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Jon Stewart may have gotten out of the talk show game, but the truth is, he’s not really out of the talk show game. When Stephen Colbert hopped over to CBS, he asked Jon Stewart to be an executive producer on The Late Show. An executive producing gig can mean a lot of things, but in a recent interview, Colbert revealed that Jon Stewart is actually involved with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert much more than you would expect. Here’s what Stephen Colbert had to say about his former Comedy Central schedule buddy.
He’s been immensely helpful because he's also a real consultant. As a matter of fact, the reason this interview started late is that I have not had a moment for him to download his thoughts to me. We were talking about ways to open up the show, how to make it more play, less planned. Because our head is in it so much, he is someone who I trust completely. He understands me and my personal process and also understands the flaming toboggan ride that is doing a nightly show. And he's a constant resource.
It’s not shocking that Stephen Colbert would have kind things to say about Jon Stewart, who helped kickstart his career after acting as a correspondent on The Daily Show for many years. Eventually, Comedy Central gave the man his own show, The Colbert Report. It was the recognition Stephen Colbert earned when he was doing his cable show that helped him to get CBS’ late night gig. Obviously, Stephen Colbert is aware that he owes a lot to Jon Stewart, and he told Adweek he still values the connection, even going so far as to offer Stewart the executive producing role right away.
The minute it was announced that I was going to be the new host, that day, he called me up to congratulate me and I said, Thank you. Would you come help with the show and be an executive producer?
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has made a few tweaks since the show initially hit the schedule this past fall. Early on in the game, episodes ran long. The premiere, in fact, almost didn’t make it to the air after it took a while to cut the show down for time and then took another long while for the network to receive a copy of the episode. Obviously, two heads--or 10 heads, or however many heads really make the creative aspects of the show pop each week--are better than one, and it's really cool that Jon Stewart has been around to help the fledgling late night program really get off of the ground and find its tone.
Come to think of it, this also probably explains why Jon Stewart crashed Stephen Colbert's opening monologue that one time...
New episodes of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert air on weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET, only on CBS.