Stephen Colbert's roasts of presidential candidates have become a staple on "The Late Show," but Donald Trump remains a candidate set apart for the late night comic.
"There are no people like Donald Trump. There is only [one] Donald Trump," Colbert said on "CBS This Morning" Thursday while promoting his live post-Super Bowl special Sunday night. "The greatest lie Donald Trump ever told is he was happy being second in Iowa. Up until now, everything in retrospect seems true compared to the enormity of that lie."
Trump even reminds Colbert of his former, fictional self, who won legions of fans on "The Colbert Report."
"The old idea behind 'The Colbert Report' was truthiness, which is, if you just say it with enough conviction and emotion, it's truer than if it's factually correct," Colbert told "CBS This Morning" Thursday. "That's great politics because the audience just wants to be emotionally moved and Trump is great at moving an audience, plus he's got $10 billion to back it up. You know, the whole thing about Citizens United is that money equals speech. Well, he's got a $10 billion mouth. "
"The Late Show" kicked off last September, perhaps with impeccable timing - with all the fervor and heightened attention on the campaign trail.
"The nice thing about presidential years is everybody in the country cares about the story, everybody pays attention," Colbert said. "You don't have to explain your joke to anybody, you can just go to the punchline. And it's a great story because it affects everybody and there's no tragedy, nobody dies."
But before becoming the new face of "The Late Show," Colbert had enormous success with "The Colbert Report," winning two Peabody Awards, earning 41 Emmy Award nominations, with two wins for Outstanding Variety Series in 2013 and 2014. Prior to that, Colbert spent eight years as the longest-tenured correspondent on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart.
Colbert's television career began after graduating from Northwestern University. But back then, he had modest dreams of living as a "half-street artist and half-theater person."
"I thought I was going to like, form a theater company, you know, do free Shakespeare on the street, live in the studio, like never get married, never have kids," Colbert said.
Colbert said his career came as a "happy surprise," but he recalls early memories of watching "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson - a model for many big-name comedians.
"My elder sisters Mary and Margo used to wake me up to make me watch Johnny Carson because they didn't want to watch it alone," Colbert said. "And I love Johnny ... but that's so Olympian. How could you aspire to do that? There's no way!"
Now, the 51-year-old calls himself a "suburban dad," with a loving wife and three kids. "The Late Show" is also the first late night series in history to air in the post-Super Bowl slot.
Sunday's show has a star-studded lineup of guests. The host also revealed that the show's hour-long content will be written immediately following the big game -- in just 20 minutes.
In preparing, Colbert recalled the wisdom of a teacher he had in Chicago, who said, "You've got to learn to love the bomb."
"If you're improvising and it doesn't go well, you've got to not just sort of get through the fact that it didn't go well - you've got to enjoy that it sucked. And then once you can enjoy that it sucked, then nothing can kill you."
He then jokingly added, "I'm hoping not to learn that again on Sunday night."