On Wednesday as Stephen Colbert took the stage for his first performance on The Late Show, he looked like he belonged in the newly renovated Ed Sullivan Theatre.
Taking the audience along for the ride as he Tivo’d Jimmy Fallon for later, Colbert received a warm welcome across the country. 6.6 million people tuned in to watch the debut.
Less than 24 hours after air, the Emmy-winner and Time magazine cover man had garnered about 4 million views on Youtube.
Mark after mark, Colbert hit punchlines and laughter from the audience was free flowing throughout the program. George Clooney and Jeb Bush provided high contrast as guests for the evening.
Fans of The Colbert Report were happy to see the host bring all the gold bits of his previous project to his new program.
No minute was wasted and the audience got their daily dose of Donald Trump’s latest sound bites. With sharp wit, Colbert likened public consumption of Trump-media-overload to “fishing in a garbage can for lost Oreos.”
The host also admitted his surprise to hear that Trump rates highly among white supremacists, seeing as Trump “is more OompaLoomp-American.”
Strangely, Clooney had no project to promote during the taping, but instead lent his acting skills to Decision Strike, a film shot behind the set.
Jeb Bush graced the stage with a heart-felt plea for the “return of civility” in the 2016 presidential race. Bush also shared his opinion of President Obama saying he “does not having bad motives” but is “wrong on a lot of issues.” Colbert followed up by noting, “You were this close to getting the audience to clap.”
The show ended with a tribute to David Letterman, the iconic former host of The Late Show. “We should never lose sight of how David changed comedy,” Colbert said. He insisted to the audience that he could never replace such an influential figure in television in a humble statement which only makes us love him more.