David Letterman Bestowed Stephen Colbert With Some Very Site-Specific Late Show Advice


Who knew the Ed Sullivan Theater was something right out of a Willy Wonka factory? Stephen Colbert learned this before he even started his tenure as The Late Show’s newest host, when he swung by David Letterman’s office to get some insider advice about the gig. But dealing with the banalities of producers and meetings aside, there was one thing Letterman taught him that reigned supreme to everything else: How to operate the building’s 1927 brass-handle self-driving elevator, which is the only elevator that connects the theater with its offices. “He drove a little bit, had me drive down. He goes, ‘Let me see you land it.’ I tried to land it, and he goes, ‘This is not up to my standard.’” After a few more tries, though, Colbert mastered it to Letterman’s satisfaction: “After I finished doing all that, he looked around, saw that I landed it, had the door open, and he looked at me and he goes, ‘Now it’s waiting for you.’ It was like somebody handing you the keys to an old car.” Hey, no accidents that we know of yet.

David Letterman Gave Stephen Colbert Peculiar Late Show Help