Last night's Late Night with Stephen Colbert was exceptional.
Colbert is on his Thanksgiving vacation and has had several intereting ways to fill the time slot, rather than just run old shows. Last night the tables were flipped. In segments filmed before he left, he has had friends of his come on and interview him, primarily Jon Stewart and Neil deGrasse Tyson (shorter segments with others)
I always love it when Stewart comes out of hiding and appears with Colbert briefly. He has done it a couple of times when the actions of the current president just forced him to comment.
But last night was different. The whole show, which I suspect were taped segments at the end of regular shows, given that his suit and shoes changed each time, was Colbert sitting the hot seat while friends interviewed him about his life.
And it was fascinating.
One of the thing I have loved to do all of my life is to sit quietly and listen to intelligent people talk with each other, especially when they discuss something that I know something about. I don't want to participate necessarily, but I just revel in listening to them talk.
We don't have them any more, but for several years we went to a New Year's Eve party with a bunch of theater people and two guys, one a specialist in musical theater and the other in movies, but really both know lots and lots about both topics. I loved sitting and listening to these two talk about show business. (Both were also actors)
But the hostess of these annual parties decided not to give them any more and one of the guys moved away, so I have not had the chance to just sit and listen to the two of them in about three years now, and I miss it.
But last night was like that. These two highly intelligent men, both performers, both with a long history together and just chatting. It was like they forgot there was an adience there for periods of time.
At one point they were discussing their favorite character in the Old Testament ("or as you call it, the Bible," Catholic Colbert said to the Jewish Stewart). Stewart had the best answer. His favorite character is Isaac because while Abraham got all the glory, Isaac was the one who did all the work leading the Jews out of Egypt. On top of that, Abraham once took Isaac up on a mountain to kill him, at God's command, but God stopped him at the last minute, leaving Isaac with a lifetime of knowing his father was going to kill him. The dysfunctional family that resulted was the start of Judaism.
The other lengthy interview was by Neil Degrasse Tyson with whom, Colbert has said before, he has become friends.
Tyson is not as skilled an interviewer as Stewart, but still it was a case of two intelligent friends talking together and I loved it.
There were a couple of other snippet interviews, but these two were the meat and potatoes for me. If you are into Colbert, or Stewart, or intelligent chatter between friends, I encourage you to find it on the internet and watch it.
The word "trump" was said very little, and mostly in passing from the days before #45 ever dreamed of becoming president and was "just a normal guy" (if he ever was a normal guy).