Stephen Colbert revealed why he ended his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, and had some kind words for Donald Trump in an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation
Stephen Colbert opened up about the reasons why he left The Colbert Report and his caricature of a conservative pundit behind, as well as Donald Trump’s candidacy – which he deemed “very appealing” – during an interview with Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson that’s set to air on Sunday morning.
Colbert explained that he left his Comedy Central show for CBS’ The Late Show primarily because he sensed that the country no longer craved “constant divisiveness,” telling the host:
"“That’s one of the reasons I stopped the old show is that I had a sense where the country is. I think people don’t really want constant divisiveness. I really don’t think they want that. And that’s what I was aping. And I thought, ‘Ah, I can’t really drink that cup anymore. ‘Cause I don’t think people really want to hear it.’”"
Colbert also weighed in on Trump’s rise to the top of the polls, admitting that he may have been wrong to declare that the GOP frontrunner could never become president, calling his campaign’s populism “appealing,” although some his policies can be “shocking”
“There’s a populism to Trump that I found very appealing,” he said. “The party elders would like him to go away, but the people have decided that he is not going to.”
He continued: “I may disagree with anything that he’s saying and think that his proposals are a little… well, more than a little shocking, but there is something really hopeful about the fact that, well, 36 percent of the likely voters want him so the people in the machine don’t get to say otherwise. That’s the one saving grace, I think, of his candidacy.”
“There sounded like there’s a little bit of Trump respect in you for his ability to channel the populist,” Dickerson replied. Colbert responded by saying that he can respect that Trump knows “it is an emotional appeal,” even if its emotional appeals that he himself cannot respect.
Although Colbert once dismissed Trump as an “ego-maniacal billionaire” who’s never going to be president, the comedian has since changed his tune, telling Dickerson, “He knows that you have to appeal to the voter. And that’s why, I may be wrong — I made a big deal about there’s no way he’s gonna win. But again, I don’t know anything about politics.”
The full interview can be seen this Sunday, Dec. 27 on CBS’ Face the Nation, while The Late Show with Stephen Colbert returns with new episodes weeknights on CBS in the new year.