It an attempt to get some new viewers to check out The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS went all-out for the special post-Super Bowl 50 edition of the talk show. The guest line-up was something you’d expect during the debut week of a talk show. President Barack Obama was featured in a pre-taped interview. Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller was interviewed via satellite. Current comedy icons Will Farrell and Tina Fey were guests on the show, along with Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Comedy duo Key and Peele even had a pre-taped segment that aired during the broadcast.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 8, 2016
However, even with such a star-studded line-up, many felt that Colbert’s handling of the football segments dragged down the overall quality of the show. As a Time review observed, “Colbert seemed stiff and uncomfortable when addressing sports.”
While these post-Super Bowl slots are always intended to help grow the audience of the featured show, Variety speculated that “if CBS was hoping to give [Colbert] the equivalent of a Super Bowl bump, the bottom line is that Sunday’s less-than-super live edition won’t do much to help the cause.”
The interview Colbert did with Von Miller of the Denver Broncos (with assistance from Jim Nantz of CBS Sports) was brief and uneventful. Colbert set up Miller with plenty of opportunities to brag or make jokes at Cam Newton’s expense, but the Super Bowl MVP was a class act the whole way through.
Von Miller tells Stephen Colbert he’s gotta dab on em, and gets Jim Nantz to do it pic.twitter.com/gW46ORhFRq
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) February 8, 2016
The segment Colbert did with President Obama came at the very end of his opening monologue. While it appeared to be a live-via-satellite interview to begin with, it was revealed partway through that it was, in fact, a pre-taped segment. No political issues were addressed, and even First Lady Michelle Obama made an appearance, doing her best touchdown victory dance.
Michelle Obama keeping the dab alive on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. pic.twitter.com/e8u3W6DH0o
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) February 8, 2016
Things did get political with Megyn Kelly, however. The first thing Colbert asked the host of The Kelly File about was Donald Trump, and most of the conversation centered around the perceived feud between Kelly and the billionaire presidential candidate.
— Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) February 5, 2016
There to promote Zoolander 2, Will Ferrell joked that he skipped watching the Super Bowl to watch a Downton Abbey marathon instead. Since Colbert has yet to establish a regular animal expert for The Late Show, Ferrell came dressed as such and brought out non-exotic animals like a cat and a duck.
— Zoolander 2 (@ZoolanderMovie) February 7, 2016
Tina Fey and Margot Robbie were Colbert’s first guests of the evening. They were there to promote Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a comedy they star in about two female war correspondents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their interview was interrupted by the live Von Miller interview, which understandably took presence over the comedians.
This movie had me at Tina Fey. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Trailer (2016) – Paramount Pictures https://t.co/Ve1ZpAwDle
— Sojella Ayaba (@sojella) February 6, 2016
Key and Peele helped Colbert with a football segment in which Stephen Colbert and Keegan-Michael Key scored touchdowns and pushed the limits on what referee Jordan Peele would let them get away with for their victory dance celebrations. The appearance was an opportunity for the duo to promote their own upcoming film, Keanu.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) February 8, 2016
[Photo by Kevin Wolf/AP Images]