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STATE OF GRACE

IT’S A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT THE ED SULLIVAN THEATER in Midtown Manhattan. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has been off the air for a few nights, but the busy offices still hum with staff preparations for next week’s episodes. Stephen Colbert—clad in a soft sweater and chinos, hair slightly tousled under a baseball cap—grins as he admits he was getting a little restless during the time off. “I love being with the audience,” he says. “And it’s the work that I like. I like to be with everyone else who is paying attention in the same way and together trying to craft a comedic response.”

Certainly 2020 has not given us a lot to laugh about, but The Late Show has nimbly been finding the funny in even the darkest of times. Colbert sat down to talk politics, Lana Del Rey, and how The Late Show is really a show about love.

You are currently in the middle of Season 5. What’s been the biggest surprise about doing this show?

The first one that comes to mind is that I don’t to make every decision. Part of the success fan of me. [.] And a huge fan of control. But at [], I’d look at a pen and be like,

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