Stephen Colbert: First Late Show almost didn't get on the air | EW.com

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Stephen Colbert admits production issues almost kept first Late Show off the air

(Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)

It seems like the second episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert went a little bit more smoothly than the first. On Wednesday’s episode, host Stephen Colbert admitted that production problems almost prevented his debut show from even making it to air.

“The show premiered last night and I’m happy to say we made it to day two. That’s when my health insurance kicks in, and I almost needed a heart transplant last night,” Colbert said as he began his monologue on Thursday.

As Colbert explained, the first episode ran long – extra footage of Colbert’s interview with Jeb Bush was posted online following the show – and it took the Late Show team a little while to cut the premiere down to time. “When we tried to send it to the network so they could show it to you on air, the computers kept crashing,” Colbert said.

Reiterating that his story was true, Colbert continued: “At 11:20, no one in the building could give me any certainty that the show was going to go on the air last night. You could imagine how exciting that was for all of us, after CBS plastered my face on nearly every flat surface on the planet.”

The show, of course, did make it on the air, and Colbert said he was grateful to the tech team and CBS for making it happen.

“As the oxygen drained my brain, and my organs started shutting down, I thought, if we ever made it on the air this will be a pretty good story,” Colbert said. “And if we don’t, it’ll still be a very interesting story at the theater camp I will be running in Idaho.”

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