Stephen Colbert made an appearance on The Late Show on Tuesday night for the first time since it was announced that he will be David Letterman’s successor. The appearance was , like most things involving late night talk shows, pretty good. It also gave us our first glimpse of actual late night host Stephen Colbert, as opposed to “Stephen Colbert.”
CBS released a brief clip of the proceedings on Tuesday afternoon.
The two chatted about family stuff—vacations, dogs, teens—and Colbert detailed his various intersections with The Late Show. He was offered but turned down an internship with the show in 1986 because it was unpaid. In the nineties, he’d submitted some writing samples, including a Top Ten list that they fished out of the vault and let him read on it on air. It was called Top Ten Cocktails for Santa, and it was okay, I guess? Sometimes, 17-year-old jokes don’t age well. It happens!
And, also, they took a selfie (not Colbert's first). “Do your have your phone ready to go?” asked an exasperated Letterman who had no intention of making the moment seem spontaneous. Are you tired of this trend? I hope not, because selfies and coverage of selfies will probably continue through the end of the year.
So that was it. It was simultaneously a neat, little preview and kiss of the ring. Trying to analyze comedy subjectively is pretty pointless and trying to gauge the quality of a years- or decades-long hosting gig from one guest appearance is equally pointless. Having said that, Stephen Colbert, the real person, seems like a totally affable guy. He’ll probably be fine.