The presidency of Donald Trump has “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert on a roll. Timely, blistering barbs night after night have helped his show outpace the competition. The show is up for two awards at this Sunday’s 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, where he’ll also be playing host.
“CBS Sunday Morning’s” Tracy Smith spoke with Colbert about President Trump, comedy and how he’s getting ready to host the night when TV toasts its own.
“Well, it’s an honor. It’s an honor to host the Emmys. And it’s fun because if you lose, you still have something to do. You know. Same reason I liked waiting tables on New Year’s Eve. If I didn’t like the party, I still had a job,” Colbert said.
As Emmy host, Colbert will likely enjoy his biggest television audience yet. But while he’ll be busy moving the show along, he’s also a nominee and could become the first performer in TV Academy history to win multiple awards while hosting.
“History! Write it down! Put it in books, teach it to children. I would like to do a good job and I would love my staff to be recognized by winning an Emmy that would be fantastic. But I have to do a good job hosting the Emmys. I have no control over the rest of it so I’m not going to think about it. Unless I do have control over it. As host, I do have any control? Oh, then I would like to win,” Colbert said.
He’s preparing for the show like he would for his nightly one — writing up until the last minute.
“I think the only thing we respond to is pressure,” Colbert said. “My face looks like an old catcher’s mitt but other than that the pressure is fantastic! It’s wonderful!”
“I’m a neural ganglia of anxiety. I’m entirely motivated by fear. Yeah, that’s why I’m in comedy. Because while the people are laughing, I’m not afraid. The moment the cameras go off I’m in a fetal position,” Colbert said.
From “Feud: Bette and Joan” to “Big Little Lies” and “The Wizard of Lies,” this year’s Emmy nominees includes 11 Oscar winners. But Colbert’s pick is someone who isn’t even nominated.
“The biggest TV star of this year is undoubtedly Donald Trump. No one’s close. You know, how like the Bible outsells every book of all time. Donald Trump is the Bible of the 2016-2017 television season. If you don’t include Donald Trump as a TV star this year, you’re lying,” Colbert said.
At the traditional rolling out of the red carpet, Colbert made a rather revealing announcement, saying, “These guys left out how much nudity they’ll be in this year’s Emmys.”
While the Emmy host wouldn’t give up any secrets about what’s sure to a big opening number, he did share the naked truth on one sketch.
“But seriously, come on, I juiced for a couple of days, and then we bronzed me, we used one of those vrrrrrrr things for the sensitive areas but we bronzed me. Courage, right? It took courage for a 53-year-old man to be buck naked in front of a camera and now CBS is telling me I can’t show certain parts of my body. Not even the good parts — and there aren’t many of those left,” he joked.
Of course, no matter how you dress it, there’s still no substitute for raw talent.
The Emmys will air on CBS and stream on CBS All Access at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT on Sunday, September 17.
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