Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show” on CBS, charmed prospective Emmy voters Monday night at the TV Academy’s Wolf Theater in North Hollywood. Colbert was joined by executive producer Chris Licht in a long-ranging Q&A moderated by actor and comedian Nick Kroll. During the 90-minute chat, Colbert had the prospective voters laughing and cheering as he discussed his career, how the election of Donald Trump affected this season, and making the transition from cable to broadcast.
It’s easy to understand why Trump’s election would have such a striking impact on Colbert’s show: after all, politics have always been a huge part of his comedy. Before taking over “The Late Show” from David Letterman, he made a name for himself as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” for which he won three Emmys for Variety Series Writing (2004, 2005, and 2006). It was on “The Colbert Report,” a satire of right-wing news hosts such as Bill O’Reilly which followed “The Daily Show,” where the comedian left his biggest mark. The show ran for 11 seasons, making its host a household name and bringing him an additional six Emmys (Variety Series in 2013 and 2014, Variety Series Writing in 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2014).
Since the election, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” has seen a major uptick in the ratings, sitting comfortably as the highest-rated late night talk show for 14 weeks. CBS is certainly hoping for those kind of numbers for the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17, on which Colbert will serve as host.
The Q&A was followed by a reception, where voters were treated to donuts covered in red, white, and blue icing. Beforehand, audiences were given buttons that read, “This Time, The Popular Vote Wins.” It’s the same slogan that can be seen on CBS’s FYC billboard in Hollywood, on Doheny and Sunset Blvd.
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