amy’s name. This will help us to keep her amazing spirit alive in our work that she was so passionate about.”

A fund created in Cole’s name has raised more than $27,000 from 233 donations for Radio Lollipop.

“Amy’s support and leadership within Radio Lollipop spans two decades and helped so many sick children, both in Texas and in New York Children’s hospitals,” the donation page reads. “Amy’s skills as a child life specialist in Texas and her senior leadership role in recruiting volunteers for Radio Lollipop in New York played a significant role in our work.”

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