Saturday night saw two of late night’s best names share a stage together in an effort to put a cap on the exhausting election season. But for Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, you have to feel that they figured they’d have a different script to go off before the final results of Election 2016 became clear. But the duo seemed to make the best of it and revealed a few interesting things about their respective shows.
According to The New York Times, the panel was scheduled weeks ago in an effort to raise funds for the Montclair Film Festival –where Colbert’s wife works as president of the board — but the event itself became “like a group therapy session” with the two sharing their thoughts and war stories from the election that preceded. Yahoo News compared the event to Colbert’s live Showtime election special that went from a celebration of the election ending on a somber note to kick off a new political era:
“We had guests and pre-taped pieces for one of three eventualities: Hillary Clinton wins and we know; Hillary Clinton winds and we don’t know, because it’s not called until the show’s over; or Donald Trump winds and we don’t know, because he had such a narrow path to victory….
“We have two-and-a-half shows worth of material that you’ll probably never see,” he said mournfully. “We had all these made-up commercials, but none of them were appropriate once we went on the air.”
Apparently, some in attendance at the Montclair panel were “sobbing openly” during the show, which really shouldn’t set the tone for the night but it does. Luckily both did their best to entertain the hall and keep it away from being a massive mope session for charity.
The truly interesting aspects of the night involved some of the backgrounds into the new Late Show hosted by Colbert and Oliver’s Last Week Tonight over on HBO. While debating what they need to become next within the political landscape, Oliver shares that his show is able to do things a little different than Colbert’s despite not initially setting out to do so according to Yahoo:
“We built a whole side of our stage as an interview area, because that’s what I thought you did. That’s the DNA I was raised on at The Daily Show. You talk for a bit, and then you to talk to someone else for a bit and then everyone stops talking.” The host did incorporate interviews into never-aired test shows, but dropped them after HBO said that he could use that time for other material. “We still have this whole interview stage that we barely ever use. Right now, it’s where we have dancing mascots and explosions.”
Oliver also talks about how HBO allows for more leinency when it comes to cursing and nudity, two things he uses to great effect during the show:
“In the first season, we did one scene of full frontal male nudity — not mine! — and we had to cast a series of penises, so the brought me all these penis shots. My casting criteria was: [the penis] shouldn’t make your heart hurt, or feel bad for the person or make you think that a trip to the doctor would be advised. So that eliminated two out of the five penises.” Now that he’s in his third season, though, he doesn’t feel the need to strip down again. “We wanted to exercise all those muscles [early on] and then relax and do our show. But we couldn’t not do it at that point.”
Obviously they couldn’t help diving into the Trump administration a bit, sharing a little doom and gloom, but the more timely observation by the pair might be for Mike Pence’s lively night out to see Hamilton. Pretty much everybody has chimed in at this point, but Colbert and Oliver almost seem to take slightly different avenues to get to the same point:
“I like that he stayed and listened. He actually stayed in the doorway and listened and they thanked him for staying to hear it.” Oliver was less impressed: “He stayed in the doorway. That feels like the Mike Pence version of listening.”
They also had some strong opinions for the folks who are quick to say we should give Donald Trump a chance now that he’s won the presidency.
All and all it seems like a fine event that will hopefully be put on video. The two seemed to have a little bit of fun making fun of each other and Trump, even sharing some drinks before the evening ended. One audience member wanted to know when a woman would end up in the interview chair and Colbert claimed he’d like to get Samantha Bee next year, so that’s something to look for. Keep an eye out for video.
(Via New York Times / Yahoo News)