“I think I’ve gained 15 pounds since Donald Trump became president,” he tells InStyle. It sounds like one of his classic jokes, but he is, in fact, very serious. “I drank a lot of bourbon onscreen. We didn’t know what to do.”
The Late Show host graces the cover of this month’s magazine and opens up about everything from performing in his earlier days to the top secret trip he and his team took to Russia.
And as you can probably imagine, that wasn’t all he had to say about Trump. While talking about writing for the show, he mentions that sometimes the “dumb” jokes are the best jokes. “It’s a compliment,” he insists. “It takes a lot of mental provender to come up with something truly dumb, which is why I think Donald Trump must be a genius.”
Colbert recently returned from a secret trip his team took to St. Petersburg to film episodes of The Late Show—something that he had previously been against. “There’s enough pressure with these jobs,” he confesses. “I kind of like doing theater, doing my monologue, talking with guests, going home, having an old-fashioned, eating some cashews and watching Anderson Cooper with my wife.”
The comedian has been performing for nearly 30 years, which is longer than some of his fans have been alive. He started in 1987 with Chicago’s infamous Second City improv group, and things weren’t always as great for him as they are now. “In my late 20s, early 30s, I had a nervous breakdown,” the host admits.
“I was subject to panic attacks and stuff like that except when I was onstage. I would curl up in a ball on a couch backstage, and then I’d hear my cue coming up, and I would uncurl, go onstage, do the show, and then go offstage and curl up again.”