NEW YORK (CBS) – The marquee outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater was brightly lit with a new name as “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” debuted. Colbert entered the stage to a standing ovation and music by Jon Batiste and Stay Human. The opening scene showed Colbert on a baseball field beginning to sing the “Star Spangled Banner.” He moves from different places across the U.S. while continuing to sing the song. During one of the scenes, Colbert hits a strike at Lucky Strikes and then the camera goes back to the baseball field. As they sing the last part of the National Anthem, the umpire reveals himself to be none other than Jon Stewart, kicking off the show with “play ball.”
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While sitting at his new desk “which was carved out of a single piece of desk,” Colbert began to show off the renovated Ed Sullivan Theater. The ceiling, which he referred to as a “digital projection,” was brightly colored with different shapes that read “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” going around in a circle. Colbert said, “I wanted to have Michelangelo paint it, but it turns out that Ninja Turtles aren’t real.” He also revealed his video wall where he can watch television. “I can watch if the guest gets boring over their shoulder,” he said. Colbert showed us some channels he watched and turned to Jimmy Fallon. Fallon began talking to Colbert about what guests were going to be on and Fallon wished him a great show.
Colbert wouldn’t be himself without talking about the election. He took multiple shots at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by eating Oreos. Colbert played a clip of Trump talking about Nabisco closing a plant in Chicago and opening one in Mexico. In reply to Trump’s opinions about swearing off the popular cookie, Colbert began to eat Oreos. “He claims that Mexico is taking our economy, ripping it in two (rips Oreo apart) scraping out the creamy center (licks one side of the cookie) and dunking it in milk,” Colbert said. The crowd cheered as Colbert enjoyed every piece of Oreo. “He is the only candidate brave enough to deport the Keebler Elves,” he said of Trump.
Colbert paid homage to the legendary David Letterman. He talked about how when Letterman began hosting late night he was in college. Colbert said, “I was frequently available for Dave at 12:30.” While Colbert isn’t trying to replace Letterman, he’s just trying to have the best show he can.READ MORE: Delta pilots protest for new contracts, more pay ahead of July 4th weekend
Colbert’s first guess was actor George Clooney. Although Clooney had no movie to talk about they discussed his marriage to Amal. “They say it wouldn’t last,” Clooney said. Colbert even gave them a late wedding gift, which was a Tiffany’s blue crystal paperweight. The paperweight was inscribed, “I don’t know you.” Colbert told Clooney, “You can pass that one to another celebrity you have to pretend you don’t know.” The two even made up a fake movie for Clooney to star in called “Decision Strike” and even showed trailers for it.
His last guest of the night was Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Colbert asked Bush many questions, but one that had the audience intrigued was how he differed politically and in policy from his brother, former President George W. Bush. He replied, “I think my brother probably didn’t control the Republican Congress spending. I think he should have brought the hammer down on the Republicans when they spent too much, because our brand is limited government.” Bush even told Colbert that he will bring people together and complimented President Barack Obama.
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The show ended with a musical performance by Jon Batiste with Stay Human and some special guests singing “Everyday People” by Sly & the Family Stone.