There was a time when Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” was not on top. The post-David Letterman era got off to such a mediocre start that some critics began calling for “Late Late Show” host James Corden to take over. And then Joe Biden guested.
“For the interviews, I got there a little bit quicker — though not consistently — when Joe Biden was on,” Colbert told his friend Jon Stewart in a “Flipped Interview” posted to the CBS show’s YouTube page. “And Joe Biden — really only I, my real self, could have received what Mr. Biden was willing to share with me and the audience.”
“Two Catholics that had dealt with terribly painful losses in their lives,” Stewart said.
“Exactly,” Colbert responded. “And when he left, I turned to [my producer] over there and said, ‘That nice old man just gave me my show.'”
Stephen had a little earlier help shedding his “Colbert Report” mask for the non-character gig. This assist came from someone very dear to the family man.
“First coming out here, a) I didn’t know who I was. I mean, I know who I am as a human being,” Colbert said. “And so, my wife, Evie, I’d have her sit in a chair five rows back over there. For the first month, she sat there. Because I’d go, ‘Oh, oh, I’m married to her.’ Because my character was not married to her. My character was married to a woman named Lorraine, and it was not a happy relationship.”
“So I would look at [Evie] and say, ‘OK, I’m her husband. This is me. I’m me. I’m their dad, I’m her husband,'” he added. “But I was completely uncomfortable just standing out there telling jokes. We didn’t really do a proper monologue for six months.”
Watch Colbert get candid via the video above, and remember his terrific Biden interview below.
Here is more from Stewart’s interview of Colbert:
And even more: