By the time Stephen Colbert entered the studio to tape Thursday night’s episode of The Colbert Report, he knew he would soon be taking the Late Show reins from David Letterman. Everyone in the audience knew. And Colbert knew everyone in the audience knew.
And when the raucous cheers finally died down, did Stephen Colbert do the “Stephen Colbert” thing and take a literal victory lap around his desk? No, he did not. In what might be his first step toward shedding the “Stephen Colbert” character, Stephen Colbert paid a quick and hilarious tribute to the man he will soon be replacing.