In a wide-ranging interview for the cover of Vanity Fair, The Late Show host talked about what he thinks the CBS show will look like. He also revealed that he has been diagnosed with a rare condition called benign positional vertigo.
Separately, showrunner Chris Licht opened up about an informal club between the bosses of the rival late-night shows and how that group helped when Covid-19 struck in March.
Many have suggested that late-night may become sillier and ratings may fall once Donald Trump is no longer president. But Colbert tells the glossy monthly that he couldn’t be happier.
“If Joe Biden is a pair of khaki pants inside a manila envelope, that would be great. I actually don’t think you need to think about politics all the time. And one of the things I’m looking forward to is not,” Colbert said.
What will the show look like in a year? “The first thing I picture is I have an audience,” he said. “Jon Batiste and the Stay Human Band are there, and our offices are buzzing every day and we’re all passing each other in the halls and saying, ‘Did you see this story?’ and ‘How was your weekend?’ And we’re laughing and we’re hugging and we’re friends hanging out, which is what we are. There might be echoes of [Trump]. He might be something that never fully goes away. He’s like herpes – there might be blossomings of him where we have to take Valtrex. We have to take the Valtrex to keep the Trump blossoms down.”
The former host of The Colbert Report also admitted in the interview that the weekend before the election he developed benign positional vertigo, which the Mayo Clinic says is the sudden sensation that you’re spinning or the inside of your head is spinning. “It’s almost entertaining, until I forget,” he said. “And then I go to stand up, and then I just fall down. So, I’m coming to you right now from a very weird angle, slightly listing to port.”
In 2016, Colbert brought on Licht, former showrunner of CBS’ This Morning, to oversee his show and Licht is widely considered to have turned around the fortunes of the show. In the interview, Licht, who was also former exec producer of Morning Joe, said he and the showrunners of shows including The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Daily Show have created an informal club, meeting over dinner to talk about work. He said that they stayed in touch during February and March as the pandemic was forcing them all to shoot their shows from home.
“We were all talking to each other in March like, ‘What the f*ck are you guys going to do?’,” Licht said. “We were all lost in the wilderness, and we all shared as much information as possible.”
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