Stephen Colbert Talks First ‘Late Show’ Musical Guest, ‘Dry-Trumping’ and More
The September 8 premiere of Stephen Colbert’s new Late Show tenure draws ever closer, and with Jon Stewart finally stepped away from the spotlight, Colbert has taken every opportunity to redefine his post-Comedy Central career. Straight out of TCA, we now know what familiar musical guest will join George Clooney for the premiere, amid a host of other new details.
Fittingly, Colbert revealed at the 2015 TCA press tour panel that his first Late Show musical guest would be none other than Kendrick Lamar, who closed out Colbert’s last Colbert Report as well. Colbert kept mum on other guests for the inaugural episodes, but previewed that he wouldn’t limit himself to celebrities, while CBS made only one arduous request of his new format:
CBS has asked nothing of me other than I fill an hour every night. The format hasn’t changed. I love the grind of a daily show, I love a live audience. They haven’t asked me to change or do anything. They liked the show I used to do and they asked, ‘Do you mind adding another 120 hours a year?’
As to how Colbert himself will change, dropping the ultra-conservative character the defined his Report tenure:
My favorite thing on the show became doing the interviews. I had done everything I could with him other than have honest interest in my guests. Now I feel more freed up. That was the most energetic part of the show for me, and now I can just talk. […]
I don’t think anybody would have watched that old show if they didn’t know who I was. Because that guy was a tool. It feels a little like therapy. ‘Who’s the real Stephen Colbert?’
In addition to previewing a more “intimate” theater-like setting for the revamped Ed Sullivan venue, Colbert admitted to chomping at the bit to get started, particularly with all the “Dry-Trumping” he’d had to do without an outlet to crack jokes on a certain buffoonish presidential candidate:
I just want to say that every little boy grows up believing that they could be president of the United States, and I’m so happy that that little boy is Donald Trump. I just hope he’s taking his vitamins. Please stay healthy until I get on the air. Don’t do anything dangerous, don’t ride any motorcycles, because every night before I go to bed I light a candle and pray that he stays in the race. And I also pray that nobody puts that candle anywhere near his hair.
We’ll surely see more promos in the weeks to come, but rewatch the below as we continue the long road to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on September 8.