The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
I chanced upon this talk Stephen Colbert did at Google that I somehow hadn’t seen before, and though Eric Schmidt is a terrible moderator (but he’s the CEO, so what can ya do), Stephen manages to make the most out of it. Someone in the audience asked him how he got into comedy and his answer is interesting, earnest, and hilarious all at once. I will miss the Report terribly (32 episodes left—I’m already stockpiling videos for the impending Colb-pocalypse) but I’m so excited for the Late Show, because he is going to be amazing.
"I was with my family and friends around a table, eating good food. I was reminded that the reward of togetherness around the table is always greater than the momentary satisfaction of the foods that enable it. Whenever a meal triggers that feeling, no matter where in the world it happens—over burgers at a cookout, or a terrace on a hillside in Tuscany, or the back corner of a fishmarket in Hakodate—I find it unlocks the spirit to adventure further and seek out more good times with more new friends around tables yet unseen."
I tend to take on too much, and then hold my work to the highest standards. And when it doesn’t reach those standards I beat myself up like nobody’s business. But the positive side of this is that we’re always evolving, always keeping ourselves away from the dangerous, murky shores of stagnation. You can always do something better. It can always be better next time. One constant struggle I have: it’s never good enough. Which is the saddest part of me, and I’m figuring out how to work with that.
"The world is filled with many heartbreaking moments, but if you only concentrate on those, then the dark cloud will always be above your head… We try to look at life with soft eyes and a smile. It’s too easy to cry."
Q: You recently extended your contract with Comedy Central through the end of 2014. Is it exhausting to think about doing The Colbert Report for another two years?
COLBERT: I try not to think about it in terms of years. You can’t do 161 shows. It can’t be done. All I can do is today and tomorrow and have some idea of what we’re doing next week. That’s all I can worry about. I have a script for today, I have probably half a script for tomorrow, and that’s as far down the road as I ever look. I know the mechanism of my show, and I know how it works. There’s a joy in that.
Q: You’ve called the process of making The Colbert Report “the joy machine.”
COLBERT: It still feels that way. I have no fear of doing the show. I have no exhaustion in doing the show. I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow. I can’t predict what we’ll be trying to make jokes about in the next six months. I don’t know what the next super PAC game will be for us or who will win the election. You can’t plan for any of that. If I thought I knew what was going to happen, it wouldn’t be worth doing. The challenge is how joyfully, with what sense of fun and adventure and playfulness, we will greet it. We don’t have to look for what the next thing will be. If experience is any judge, it’ll come flowing toward us like a river.
"It’s a strong sense of self more than anything else that allows you to make extraordinary food at home. To put it simply: if you make the food that you like to eat, you’ll make food that others like to eat. You just have to trust that the food that you like to eat is food worth eating."
Do you need to know where your character is headed?
"Dive in. I’m on the roller coaster. It’s much more fun when I don’t know the twists and turns. In life you don’t have that luxury either. You have an idea and a hope, but you don’t know where your life is going to go. So I just sign onto that. A very human experience. I just gave into it. Take me away, tell me the story."