Stephen Colbert has no interest in publicly feuding with his late night competitors.
“The idea of war between hosts makes no sense to me,” he revealed when I posed the question during a press conference yesterday at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly HIlls.
“Its not like my success takes away from anyone else. And fighting amongst each other doesn’t sound funny. There is no joke there. So I am not interested.”
Colbert, 51, joked that he didn’t play a lot of sports in school and wasn’t particularly competitive.
“I got picked last for dodgeball,” he said.
“Competition isn’t that fun to me. We are competing against ourselves to have fun on the show. I hope everybody does the same and has fantastic ratings.”
The former Comedy Central star will ditch his blowhard, conservative “character” when he takes over David Letterman’s longtime job on September 8.
“I am very excited to get back to work,” he said.
“I want to do jokes about Donald Trump so badly and I have no venue.”
Here’s more of what the comic had to share:
Once you dropped the character from your last show, how easy was it to find the you that you wanted to be on TV?
He has been there the whole time. I have been wearing that mask lighter and lighter as the years go on.
Did Dave leave anything in the office for you?
Dave did something better. Dave used to get down to the theater in an old brass handled, manual freight elevator, which he asked them not to change back in 1993 when they renovated the theater. And I said the same, “Please don’t change that.” So after we talked for an hour and a half, I said, “Just one last thing. Would you show me how to run the elevator.” So he showed me how to run it and then he showed me how to open the door so that the elevator would be right there. And he said, “There. Now it is waiting for you.” And that felt like a guy teaching you how to use the tool before he leaves.
Think you can get him to come on the show?
That would be fun! It would be an honor.
What is your honest opinion of Donald Trump. Do you think he could actually become president?
Honestly? He could! [laughs] And that is not my opinion of Trump. That is my opinion of our nation.
Does that scare you?
You know what? There have been some great presidents and some bad presidents. Having a giant swinging set of balls isn’t the worst thing in the world. You know?
Will you do a traditional monologue?
I don’t think anything I have done on my last show or my new show is necessarily traditional other than sort of what the pieces are. We will try to put them together in a new way.
Would you want to maybe do it from behind a desk?
I am going to do it every way. Listen, we have 202 [shows] a year. We are going to find what is right for me. I don’t feel like I have to come right out of the gate knowing everything. I would like to have enough humility to find it as I go.
When did you know you were funny?
I am from a big family. I am one of 11 kids and my brothers and sisters… My wife always says “You are always so quiet when your brothers and sisters are around”. [And it is] because they are so funny. I am the youngest. The baby of the family. So I always had an audience. I wanted to make them laugh. And also it stopped people from beating me up in high school.
THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT premieres September 8 on CBS.
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