One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media's 36th William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television's creative community. This PALEYFEST 2019 seminar celebrates "An Evening With Stephen Colbert," a look at the life and career of the host of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and "The Colbert Report."

Host Maureen Reidy (president and CEO, The Paley Center for Media) offers opening remarks and thanks the festival's various sponsors, also introducing William C. Paley, son of the museum's founder, present in the audience. Reidy then brings actor/comedian Pete Holmes to the stage. Holmes introduces a clip reel of highlights from Colbert's shows before welcoming Colbert to the stage.

Colbert and Holmes touch on such topics as: the results of a Catholic upbringing, and the effects of Catholic tenets; growing up in South Carolina; trying to please one's parents; the benefits and drawbacks of flossing; how a talk show host can determine the nature of an audience; the trick to balancing long hours at work with family life; the relief from no longer having to be in character for "The Colbert Report"; the "postmortem" which follows each taping of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert"; the stress which comes from doing live shows; the process of finding one's purpose as a talk-show host; "tapping into" what the country is discussing; the value of comedy; losing a father and two brothers at a young age; being inspired by the comedic routines of Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, and George Carlin; subjects which CBS views as taboo; the only times when a pen, formerly used as an omnipresent prop, is still utilized during filming of "The Late Show"; whether showing one's political leanings is a bad thing; loving Mad Magazine as a child; how the central character from "the Colbert Report" has now become "a political position"; and taking inspiration from the life of Sir Thomas More.

Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics, among others: whether Colbert's comic routines have had an effect on Donald Trump since he became president; why Trump is "a delicious idiot"; how the initial six months of hosting "The Late Show" proved the most trying; the process of "reinventing a new way to do a show"; the most sure-proof methods for connecting with an audience; what historical figures would make the most engaging dinner mates; and reflections on having dabbled in musical comedy productions.


  • DATE: 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:20:00
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 135897
  • GENRE: Seminars


    • Maureen Reidi … Host
    • Pete Holmes … Moderator
    • Stephen Colbert … Panelist
    • George Carlin
    • Bill Cosby
    • Steve Martin
    • Thomas More
    • William C. Paley
    • Donald Trump