Carly Fleischmann is an autistic woman who can’t speak, but that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her dreams of becoming what she calls the “first-ever nonverbal celebrity talk show host.” And from the short package that introduced her segment during Night Of Too Many Stars, she has succeeded with the help of technology and some creative thinking.
Her appearance during Night Of Too Many Stars was meant to demonstrate this, but it ended up demonstrating the importance of the telethon instead and why we need autism education. The interview doesn’t go as planned due to the realities of autism — unlike the rest of the night which seemed to suffer from the hazards of live television. And while the comedians could easily joke their way through the rest of the show when things didn’t go as planned, it wasn’t the same when things got serious.
Luckily Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart handled it wonderfully and highlighted the message of the night. Colbert kept calm and did his best to support Carly throughout and then Stewart spoke after the show returned from its break, praising Fleischmann for her genius and how she’s managed to persevere despite everything.
Colbert returns later next to Fleischmann in the audience, letting folks know that her distraction wasn’t due to her autism but was instead due to her OCD and the golden confetti on the stage. But while addressing this, he promises to do the interview in the future and teases the questions she wrote specifically for him. It’s a great moment all around and folks online agreed.
To close out the show, Jon Stewart summed up everything that happened during the night and what it meant to those involved.