No joke? Stephen Colbert exploring a presidential run

Comedian Stephen Colbert is giving up control of his super-PAC and forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run.

Colbert made his announcement at Thursday night's taping of his Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report."

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"I'm proud to announce I plan to form an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my candidacy in the United States of South Carolina," Colbert said. 

To satisfy election laws, fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart will take control of Colbert's super-PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

Colbert has used the group to needle the GOP establishment in South Carolina, even offering to buy naming rights for the state's presidential primary.

Although he will not be on the ballot in South Carolina, Colbert said that he would succeed in the Republican field because he is not current front-runner Mitt Romney.

"Clearly my fellow South Caroliniacs see me as the only Mitternative," Colbert said.

A PPP poll released Tuesday found that Colbert drew 5 percent support in South Carolina. That put him 22 points behind Romney, but ahead of Jon Huntsman.