The No Fact Zone has an excellent, lengthy interview with Stephen Colbert up today, and it’s well worth reading for any fans of him and The Colbert Report. Here’s a section that I found particularly engaging, in which he talks about his relationship with Jon Stewart:
Jon is a real inspiration to me. I’m very lucky to have him as the guy I learned how to produce and write and run a show like this from. He’s also an inspiration for the dedication he puts into the show every day, holding on to a high standard of distilling the jokes down into satire. Or at least distilling the jokes down into their finest point you can get them to before show time. Because you know, you can stop at 5:00, and be done, but if you drive all the way through to show time, you can really either say exactly what you want, or get exactly the joke you want. And he has never dropped it, after 12 years he’s still, every day gives everything. And that’s an inspiration to me, that he can stay so focused after all these years and really seem to enjoy himself.And I’m also lucky to have him as a friend, because, you know, on days when I am completely wrung out, I can call him and say, How do you keep caring, every day? Because there’s nothing in the news that’s getting me going, there’s nothing happening right now with our scripts. I can’t express, I can’t convey a clear vision for anybody, because it’s always ultimately your responsibility, I can’t inspire. And he can say, well, ‘Join the club, you know? It comes and goes. I’ve been where you’ve been right now, I’ve gone through everything you’ve gone through, and I’m here to tell you, it gets better. Just stick with it, it’ll be fine. Because this is all cyclical.’ He is so supportive. I am so lucky to have Jon Stewart of all people call me up on a random day and say ‘I like that thing you did last night, and here’s why. And here’s what else you could do with it,’ or call me up and say ‘Hey, help me out, I’m trying to do something tonight. What do you think I should ask Newt Gingrich? What do you think I should ask Donald Rumsfeld?’ And I’m honored that he would ask that of me. And he’s also just a good, fun guy. I’m lucky to have him as a friend, and as a mentor.