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The Late Show With Stephen Colbert's Amy Cole Tribute Explained

On Monday, April 1, late night host Stephen Colbert put jokes aside and offered up a heartfelt ode to one of his colleagues, Amy Cole, who passed away recently at the age of 53.

As the Monday night episode came to a close, Colbert looked uncharacteristically serious  and simply looked at the camera, quite clearly holding back tears. ""That's it for 'The Late Show,'" he said before he was, apparently, at a total loss for words. "Good night," he concluded. As the screen faded to black, a card read, "Dedicated to our dear friend Amy Cole, 1970-2024." 

According to outlets like Deadline and Cole's official obituary, Cole — who was Colbert's executive assistant for well over a decade — had been previously diagnosed with cancer. She died on Sunday, March 31 after a "brief illness" at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City. Jake Plunkett, who also works on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," posted his own tribute to Cole on X (formerly known as Twitter) which succinctly reads, "Words cannot measure how big a loss Amy Cole is to this world. F*** cancer." Plunkett also posted a plea for anyone reading to donate to Radio Lollipop, a charity for children's cancer aid.

Amy Cole worked for Stephen Colbert throughout the years

Per Amy Cole's obituary, Stephen Colbert's beloved colleague was born in Texas and worked in childcare for most of her life, even earning a master's degree in Child Life and working at Texas Children's Hospital as a Child Life Specialist. Ultimately, she pivoted to the entertainemnt industry, which is where she connected with Colbert eventually.

"She worked as a Production Assistant and Executive Assistant on various television shows, including 'Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn,' 'The Colbert Report,' and 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," her obituary reads. "Working with Colbert for 16 years was more than a job to Amy. 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."

It must be devastating for Colbert and the "Late Show" team to lose a presence like Cole, and the industry's thoughts are with them and Cole's family.