Stephen Colbert: ‘I Would Trade Good Ratings for a Better President’

Apr 13, 2017  •  Post A Comment

The host of CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” is enjoying a ratings surge that many observers attribute to his persistent critiques of Donald Trump. But Colbert tells The Hollywood Reporter in a new interview that he doesn’t feel he owes Trump a thank-you note.

“I would trade good ratings for a better president,” Colbert tells THR’s Marisa Guthrie in the in-depth interview. He goes on to suggest that the show was preparing to focus on whatever was important to viewers, and then the Trump presidency just happened.

“If it’s not Donald Trump, it’s something else,” he said. “There will be something else that we care about, hopefully happy, possibly tragic. But we’re ready to talk about what just happened, whenever it happens now.”

Colbert adds: “Donald Trump is epoch-making; he changes everything. And so we were ready for something that galvanized people’s attention and changed their priorities. The thank-you note is to my staff for being ready.”

The THR interview covers a range of topics, including coming up with bits with Jon Stewart, how Colbert really felt about the election results, and his Christmas present to David Letterman. We encourage readers to click here to read the full interview.


  1. And who made him the arbiter of our political system?

    • Apparently the same person who made you the arbiter of what people can and can’t say.

  2. It’s still just Colbert’s opinion. It’s not a matter of fact.

    • Well, yeah…they asked him his opinion, so why would it be otherwise?

      That said, judging by both his ratings and Trump’s polling for approval, I’d say that plenty of people agree with Colbert.

  3. He is pandering to his viewers and they love it. It is also exactly what someone with his job is supposed to do. His comment however that he would trade his good ratings – is pure manure! If he could have generated strong ratings by exposing Obama as the best gun salesman in America for 8 years, he would have. But that message would not have resonated with his audience. This is an entertainer who is paid to entertain. His true opinion may never be known as he is always ‘entertaining’ his followers. Remember he is a comedian, so let’s all just laugh at everything he says!

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