"I am proud to announce that I am forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for president of the United States of America of South Carolina," Colbert Thursday during the taping of his Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report," Politico reported.
"This is a difficult decision," he said. "I've talked it over with my money. I've talked it over with my spiritual adviser."
The announcement builds on Colbert's long-running lampoon of federal election finance laws allowing unlimited contributions to so-called super PACs.
Colbert, a South Carolina native, started a super PAC -- Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow -- in 2010 to make fun of the federal rule. He has a tax-exempt 501(c)4 organization, called the Colbert Super PAC SHH [as in "shh"] Institute, Politico said.
Former FEC Chairman Trevor Potter, appearing as a guest on Thursday's show, told Colbert he would not legally be able to retain control of the super PAC if he becomes a candidate.
"That would be coordinating with yourself," Potter said.
To avoid legal entanglements, Colbert handed over control of his super PAC to Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."