Stephen Colbert officially took over ‘The Late Show’ on Sept. 8, bringing out his first two guests, George Clooney and Jeb Bush — and both were equally entertaining. So, we’ve broken down every moment you missed (what were you doing?)!
Stephen Colbert broke in the Ed Sullivan Theater in the best way ever. We knew this season of The Late Show would be different, and the 51-year-old host reassured just that when his opening skit included people from all over singing “The National Anthem” — one man wearing a catcher’s mask. And at the very end, that man took the mask off to yell, “Play ball.” And it was Jon Stewart. Oh yeah, and then Colbert did that dance that we loved from the “Get Lucky” video.
Here’s a list of the nine other crazy moments that we loved during premiere night (and a look at that dance):
1. Colbert’s opening was very modern, NYC-filled, and to the music of Jon Batiste and Stay Human, and at every free minute of the night, the crowd chanted “Steph-en Steph-en Steph-en.”
2. Of course, there was an amazing salute to David Letterman, and Colbert informed everyone he was not here to replace him, but actually to honor him, and yes he’s looking forward to “occasionally making the network very mad at us.” Cue the President & CEO of CBS sitting in the front row to flip the (literal) switch to air Mentalist reruns.
3. Jimmy Fallon, his direct competitor, made a cameo through a satellite TV he put in “in case the guest gets boring.” He wanted to be sure he was DVRing his bud’s show, of course, that airs at the same time on NBC. There was no bad blood, but instead they wished each other good luck and agreed to meet after in the locker room. (Can we get in?)
4. We knew Colbert was waiting to talk Donald Trump, and he pretty much got addicted to his jokes — actually, he literally did. Do you know the phrase about cookies, “You can’t have just one?” Well, that also applies to Trump jokes. It all started with Donald’s rant on Nabisco, which led to Colbert pulling out Oreoes, breaking them in half, then dunking them in milk, and eating them — and about two boxes. So he made a threw out a few more punchlines, including calling Donald an “Oompa-loompa-Merican.”
5. With that, plus the earlier Sabra Hummus plug, basically we were hungry by the time the guests started.
As For The Guests
6. George Clooney was the first guest (sexy gray beard and all), and he wasn’t there to promote anything, so Colbert asked about Amal Clooney, his new wife! He even asked “what’s it like to be the eye candy?” which is amazing. Colbert also gave him a little side eye for not inviting him to the wedding — but still gave him a gift: a paperweight from Tiffany’s, inscribed with “I don’t you know.”
7. We got the first Comedy Central joke in there, thanks to Clooney. He was pretty surprised when Colbert handed him a Tiffany’s bag, and said it made sense — he had network money now, not that “Comedy Central swag.” Oh yeah, and the gift was a paperweight inscribed with “I don’t know you,” you know, to prove they weren’t pretending to be friends.
8. Clooney and Colbert also awkwardly did these fake movie scenes since George had nothing real to promote, but it somehow resulted in Clooney revealing that he does all his stunts — and “I do all my own sex.” He also reiterated that “sex sells” — just in case we didn’t know.
9. Jeb Bush took the hot seat next, making us remember what Colbert is really good at it. Jeb said something that shocked many: he doesn’t think that Barack Obama has bad motives, he just doesn’t agree with everything he says. He also made a big point to say that he doesn’t think the two sides need to be enemies. Why does he want to run? “It’s nearly the greatest time to be alive – the government just isn’t working.”
Alright so my last thought was that the editing was a little much for the interviews, but Colbert’s charm totally won me over from minute one to the last — where he joined the performance and sun along to “Everyday People” with Sly and The Family Stone. (By the way, he really did see Jimmy Fallon in the locker room at the end of the episode!)
Did you love the premiere, HollywoodLifers?
— Emily Longeretta