(AP/Richard Shotwell)

Jon Stewart on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" gig: "I’m not suited, and he is"

The former "Daily Show" anchor had some warm words for his former correspondent in a new Times profile

Anna Silman
September 2, 2015 11:16PM (UTC)

In yet another lengthy Stephen Colbert profile leading up to his “Late Show” debut next week, Jon Stewart had some fond words to share about his former "Daily Show" correspondent, who is -- by all accounts -- the nicest man in showbiz.

“What made that character work was the thing that Stephen had to hide, which is his humanity,” Stewart told New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff, referring to Colbert’s blowhard “Colbert Report” persona. “Instead of throwing off the cape and revealing the monster, he reveals, actually — oh, this incredibly lovely, talented man."


Stewart also revealed that both he and Colbert discussed their futures at length before their Comedy Central contracts expired.

“There were many times where we talked about just doing ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ on Broadway, leaving it all behind and just doing that,” he joked. It was Stewart who pushed Colbert to consider the ‘Late Show’ gig, even though CBS had yet to make any offers.

“I think it took him a while to figure out: Can I get excited about this?” Stewart added. "Can I bring the kind of energy and enthusiasm I’m going to need every day? Because these types of shows use every part of the host, as the ancient Americans would say.” (Of his own fitness for the role, Stewart merely said "I’m not suited, and he is.”)


Colbert, for his part, seems to have come around to the idea: “The only thing that felt like a promotion was to be offered to take over for Dave,” he said. And that, as they say, is history.

Read the rest of the profile over at the Times.


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Anna Silman

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