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Stephen Colbert Looks Back On Advice He Received From David Letterman

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and Colbert has spent the past few months getting ready for his big night.

But as CBS2's Dick Brennan reported, Colbert made sure he consulted his predecessor, David Letterman, for some advice first.

When it became official that Colbert was taking over for the retiring Letterman, they quickly found common ground.

"They could've just as easily hired another boob like me," Letterman told Colbert on his show back in April 2014, not long after the announcement. "But they didn't. But they didn't. They hire a guy…"

"They hired a boob like me," Colbert quipped back.

Colbert is a big Letterman fan, and said as much on one of the latter editions of his old "Colbert Report" show on Comedy Central.

"This man has influenced every host who came after him, and even a few who came before him -- he's that good," Colbert said on his old program.

But he knew from the get-go it wouldn't be an easy task to follow in Dave's footsteps. So he asked Letterman for advice.

"About a week and a half before he left the chair over at 'Late Show,' I said, 'Could I come in and just hang out for a little bit and ask a few questions?'" Colbert said in a recent interview with CBS2's Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson.

Colbert tackled topics with Letterman that matter most -- when you're a host.

"I just asked some questions, like technical questions about the theater, hosting the show, schedule, where he stood in relationship to the audience, his desk position, what he did during the commercial breaks," Colbert said.

Letterman told Colbert there was one big thing he would have done differently..

"He said, 'I would like to have tried the desk on the other side to see what that was like,'" Colbert said.
"And so I thought, 'Well listen, I'll try it.'"

But even better than the advice, Letterman made one more gesture -- that made Colbert's day.

"Actually, I got Christmas gifts from Dave too," Colbert told DuBois and Johnson. "You know what I love? Did you guys ever get the Worldwide Pants letter jacket? Oh man, those were the greatest, because I never got a letter jacket in high school. I figured I finally made it when I got one from Dave."

"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" premieres Tuesday at 11:35 p.m., after the CBS2 News at Eleven.

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