Colbert Was Going to Leave The Colbert Report Even If Letterman Didn’t Retire

Stephen Colbert.

While getting coffee in a car with Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert revealed that he was preparing to say good-bye to The Colbert Report even if he hadn't gotten the nod to succeed David Letterman as the host of Late Show. "I was ready to stop," Colbert told his host. "I was going to stop whether or not [I got the new job] — the Letterman thing fell into my lap."

It wasn't that he was burned out. As Colbert revealed in Judd Apatow's new book, he just felt he'd taken his mock-conservative pundit character as far as he could go: "I play a character on my show, and he’s modeled on punditry, and I no longer respect my model. That’s my problem ... I don’t know if I could have done it much longer, because you have to be invested in your model. And I really am not. I can’t watch that stuff anymore." Fortunately, in his new job, Colbert will only have to watch Jimmy Fallon, who, he told Seinfeld, is his new best bud. "I think nothing would be more boring than a late-night war," he said, apparently forgetting that time during the writers' strike that Conan O'Brien had to spin his wedding ring.