Stephen Colbert kicked off his first new show since May by celebrating the end of the writers’ strike and the new contract the guild secured — as well as the fact that his writers are “back safely in their job holes, doing what they do best: making my prompter word screen full of good and haha.”
Colbert took “The Late Show” on hiatus after the Writers Guild of America declared a strike on May 2, and judging by the cold open, he was not only thrilled to be back, he also doesn’t hold writers responsible for the length of the strike.
It began with Colbert pretending to have been fishing in the ocean in a rowboat for the duration of the strike, only to be notified by a dolphin that the strike had ended.
Colbert asked, “How did they solve the AI issue?” His answer came in the form of squeaks from the dolphin, which Colbert translated as, “Oh, artificial intelligence can be used but it can’t be credited as a writer or be a source of literary material?
“Makes sense. Why did that take five months?” he quipped.
As for the monologue, the host walked out to cheers from the audience. “Feels good to be back. Feels good to be with all of you again here in the Ed Sullivan Theater because after the first few months of the strike, Evelyn [Colbert’s wife] refused to keep chanting my name,” Colbert said.
“It’s been a long time since our last ‘Late Show.’ We looked at the calendar today and, check my math on this, I believe we have been off the air for 154 indictments,” Colbert added. That was the setup for a gag where the host attempted to recap some of the bigger stories that happened during the hiatus. You’ll have to wait until the show airs later today to see that bit, but you can see the cold open below:
And Colbert’s comments about the strike here:
Along with the monologue’s good jokes, Colbert’s first guest back was Neil deGrasse Tyson, with a musical performance by Louis Cato.
For all of TheWrap’s Hollywood strike coverage, click here.