We all are going to miss “Stephen Colbert,” the blowhard host of “The Colbert Report,” but it sounds like Colbert himself is ready to move on.
“I think one of the reasons why I most wanted to drop the character was I felt I had done everything I could do on that show except express my honest interest in my guests,” said Colbert at the Television Critics Association press tour.
He also talked about how much he loved doing interviews saying, “My favorite thing on [“The Colbert Report”] very quickly became doing interviews. I got into comedy through improvisation.”
While bits are scripted and choreographed, “when you’re interviewing people, you don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s much closer to my craft.”
He emphasized that he was hoping to continue having some diversity in the guests he has on the new show, instead of just the usual actors and musicians. “All I really want from a guest is somebody who has something to say so I can play with them.”
When pressed about whether or not CBS would be OK with the idea of not having the same circuit of guests as everyone else, he said, “CBS has asked nothing for me other than I fill an hour, Monday through Friday.”
Asked who he’d gone to for advice about the new show, Colbert said he’d gone straight to the source: David Letterman. “About ten days before Dave went off the air, I asked if I could go hang out with him,” he explained. “He was really gracious.”
Colbert even apologized for asking the kinds of questions Letterman probably got all the time, and the former host reassured him that his questions were unique, and told him “Who would know to ask, and who would care what the answer was?”
And while he’s looking forward to getting on the air again, the hardest part right now may be all the current event jokes he’s missing.
“I want to say that every little boy grows up thinking that they could be president of the United States and I’m so happy that that little boy is Donald Trump. I just hope he’s taking his vitamins. Just stay healthy until I get on the air,” urged Colbert. “I want to do jokes on Donald Trump so badly and I don’t have any venue, so right now I’m just dry Trumping.”
And if you enjoyed that joke, Colbert is with you: He liked it so much, he tweeted it out during his panel.