Stephen Colbert Defends Sean Spicer Emmys Bit: ‘It Was the Joke I Most Wanted to Do’
The ‘Late Show’ host made a memorable appearance on Bravo’s ‘Watch What Happens Live,’ opening up about Moonves, Trump, and that infamous Sean Spicer Emmys cameo.
Believe it or not, Stephen Colbert’s appearance on Sunday night’s edition of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live resulted in one of the more interesting sit-down interviews the comedian’s conducted in recent memory.
Host Andy Cohen—aided by a few boozy drinks—grilled the Late Show host on a variety of topics, including his nickname for accused sexual predator Bill O’Reilly, “Papa Bear,” on The Colbert Report. Asked what nickname he would really like to give O’Reilly, Colbert replied, “Sack of Decaying Meat.”
During a surreal segment called “Shady Col-Bear!,” wherein the comic was interrogated by a no-nonsense anthropomorphic talking bear, Colbert was asked if he regretted bringing out Sean Spicer for a surprise cameo when he hosted the Emmys.
“Not at all. I had no fear that it would redeem him,” Colbert explained. “I knew that there would be some people that wouldn’t like it, and the funny thing was is that right before I brought him out, I looked around the room and I thought to myself, ‘There’s not one joke that I’ve told tonight to this room full of liberals that was a risk other than the one I’m about to do,’ and it was the joke I most wanted to do.”
Asked to name one politician who “gives him the heebie-jeebies,” he replied, “Ted Cruz.” And when a caller rang in to the show and asked Colbert who the “best liar” he’d ever interviewed was, well, there was only one person that came to mind.
“I did interview the president, and he is the most lies-per-minute of any politician on record—to a pathological level,” said Colbert. “So I would say… it’s you, sir.”
But the most interesting question came from another caller, who wondered if there was “any pushback” from CBS when he called out his CBS boss, Leslie Moonves, in his Late Show monologue following a New Yorker report by Ronan Farrow wherein six women came forward to allege that Moonves had sexually harassed them over the years.
“Everybody believes in accountability until it’s their guy, and, make no mistake, Les Moonves is my guy,” said Colbert in his monologue. “He hired me to sit in this chair. He stood behind this show while we were finding our voice. He gave us the time and the resources to succeed. He has stood by us when people were mad at me, and I like working for him. But accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody, whether it’s for the leader of a network or the leader of the free world.”
As for any “pushback,” Colbert told the WWHL audience that there was none to be found. “No, none. We actually… I mean, as soon as I heard that the article came out, I knew that I’d have to talk about it on Monday night, because we talk about everything, so this is a thing to talk about,” Colbert explained. “But that’s kind of all that I worked on that Monday, was what I wanted to say, and about a half an hour before I taped we told CBS, we said, ‘We’re going to do this, and we’re going to do this,’ and there was no pushback. Nobody said a damn thing.”