We are less than one month away from Stephen Colbert finally taking over The Late Show. And after hearing him talk during a Q&A session yesterday about what we can expect from the new show, we can hardly wait for it to start!
Colbert fielded a barrage of Late Show questions from the TV Critics Association in Los Angeles, which he answered in both honest and hilarious fashion.
Here are 10 things were learned about The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
1. Colbert hates the idea of “Late Night Wars”
Colbert says he doesn’t want to get competitive with the other late night hosts for ratings. He just wants to have fun competing with his staff to make the best show possible. According to Colbert, “the idea of war between hosts doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not like my success takes away from anyone. And it doesn’t sound very funny. I hope everyone has success.”
2. He’s planning on breaking late night tradition with his monologue
Colbert said he’s going to try new ways of opening the show that work specifically for him. “I don’t think anything I’ve done on my last show or this show is necessarily traditional, other than what the pieces are. We’re gonna try to put them together in a new way.”
3. Letterman helped coach him
Before Letterman retired, Colbert admitted that he sat down for an hour and a half with Dave to get advice on hosting the show. When he asked Letterman if he would have changed anything about his years hosting The Late Show, Dave said, “I would’ve really liked to have had the desk on the other side.” The next day, Colbert asked his set designer to have the desk moved.
4. Kendrick and Clooney are booked for the first episode
We already knew that George Clooney was going to be Colbert’s first Late Show interview, but now we know that hip hop star Kendrick Lamar will be his first musical guest as well.
5. Political humour will still be present
Great news for us Colbert Report fans! Colbert confirmed that he will still dabble in political humour on The Late Show. He said that he picked September 8th to launch the show because it is traditionally the kickoff for presidential elections. He also mentioned that he can’t wait to start making Donald Trump jokes and said that until September, he’s forced to keep “dry-Trumping.”
6. He’s going to interview his guests sincerely, not in character
Colbert said, “I’m very interested in my guests and I’m looking forward to being sincerely interested in what they have to say without having to translate it to an idiot’s mouth. If that leads to some serious conversations I’d be happy. We had them before on the last show and the audience came with us. I don’t see why I should stop.”
7. Some of his personality on The Colbert Report wasn’t an act and it will be evident on The Late Show
Colbert explained, “Oscar Wilde said, “you wanna see someone’s real face, give ’em a mask.’ I had the excuse that I didn’t mean it, but I meant a lot of it. I even agreed with my character sometimes. My hope is when you see me on the new show you’ll go, ‘Oh wow, a lot of that was him the whole time.’ I don’t know how much until I go do it.”
8. He taught us how he follows world events for show preparation
Colbert says he starts out every morning by reading the Skimm, the politics page on Reddit, the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times.
9. He gutted the Ed Sullivan Theater for the new show
Colbert said that all of the bulky old TV equipment used for Letterman’s Late Show is now gone. “You couldn’t tell it was in a theater before,” he explained. “Technology has advanced enough since 1993. I find it a very intimate space now.”
Despite revamping most of The Ed Sullivan Theater, Colbert kept the old brass-handled, manual freight elevator that Letterman used to travel down to the stage for his tenure as the Late Show host. He got Dave to teach him how to use it before he left.
10. CBS isn’t meddling with the show
Colbert says CBS has been pretty hands off and has allowed his team to prepare for the show their own way. He said CBS “has asked nothing of me, other than I fill an hour every night.”
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert debuts September 8