Jun 30

Stephen Colbert Accepts the Give Them 20 Challenge

John Oliver recently accepted the Give Them 20 from Jon Stewart, and in turn nominated Stephen Colbert, Rob Riggle and The Rockettes to #GiveThem20.

The Give Them 20 challenge is an initiative of the American Corporate Partners (ACP), a non-profit organisation which focuses on assisting returned United States military personal transition from military to the civilian life, and helps them work towards their new careers.

To participate in the #GiveThem20 challenge, simply get creative and dedicated 20 push-ups, sit-ups, etc. to the veterans, then challenge two friends to do the same on social media. Don’t forget to tag your friends and share your video using #GiveThem20.

Jun 28

Stephen Colbert Weighs in on #LoveWins

Following the Supreme Court’s decision Friday that the Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to same-sex marriage, media coverage was abuzz with reaction to the landmark ruling. Social media erupted into a deluge of rainbow-colored updates and was trending with the hashtag #LoveWins. The White House was similarly lit up in celebration.

Stephen and his Late Show staff released a video late Friday night with their take on the decision, entitled “June is A Lovely Time for a Wedding.”

Stephen has covered the issue of gay marriage for a long time, and even through the mask of his Report character his support for same-sex marriage rights has been very clear. (My favorite piece on this issue was “Jonathan,” remember that one?) It was nice to be able to see him express his approval without any conceit of the character, and conclude by swatting himself with gay pride flags.

Jun 27

Comedy Central Farewells Jon Stewart with ‘Daily Show’ Marathon

The Daily Show Logo

As Comedy Central bids a heartfelt #jonvoyage to the incomparable Jon Stewart, a celebration of his 16-year plus tutelage at the helm of “The Daily Show” is in order. It all begins when Comedy Central takes epic binge watching to the next level with “Your Month of Zen” featuring a continuous stream of more than 2,000 episodes of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” starting tomorrow, June 26 at noon ET with Jon’s first show as host on January 11, 1999 and culminates on the night of his last show on Thursday, August 6 at 7:17 p.m. ET. “Your Month of Zen” will be available at thedailyshow.com/monthofzen and the Comedy Central App.

For audiophiles, Comedy Central Radio (channel 95) on SiriusXM will join the stream starting on Saturday, August 1 at 7:00 a.m. ET through Monday, August 3 at 7:00 a.m. The 48-hour weekend event dubbed “Jon Voyage,” will also be available through the SiriusXM App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com.

Source: Comedy Central Press.

Jun 25

The Late Show Podcast, Episode 4: We Haven’t Actually Informed the Audience That Much

The Late Show Podcast In the fourth episode of ‘The Late Show Podcast‘, Stephen Colbert was accompanied by Rob Dubin, writer and producer of digital entertainment and Jay Katsir, head writer.

Rob had been a writer for ‘The Colbert Report’ for many years, but was originally hired as the web writer to launch the website. When they added more writers to the team, they immediately asked him because he “was crushing it.” Stephen recalled that he often twitches because there are so many things to do on a nightly show and he considers everything to be equal priority. When this would happen, Allison Silverman, then head writer, would say, “what just happened to you?” This was happening during the White House Corespondents Dinner, so Stephen’s wife Evie suggested that he pick two writers he felt comfortable with and let them get started on it and then he could come back to it later. So, Stephen picked Rob and Tom Purcell.

When Jay went out for the position as writer for ‘The Colbert Report’, he had planned a trip with his girlfriend, so had requested a phone interview. James Dixon, whom they share as an agent, warned him that if he was serious about this job, he would cancel the trip. Jay was willing to do this but right at that time, he received the call with the phone interview. Jay recalls his mother even thought he made the wrong decision and should have interviewed in person. But in the end, he got the position at age 23. Stephen agreed that they should hire Jay and asked what was his age. When he found out he was only 23, Stephen thought back to when he was that age and he was living in a friend’s basement making futon frames.

Currently, they are doing more scripting compared to the early days of preparing for ‘The Colbert Report’. Stephen said he read 50 scripts during a recent week break. He enjoyed this. He wanted to be at the writer’s meeting they had that morning but he was being fitted for 4 suits.

With regards to suits, Stephen recalled the difficulty in getting a suit company to sign up with them, thinking the show was not going to last. However, Brooks Brothers agreed to work with him, which he appreciated and was loyal to because they took a chance on him.

Stephen is very grateful to CBS for giving them this much time to prepare for the show. He hasn’t performed in 6 months, so he feels “like a jet fighter in a simulator …”and is really looking forward to having the audience once again.

At the end of the podcast, Stephen said he was on his way to check out the new theater and see where they can put in sneak doors like they had on ‘The Colbert Report’. They want to be able to have people enter the stage at different places, so he wants to see how they can make this work.

Available on ‘The Late Show‘ website and iTunes.

Jun 23

Stephen Colbert Is #CharlestonStrong

Joining the estimated 10,000 – 15,000 marchers crossing the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, S.C. on Sunday night was only one participant with 8.12 million twitter followers: Stephen Colbert. Stephen was there to be a link in the “Unity Chain” march across the bridge, meant to show a sign of solidarity of Charlestonians in his beloved, yet grief-stricken city.

Stephen was accompanied by his sister, former congressional candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch, as well his wife Evie Colbert.

Stephen Colbert and Elizabeth Colbert Busch in Charleston

Courtesy Chive On Charleston Facebook Page | Photo credit Gerald Mindel

After the jump, find out why this show of support is really so significant.
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Jun 22

Jon Batiste Talks to ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and ‘Esquire’

Jon Batiste and Stay Human perform on the streets of New York

Jon Batiste recently spoke to ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and ‘Esquire’ about his week-long residency at Manhattan’s NoMad Hotel beginning June 23, and how his role on ‘The Late Show’ will bring about new opportunities to share the power of music with people.

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Jun 21

Better Know a Band Leader

Better Know a Band Leader Welcome to ‘Better Know a Band Leader,’ your guide to Jon Batiste, the newly announced leader of Stephen Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ band.

“We’re all about people, and bringing people into the spotlight. Not just the ones who are talented or wealthy, but the everyday person. Music is to be played with them, not just for them. That’s how [Colbert] runs his show and that’s what he thinks about and that’s who he is. It’s a match made in heaven.” – Jon Batiste, Esquire interview

A Musical Heritage

Although Jonathan Batiste and Stephen Colbert may be a “match made in heaven,” divergent paths led them to find another. Hailing from Kenner, Louisiana, to a prominent musical family, 28-year-old Batiste was exposed to New Orleans-style jazz from a very young age. He played percussion with the Batiste Brothers Band at the age of 8, eventually switching to piano by age 11.

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