Colbert: 'Report' persona 'like the devil on my shoulder'

Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertColbert extends contract to host 'The Late Show' through 2023 Susan Rice blasts Trump as 'total sell-out' for saying Kurds are 'more of a terrorist threat' than ISIS Susan Rice calls Trump decision to pull troops from Syria 'batshit crazy' MORE says when he first started hosting “The Late Show,” it was tough to shake his bombastic Comedy Central persona, particularly when chatting up Republican presidential candidates.


“When I first started interviewing people, like when I had Jeb [Bush], or [Donald] Trump, or [Ted] Cruz on, he’d sit on my shoulder, like the devil on my shoulder,” Colbert tells Adweek in an interview published Sunday. “And he would say, ‘Let me do this one. I can make every sentence a joke.’”

The CBS funnyman, who took the reins at the network’s late-night show last September, had been famous for portraying a satirical political pundit on “The Colbert Report,” — a character Colbert once described as a “well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot.”

But Colbert, 51, doesn’t miss his former role, saying, “I just wouldn’t let him out. I went in the opposite direction.”

“One of the things that I enjoy about ["The Late Show"] is there is no obligation to have a sword and shield. I’m so happy to lay that thing down by the riverside. So it was easy for me to tell him to go away.”

The comedian also opened up about his widely lauded, emotional interview last year with Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump knocks Romney as 'Democrat secret asset' in new video Giuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Perry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry MORE, in which the vice president discussed the death of his son, Beau Biden, to brain cancer.

“When Mr. Biden left, I said to my executive producer, ‘Oh, that nice man just gave me my show.’ Because I had to be my deepest self to receive the gift he gave us of sharing that.”

“That has happened multiple times of the past five months,” said Colbert. “Those are the moments I go, oh, this is why I took the show.”