“What?!” Hart incredulity-feigned.
The CBS late-night host read quotes from Hart’s interview that morning on ABC’s Good Morning America in which Hart told the Oscars-hosting network he was “done with it.” Hart also told Michael Strahan that the controversy over being offered the hosting gig, from which he stepped away days later when homophobic remarks from years ago were revisited, would “get no more energy” from him.
Asked if he had anything else he wanted to say after getting grilled on the topic multiple times in recent days – including Ellen DeGeneres’ effort to liaison between Hart and the Academy – Hart made clear he did not.
Colbert pulled out the tried-and-true If You Had A Time Machine question, in which the subject gets to say if they would have done anything different.
“No,” Hart shot back.
“Because you didn’t apologize at first,” Colbert continued to poke.
Hart wasn’t having it.
“It’s an onion. No matter how many times you keep peeling, it’s endless….And every headline is ‘He Apologized Again.’
“I’m done,” he added.
The audience applauded; Colbert suggested “it” is not over “until the audience is over it.”
Hart disagreed, arguing you can’t lead your life entirely to please others.
Colbert countered that an entertainer’s job is to please an audience.
“That’s not really my job,” Hart insisted, saying his job is to put himself out there, 24/7. “All of me. There is no version of me that is fake.”
“I’m so true to me, that there is no BS,” Hart said.
He then gave his version of this “onion”:
-“I go, ‘Alright, I remember this. I said ‘sorry’ for that back then. But, guess what, I’m gonna do it again.'”
-“Alright, I get it. Here’s another one.”
-“Okay. Y’all want another one. Here goes another one!”
Concluded Hart: “At some point you have to be okay with you. I’m okay with me, and all decisions I’ve made in my life. This is my decision to say I’m over it. I’m done. That’s it.”
Colbert wondered what Hart had originally planned for the Oscar job.
“I was going to be good; I had some heat!” Hart boasted, saying his monologue “actually goes hand in hand with what’s going on now.”
At the Oscars, “everybody is uptight. Nobody can breathe or move. Their clothes are fitted to perfection, everybody’s neck is as straight as it can be, and the only thing they know to do is this when the camera comes,” he said, making a pained smile.
Hart intended to tell the Oscar crowd to relax because otherwise they would become a career-killing meme.
He brought photos to demonstrate, showing Colbert’s crowd that shot of Nicole Kidman clapping at the Oscars in such a way that looked like her nails still were wet from a manicure.
“This almost ended Nicole,” Hart joked. “They saw that she had boomerangs for hands.”
“It was going to be fire!” The Upside star taunted Colbert of his Oscar hosting what-if.
Asked who should host this year, Hart told Colbert, “Whoever is wanting and willing of the job. You would be a good host!”
Colbert took a pass, saying he had too much to apologize for in his past. “You’ve got nothing on me!” he told Hart.