Ninety-seven days. That’s how much longer the world has to wait for American patriot Stephen Colbert to make his hopefully-triumphant return to late-night television as the new host of The Late Show on CBS.
Still months away from the premiere of his new program, Colbert — along with executive producer Tom Purcell, head writer Opus Moreschi and writer/digital media producer Rob Dubbin (who’s in the room, but only allowed to breathe heavily in the corner) — recorded a podcast to help ingratiate would-be viewers into the ongoing process of transitioning from the show that living legend David Letterman left behind, to the new-and-maybe-hopefully-somehow-improved version that Colbert will take over starting on September 8.
The whole thing is less than 20 minutes long and simply delightful if you’re a fan of Colbert, late night television, or mostly unnecessary, but entertaining banter. Here’s what we learned from “In the Bad Room with Stephen”:
A. It is not brought to you by MailChimp – Colbert’s no dummy, so he starts off his inaugural podcast with a customary plug for a company you’ve never heard of. In this case, though, it’s a fictional startup trying to sell you security for the information stored on your Cloud. Yes, it’s called Fog.
2. They can say “sh*t” – The podcast is explicit. Or, at least it’s explicit until they learn that they’re not allowed to be explicit. For now, the front half of the 20-minute podcast is littered with “sh*t.” Literally.
D. They’ve got a meth problem – The guys confess that a lot of the early stages of getting the show off the ground and ready for the September 8 premiere involves yucky stuff like picking carpet and re-wiring parts of the set. The silver lining — or copper lining, if I may (sorry, won’t happen again) — is that a lot of that stuff can be salvaged for money, which can then be used to fund the staff’s meth problem.
4. The Late Show will cater to the “American ass” – When making the more material selections about The Late Show set and how it would be filmed, Colbert and Co. were presented with options pertaining to the width of the seats in the audience. They went with the wider option to cater to the presumably large American asses that will be occupying them.
5. The staff is territorial over their bathrooms – Apparently the renovations to the studio haven’t been completed on all floors, but Colbert says the bathroom on his 11th floor is not only finished, but spectacular. So much so that “meat-fed men come in there to ceremonially slaughter a goat in the stalls.” Thanks for that image.
6. Speaking of the bathroom, you should be in one right now – Colbert confesses that he uses his headphones while, um, tending to his personal business and that his new podcast is probably best if listened to whilst on the toilet.
7. Eternity + 4 – That’s the name of the fictional CBS drama Colbert wants this podcast to inspire. He’s willing to star. Basically, it’s about four angels (one’s a producer who just sits in the corner) who go around solving crimes in the afterlife. There’s more than you think, apparently.
8. Comedy is like … baking? – Colbert uses a convoluted analogy about throwing out stale baked goods and deciding whether his new restaurant should bake new ones or just start serving chicken? By the way, would totally eat at Stephen Colbert’s chicken joint.
9. The best commercial will be the last commercial – The Late Show promises to be the “juiciest show in late night.” Colbert’s so confident in that assertion that he’s daring viewers to sink their teeth in and try to devour it in one sitting. If they can make it through, they’ll be rewarded with the last message from a corporate sponsor that will serve as the break between the end of his program and the start of The Late Late Show With James Corden.
10. The podcast was recorded in “The Bad Room” – “This room is like the Vegas of feeling bad. There are no windows. There’s no clock. You don’t know how much time has passed in this room. It’s oddly square, which is a bad feeling. I never thought a square room would feel bad, but, really, you want one of the distances to be longer than the other.”
11. It could have been 35-minutes long – They actually recorded 35 minutes worth of material, but before Colbert locked himself inside a man-sized cabinet inside the room, he articulated that he felt as though their performance on the first podcast only warranted 20-minutes worth of material. And so it was.
The Late Show starring Stephen Colbert is set to debut on CBS on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.