Air dates: October 17, 2005-present
Star: Stephen Colbert
The best actor on any original Comedy Central program: Hands down, it's Stephen Colbert. The one-time Daily Show correspondent branched off on his own in October 2005 to spearhead The Colbert Report, an impeccably performed and always spot-on lampooning of righty, blowhard talk show hosts like Bill O'Reilly. Unwaveringly playing a heightened character, a la Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat, Colbert pokes fun at extremist views and conservative ideologies without ever breaking from his role.
OK, the occasional laugh seeps through his demeanor, but who can blame him? With his live studio audience members chuckling uncontrollably at each of his sardonic one-liners and playfully delusional rants, it must be damn near impossible for Colbert not to break out in hysterics with them.