As he prepared to launch the new “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” — which premieres tonight on CBS — Colbert got pointers from the man he will be replacing, David Letterman.
USA Today reports that Colbert revealed two conversations with Letterman since news broke that Colbert had the job.
“He called me the day it was announced,” Colbert said. “He mostly spoke and I mostly listened, and when it was over I wrote it all down.”
The next flurry of advice from Letterman came as the late-night legend was approaching the end of his run on CBS.
“A couple weeks before he went off the air, I said, ‘Can I come talk to you?,'” Colbert said. “We sat in his outer office and had a couple bottles of Poland Spring (water); we talked about our dogs and our kids, and then I started asking him things about the show, nuts and bolts. Not as comedians making each other laugh, but guys talking shop. I said, ‘Do you mind me asking these questions?’ He said, ‘I don’t mind at all, no one’s ever asked me these questions.’”
A surprising highlight for Colbert featured a discussion about the building’s freight elevator.
“I said, ‘Would you show me how to run the freight elevator?’ And he goes, ‘Absolutely! Best thing about the building!’ So he taught me how to run it. It was like handing me the keys to the car,” Colbert said.