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One Late Night Trope Stephen Colbert Determined He Wouldn’t Do, Then ‘Fell In Love With’ Anyway

Stephen Colbert biting his lip trying not to laugh while interviewing Chris Hemsworth on The Late Show

Stephen Colbert may not have seemed like the most obvious choice as The Late Show’s replacement following David Letterman’s retirement, but he’s certainly proven his worth through these first eight seasons since taking over in 2015. Despite some early struggles finding his late night footing, the Daily Show vet is now as much a traditional late night staple as anyone, though he was initially dead set against utilizing one of the format’s most time-honored elements: the opening monologue.

Having come into The Late Show directly from Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, the host was obviously skilled in such familiar late night go-tos as celebrity interviews and topic-specific rants with pre-packaged graphics. (Check out where he ranks among our favorite late night hosts.) But he was also used to 30-minute runtimes, as opposed to hour-long episodes, and apparently wasn’t all that interested in leaning on monologues to fill the airtime. Speaking with EW, he revealed:

I was determined to not do a monologue. I thought, ‘I’m not a stand-up. I’m an actor.’ And then I fell in love with the monologue. You just need to relax, have a good time, and follow your instincts in terms of the stories you’re interested in.

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