The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 11/16 Recap


The last time we saw Stephen Colbert was in the final moments of Friday’s show when he had just heard of the terror attacks in Paris. He said a some brief words urging everyone to stay safe. Now with a weekend to compose his thoughts, and a guest (Bill Maher) that was be more than willing to talk about the state of the world, Paris will likely be at the forefront of this episode.


The high-energy introduction of the Late Show was replaced with Jon Batiste and Stay Human playing the French National Anthem to a standing, silent crowd. There was no monologue, as the anthem went right into the opening credits of the show. It sounds like Colbert is back on announcing duty. He was the voiceover for the rundown of the show.

To the desk

Colbert went to his comfort zone of behind the desk to address the tragedies in Paris. He thanked the french for all they have given us: The Eiffel Tower, french fried and french kissing. The gist of his message was that any activism, no matter how hollow it may seem, will put you on the right track. Lighting a building in the colors of the French Flag, watching the American film Ratatouille or doing anything that makes you feel closer to the French people is a positive gesture.

To make some sense of the attacks and possibly talk about a solution, Stephen had on NBC military analyst and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs. According to Jacobs, it will take hundreds of thousands of ground troops in an attack that will take decades to completely eradicate the world of ISIS. He also believes that ISIS would not exist if Saddam Hussein were still in power.

“Is there any good news, Colonel?”

“Well, I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.”

That pretty much sums up the tone of the last week.


Bill Maher

This episode of Colbert was like a lighter episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, and that’s appropriate given the current climate of the world. Maher predictably kept it political, discussing the idea that the country is in the middle of a drastic change in belief structure. Colbert provided comic relief for the first portion of the interview, giving a one liner here and there so as not to delve completely into serious conversation.

After the break, the interview becomes a typical interview and gets more personal. Colbert kicks it off with a witty remark: “It’s said that you shouldn’t discuss politics and religion at a dinner party. Bill, have you ever been invited to a dinner party.” Maher responds by saying that the two hosts are very different since Colbert is married and religious. Maher took the conversation as an opportunity to get to his anti-religion belief.

The conversation shifted to the presidential debate and the length of the campaign. “Americans are slow and dim and need to have time so they’re able to change they’re mind.” Maher brought some HBO flare to the interview as much of the interview had to be edited for expletives down the stretch.

Army Captain Florent Groberg

Captain Groberg is a Medal of Honor Recipient due to his bravery in tackling a suicide bomber and pulling the bomber away from a security detail. It was a riveting story that you usually don’t hear on late night comedy shows. It’s great to see Colbert honor the armed forces on his platform.

Author and artist Shepard Fairey

Fairey is the creator of the Obama “Hope” poster and the Andre the Giant “Obey” image. Fairey rose to prominence in the street art scene and can been seen in the Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. The two discussed visual art and how it can have the same impact as music and writing.

The Amazing Acro-Cats

An understandably serious episode of Late night finished on the most light-hearted note it could end on: Acro-Cats. Acro-cats are cats who are trained in in doing acrobatic stunts, except these cats didn’t seem to interested in pleasing the crowd. In classic cat fashion, the cats just gave a few half-interested glances at the crowd and didn’t perform their stunts. Seriously, only about two cats out of five successfully nailed their performances. Colbert stepped in with a pair of cat ears to complete some of the obstacles.