Stephen Colbert said on The Late Show tonight that his Big Debut nearly didn’t make it to the CBS airwaves on Tuesday. Taking the Ed Sullivan Theater stage for Night 2 of his hosting era, the former Colbert Report stalwart said that after the first show’s taping went way over its scheduled time, his producers struggled to edit the episode to fit the time slot.
“The show premiered last night, and I”m happy to say we made it to Show 2,” Colbert said. “This is great because I believe that’s when my health insurance kicks in. And I almost needed a heart transplant last night because a funny thing happened — and this is an absolutely true story I’m about to tell you. The show almost didn’t get on the air last night. The show was a little long … you know, first show, you want to do a lot. And, we had to cut some stuff we loved. …”
He continued: “Here’s the thing: It took us awhile to cut the show down to time, and when we tried to send it to the network so they could show it to you on air, the computers kept crashing. Yeah! And, at a 11:20, no one in the building could give me a guarantee for certain the show was going to go on the air last night. So! You can imagine how exciting that was for all of us. After CBS had plastered my face on every flat surface on the planet. … And as I felt the oxygen begin to drain from my brain and all my organs shutting down, I thought, ‘If we actually make it to air, this will be a pretty good story. And if we don’t, it will still be a very interesting story to tell at the theater camp I’ll be running in Idaho.”
But after much stress and fretting, the behind-the-scenes folks triumphed. “Our talented tech team got the show out of the hard drives and on to the air,” Colbert said. “And, I’m still not what sure the problem was, but if you’re seeing this at home right now, it means we fixed it.”