Image: Lars Niki/Getty Images for 2019 Montclair Film Festival

If you’re a fan of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert or The Colbert Report, perhaps you’ve noticed something different about the host of those two shows. Colbert’s right ear sticks out and draws attention. What happened to it? Well, it’s a holdover from a childhood that was full of grief and difficulty, and without it he might have never become famous at all.

Image: MATT CARASELLA/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Colbert has been a mainstay of the American entertainment industry for a long time now. In the ’90s he worked on the satirical and controversial Dana Carvey Show before it was cancelled after a mere seven episodes. After that, he took his brand of comedy to Good Morning America, where he caught the eye of a producer who realized she had something special on her hands.

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