A 19-year-old Wyatt Cenac fought with Norm Macdonald backstage at SNL during a soccer match with Stephen Colbert and Colin Quinn.
The Daily Show alums Wyatt Cenac and Stephen Colbert revealed on Tuesday’s The Late Show that the first time they met was in the 1990s while they were working for SNL. Their first encounter involved a soccer game in the hallways of Studio 8H which got out of hand, with things eventually turning physical between the then-young intern and cast member Norm Macdonald, causing Colbert and Colin Quinn to intervene.
After some awkward small talk, Colbert explained that the two “met under unusual circumstances” in 1996 while the comedian was a guest writer for SNL, and Cenac worked as an intern when he was 19 years old. One night, the pair happened to join in on a late-night soccer game with Macdonald and Quinn, who had been arguing early in the game, before Macdonald turned his anger towards Cenac.
“I would hang out with Norm and sometimes write for ‘Weekend Update,’ and Norm got into a huge fight in the soccer game, and it was with you,” Colbert said to Cenac, adding that Macdonald was “extra agitated” because he was trying to quit smoking.
“At some point, Norm and I got into a bit of a scrum for the ball, and I ended up clipping him in the shin, and then he got really mad, like you do when you’re trying to quit smoking,” Cenac recalled.
He continued, “And he grabbed me, tried to throw me across the room, which is not how soccer is played. And I pushed him off me. Because I was 19 and I didn’t really understand stations of power. And we got into a shoving match and started yelling at each other.”
The fight continued until Colbert and Quinn pulled them apart, but the host revealed that the best part of the story is that Colbert told Cenac the story years later while they were shooting a promo for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report election night special in 2008 without realizing the young kid was him.
Cenac then talked about his new TBS show People of Earth, which revolves around a support group for people who’ve been abducted by aliens, before the pair returned to the topic again at the end of the interview.
“Well, would you come back and maybe you and I could fight or something like that,” Colbert said. “We should have a soccer fight. You, me, Norm and Colin and try to settle this.”
“I would like to recreate that with our current knees and hips,” Cenac replied.
Watch the entire interview below:
People of Earth, whose pilot episode is currently available on YouTube, is Cenac’s first major project since departing The Daily Show in 2012. The stand-up comic made headlines when he revealed in an interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast that he left the Comedy Central late-night series in part over a dispute he had with Jon Stewart stemming from a bit surrounding Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain that Cenac deemed to be offensive. However, he did return for Stewart’s final Daily Show episode, with the two burying the hatchet and agreeing that they were now on good terms.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS, while People of Earth officially debuts next Monday, October 31 at 9 p.m. on TBS ahead of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.