Stephen Colbert

Comedian Stephen Colbert announces presidential run

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It's the type of thing they turn into movies: On Thursday night, comedian Stephen Colbert announced he was forming an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States.

Colbert had been hinting for days at such a move, although some were questioning where satire ended and reality began. Usually, that line involves a hashtag.

On Thursday, Comedy Centeral tweeted “Don't miss tonight's @ColbertReport at 11:30/10:30c to see what @StephenAtHome's #MajorAnnouncement will be.”

During the episode he handed control over of his political action committee to Jon Stewart, a step required by federal election law, and then announced that he was forming an “exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina. I'm doing it!”

It didn't take long for Twitter to react to the news. Before the night was out, #Colbert2012 was trending in the United States. The hashtag was becoming popular even before he announced he was running. According to Topsy.com, it was used almost 200 times earlier this week. But it really took off Thursday night.

“I'll tell you what. i'd much rather have @StephenAtHome be president then any of the Republican candidates,” wrote Sarah McGarr.

“If @StephenAtHome were to run for POTUS, I'd volunteer, donate $ and vote for him!” tweeted Erik Cranmer.

And Colbert himself was active on Twitter on Thursday night, something that will likely continue if he's serious about running: “It's been an hour since I gave Jon my Superpac & I already miss my money! I hope he remembers it likes 2 be pet & sung 2,” the comedian tweeted.

Photo by MHimmelrich