What better way to kick off Colbert’s first Late Show than with a literal “play ball!” from his former Comedy Central-mate Jon Stewart?
But not everyone was certain of Colbert’s success. CBS President Leslie Moonves literally had his hand on a lever capable of switching over to a Mentalist rerun (which happened. Several times, in fact.)
While testing out the television monitor built into the set across from his desk, Colbert stopped to TIVo The Tonight Show, and somehow spoke to Jimmy Fallon through the TV where the new competitors gloated about their guest lineups.
Jon Batiste chose the theme to Batman & Robin as George Clooney’s entrance music. (In a joke that was cut from the final broadcast, Colbert later thanked his guest for the aroused nipple aesthetic of his former Batman costume, which was allegedly the inspiration for one-half of SNL‘s Ambiguously Gay Duo.)
It’s not surprising that, amidst recent controversy over the Associated Press referring to Amal Alamuddin as only “Clooney’s wife,” Colbert was quick to point out that it was George who served as the trophy spouse in his marriage.
Since Clooney didn’t have something to promote, he brought along clips from Decision Strike, a movie that doesn’t actually exist, but is somehow gaining Oscar buzz.
Colbert also gave Clooney a late wedding gift: an extravagant jewel engraved with the “I don’t know you” for the A-lister who didn’t think to invite him to his wedding.
Colbert poked fun at second guest Jeb Bush for the exclamation point in his campaign logo. He later noted that since “Jeb” is really just his initials, he shouldn’t get to use a second “B” in Bush. It should just be “Jeb Ush.”
Colbert, unlike any other late-night host since Jay Leno in 1992, gave his bandleader the honor of being his first musical guest. Jon Batiste and his rhythm-and-blues band were joined by Ben Folds, the legendary Buddy Guy, and R&B singer/civil rights activist Mavis Staple. Their backdrop featured black-and-white photographs of the night’s audience members, including one very lucky girl whose picture was front-and-center at the close of the performance; she was later showed flabbergasted amongst the crowd.
Lastly, as promised, Colbert really did see Fallon in the locker room after the show…
…but not before sharing one last laugh with an old friend.