Television August 11, 2015
Stephen Colbert on Spending Time with David Letterman Before He Retired
Stephen Colbert is ready to take over for David Letterman. The host of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" talked to "Extra's" Renee Bargh at CBS' TCA presentation on Monday, revealing he spent some time with Letterman before he signed off as the show's host... and asked him a lot of questions.
Colbert said, “I had a very nice conversation with Dave.” He went on to say they spent an hour and a half together. “I asked him a bunch of stuff that may not even mean much to a general audience, because at one point I said, about thirty minutes in, I said, 'Do you mind me asking all these questions?' and he said 'No, no one's ever asked me these questions before…'"
Colbert replied to Dave, "'No one's ever asked you like about the producer position or like where the desk angles or anything like that?' He goes 'No, who would know to ask me… who would understand the answers I'm giving you?' Which, was really to me, it meant a lot to me, 'cause it's sort of a gracious way of him saying, 'You're asking the right questions.'”
Letterman even took time to teach Stephen how to use the freight elevator in the Ed Sullivan theater, “'Cause that's how you get down from the offices to the stage… and you have to take this old brass handle, hand run, like manually-run freight elevator down to the basement, go through the tunnels, and then come up behind the stage… that was sublime.”
Colbert said he's hands-on in creating a new stage. “I am deeply involved in the process... which is a nice way of saying control freak… I'm like crawling up on steel ladders next to electrical cables, going, 'Can we bring the digital camera in through here?' They're like, 'Why are you the one doing that?' I'm like, 'I don't know, but I don't have a show yet and I'm going insane!' Maybe building the set will feel like performing!”
The comedian's first performance is on Sept. 8 with his first guest, George Clooney. Colbert explained, “Not only is he a brilliant actor and a great director, but I like that he cares about the world. I like that he does an espresso commercial to pay for his spy satellite. There's some meat behind that beefcake.”
Colbert also commented on the hot news of the day -- the controversy surrounding Donald Trump's comments about FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly after the GOP debate. He took a surprising stance. “As much as it pains me to say, it's agonizing... but I think Donald Trump should be allowed to join the other debates because he might be somebody you don't agree with or don't like, but you can't not have somebody 'cause you suspect them of saying something degrading or disgusting, if he never said it.”