WSJ. Magazine has released its spring men’s fashion issue, which features Stephen Colbert as its cover star. The Late Show host speaks with David Kamp, a writer for the publication, about the evolution of his show, faith, and general optimism. “I actually thought I could come here and be sillier,” Colbert says of the beginning of his time as host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert on the Late Show
Entering a new era as the host of the Late Show, Colbert says, “I thought I could lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside, because that’s the part of the old gig I didn’t particularly like—anybody thinking, ‘Hey, what you do is important!’ Because that is antithetical to being as silly as you possibly can, and I really love being dumb.”
Late Show host Stephen Colbert considers his version of the show to be a program about love. “Of course, you can’t say that out loud, because it sounds a little pretentious,” Colbert admits. The Late Show host elaborates by quoting poet E.E. Cummings, who wrote, “Love is the every only god / who spoke this earth so glad and big.” For Colbert, this implies, “Why would you talk about anything else?”
“We often realize we love something as we’re losing it,” Colbert says, reflecting on current events from the past few years. Many things were lost in the last five years, explains the 57-year-old comedian, including “standards, morals, a shared reality, a shared civic engagement, a lot of friends. And Covid, of course, gave it all a special, piquant little zazz.”