In just a couple of weeks Stephen Colbert will make his debut as host of CBS' "Late Show," taking over the reins from David Letterman in the coveted late-night spot.
What we know so far is that Colbert is doing away with his character from Comedy Central's "Colbert Report." He already did a "test run" when he hilariously hosted a local public-access program in Monroe, Michigan, earlier this summer, interviewing rapper and Detroit native Eminem.
Colbert has also announced a few of his upcoming "Late Show" guests, which will include George Clooney and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. And we know he loves conducting interviews, telling reporters at last week's Television Critics Association tour, "I got into comedy to do improvisation. When you're interviewing people, you don't know what's going to happen, and that's much closer to how I learned my craft."
Now the 51-year-old host graces the September cover of GQ magazine. In the feature article, he gives a glimpse into what led him to where he is today and what to expect when the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" debuts on Sept. 8 on CBS.
Here are 7 things we learned (and loved reading about) from GQ's cover story:
Colbert wants to do something that feels wrong.
"I just want to do things that scratch an itch for me. That itch is often something that feels wrong. It's wrong because it breaks convention or is unexpected or at times uncomfortable. I like that feeling."
"The Colbert Report" was over even before CBS offered him the "Late Show."
"I no longer felt that that model served to address the national mood. We're in a different place now ... We can stop freaking out that the guy's middle name is Hussein," he said. "What else? Our response to the horror in South Carolina is to take the flag down. That is something I didn't think was ever going to happen."
He needs to moisturize better; his makeup artist says so.
"I have a face like a catcher's mitt. You know what it looks like? Here. Look at this. The Death Mask of Agamemnon."
He watched an episode of "The Bachelorette" with his family, but he really loves the Food Network show, "Chopped." He says late-night shows are -- in a way -- like "Chopped."
"Who are your guests tonight? Your guests tonight are veal tongue, coffee grounds, and gummy bears. There, make a show ... Make an appetizer that appeals to millions of people. That's what I like. How could you possibly do it? Oh, you bring in your own flavors. Your own house band is another flavor. You have your own flavor. The audience itself is a base dish, like a rice pilaf or something."
He fell in love with comedy and improv after meeting legendary improv teacher Del Close.
"I went, 'I don't know what this is, but I have to do it.' I have to get up onstage and perform extemporaneously with other people."
He describes himself as "a very uncomfortable person."
"I really like people, and I also don't always know what to do with them ... I have always had an eclectic roster of friends, but there's something about my work that speaks to a deep discomfort with being in society."
He's just grateful to be alive.
"That act, that impulse to be grateful, wants an object. That object I call God. Now, that could be many things. I was raised in a Catholic tradition. I'll start there. That's my context for my existence, is that I am here to know God, love God, serve God, that we might be happy with each other in this world and with Him in the next -- the catechism. That makes a lot of sense to me. I got that from my mom. And my dad. And my siblings."
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