Stephen Colbert announces eclectic guest list for first week on Late Show
Stephen Colbert (Montclair Film Festival/Flickr)

Stephen Colbert has announced a guest list for his first week on the Late Show, in the process hinting that he will have more eclectic visitors than the usual late-night celebrity lineup.


For his first show, on 8 September, Colbert will be joined by George Clooney, no stranger to the late-night circuit and a sign that the show won’t stray too far from its 20-year-old roots with David Letterman. In May, Clooney appeared on one of Letterman’s last shows .

But Colbert’s second guest might have seemed more likely on one of the more politically minded shows with which the comedian made his name. Republican candidate for president Jeb Bush will take a seat onstage, facing off with arguably the best political satirist now working.

Bush’s appearance, besides suggesting that the former governor of Florida is eager to be on national television without Donald Trump, should also reassure fans of The Colbert Report. Although beloved rightwing bloviator “Stephen Colbert” has sailed off into the distance , his sensibilities, interests and puns may well stay alive and well.

Jon Batiste and Stay Human, the house band of Colbert’s Late Show, will perform with unnamed “special guests”.

Day two of the Colbert administration at CBS, on 9 September, follows a similar trend: actor Scarlett Johansson leads the show, followed by inventor and Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk, two people rarely mentioned in the same breath.

Colbert often deviated from his political bread and butter on The Colbert Report for more intellectual fare, including reflections on his love for science , books and good old baldfaced fantasy like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings . Scientists and novelists were as likely to appear as actors or journalists. An interview with a billionaire who launches experimental rockets into space and fears robots bodes only well.

Related: The Colbert Report: the 10 best moments

Kendrick Lamar, who performed on Colbert’s last episode on Comedy Central, will be the musical guest on day two at CBS.

The guests of day three, 10 September, follow the pattern: a man in the news and another in pop culture. Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick will be Colbert’s first guest – hopefully subject to the comedian’s brand of mordant interrogation over the company’s controversial practices . The second guest and musical performer will be country star Toby Keith.

Finally, on the first Friday of Colbert’s new show, comedian Amy Schumer will trade jokes with the host as prologue to an interview with Stephen King, the novelist responsible for The Shining, Cujo and The Shawshank Redemption. Troubled Waters will perform.

Colbert’s promotions and extracurricular activities have also suggested the new Late Show will be as absurd and odd as allowed. Colbert has had Mitt Romney demand pancakes in a commercial; he also hosted an episode of a small Michigan city’s public-access talkshow, chatting with Eminem about Bob Seger and Will Smith.

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