stephen colbert trump math problem

For Stephen Colbert and CBS' The Late Show, getting material for the nightly monologues doesn't take much more effort than looking at a newspaper or opening a news website. And according to the host himself, there are times when the current administration in Washington D.C. has made everyone's jobs on The Last Show more difficult. In particular, Colbert mentioned how the termination of former FBI head James Comey actually happened right in the middle of him performing and filming his monologue for that night's episode. And here's how the unflappable team handled the breaking news.

We actually gave the writers ten minutes to come up with at least three jokes. I think they came up with four.

Now that's dedication for you. Stephen Colbert was speaking for a panel at Vulturefest (via The Daily Beast) when he shared this insightful tidbit, also saying that viewers' currently rabid attention for political news makes his and his writers' jobs easier. Because everyone is busy clicking headlines and watching cable news like never before, there's no need to do much setting up for the many jokes that pepper The Late Show's opening segments, and the punchlines can flow unencumbered.

That version of comedic shorthand almost definitely helps when everyone has to handle on-the-fly coverage as it's coming out of Washington D.C., since one-liners are easier to conceive than multi-level gags. Plus, there's an immeasurable sense of quality and control that likely comes along with being able to inject up-to-the-minute news into an in-production episode. Remember when talk show hosts used to talk about news being reported by physical magazines?

Over recent months, Stephen Colbert and The Late Show have become a formidable force in the world of late night, with an increased focus on the political circus helping the CBS mainstay's viewership grow and get more steady. Not a big surprise, considering the host's history on Comedy Central, but it's admittedly kind of shocking to hear that the writers are so tethered to never-ending news feeds that episodes can be changed at the drop of a hat, regardless of whether the cameras are still rolling or not.

But that doesn't mean that Stephen Colbert wholeheartedly adores and embraces this current news-making climate. Here's what he had to say about working in the time of Donald Trump's presidency.

It's sort of hackney to say 'I wish for the old boring days.' But boring is stability. We don't know what's going on with Donald Trump, that's the scariest thing. It's not that I disagree with him, it's that I don't know what the fuck he thinks.

No matter what game-changing news breaks in the middle of the afternoon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights on CBS at 11:35 p.m. ET. Head to our summer TV schedule to see all of the new and returning shows that you'll be able to invest your time in over the next few months.

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