No Colbert Report character for Late Show

Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert

LOS ANGELES • Stephen Colbert discussed plans for his new late night show for the first time on Monday.

Colbert, who will debut as the host of The Late Show on Sept 8, said he has been "twitching" in the nine months since signing off from his Comedy Central show. "I want to get in front of the audience and hear the laughter," he said at a Television Critics Association press event.

He said he feels liberated about the prospect of interviewing guests without playing the character he embodied on The Colbert Report. The number of guests he will interview every week is about to jump from four to roughly 15.

"One of the reasons why I most wanted to drop the character is that I felt I had done everything I could do with him other than have honest interest in my guest," he said. "Which is almost constant. Now I feel actually more freed up. That was in some ways the most energetic, the most exciting part of the show to me and now I don't have to hold back at all. Now I can just talk."

He said his CBS show would have politicians, actors, intellectuals, writers and sports stars. His first guest will be George Clooney and the first musical guest will be Kendrick Lamar.

There is one thing he is interested in: talking about Donald Trump. "Every night before I go to bed, I light a candle and pray that he stays in the race and I also pray that no one puts that candle anywhere near his hair," he said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'No Colbert Report character for Late Show'. Subscribe