Stephen King Explains When He’ll Retire

Stephen King on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, talking retirement

Stephen King is on a bit of a tear right now. The prolific author just published his 61st book The Institute and a movie based on his popular 1986 novel IT is currently out in theaters with the title IT Chapter Two and another of his titles Doctor Sleep is on the way to the big screen. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg with his current works. Given he’s about to turn 72, however, late night host Stephen Colbert recently wondered aloud whether the author might be close to retirement.

Luckily, he wondered this during an episode of The Late Show when Stephen King was on as a guest. And while the King of Horror doesn’t seem to have any imminent plans to retire, he did explain how he’ll know when it is time. Per King:

God will tell me when to retire. He’ll say, ‘Get out of the game, hang up your jock, you’re done.’ But until then, this is the best job in the world because no one can make you retire at a mandatory age. You can just continue until you start to drivel. And then at that point it might be a good time for somebody to say, ‘You know, Steve, you outta stop.’ For now, I’m enjoying what I’m doing and I get to be on The Colbert Show, which is not a bad deal.

In the meantime, Stephen King is extremely prolific in his work life and does not seem to be driveling on yet. In addition to writing his new book, actually appearing in a cameo in IT Chapter Two, producing some projects, and taking time out to promote his new title and related film and TV projects on late night, his famous work The Stand is also becoming a high-profile TV series with a major cast.

That’s really not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Stephen King projects and the author actually walked Stephen Colbert through even more of them in the full interview.

Stephen King also talked a little bit about his new book The Institute, which features some kids, and he explained a little bit about why he brings kids into his works. To me, this sort of unintentionally ties into IT: Chapter Two and is worth pointing out for Stephen King fans.

I like to write about kids because they have a unique view. And also they’re people who are pretty much vulnerable to the adult world.

In The Institute the kids “get on their hind legs” and take on power, per King, which sort of parallels the kids in IT taking on Pennywise.

Related: Big Differences Between IT Chapter Two And Stephen King’s Book

Stephen King is active on social a lot and interacts with his fanbase on a fairly regular basis. Therefore, his interview with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is not a rare time when King is coming out of the woodwork to chat or anything, but it did present an opportunity for the CBS late night host to ask some interesting questions of the longtime author, including the stuff about his retirement.

Now, let’s just hope Stephen King can squeeze out a dozen more books or so before he ultimately opts to call it quits. For a full look at Stephen King’s upcoming movie project, check out our full guide.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.