If you’ve noticed a little more of Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show”, he admits it’s because he’s packed on a few pounds over the past few months — and he puts the blame on America’s 45th president.
“I think I’ve gained 15 pounds since Donald Trump became president,” he tells InStyle in a revealing new interview. He’s not kidding. On the night of Trump’s election victory, “I just drank, “he says. “I drank a lot of bourbon onscreen. We didn’t know what to do.”
In the interview, Colbert gets serious to discuss how he struggled with panic attacks, which led to what he now describes as a “nervous breakdown.”
“In my late 20s, early 30s, I had a nervous breakdown,” he says. “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.”
Colbert also talks about travelling to Russia for what turned out to be some classic “Late Show” bits, but admits he was initially resistant to the idea.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to do that. I really don’t wanna do that.’ They’re like, ‘Why?’” he tells InStyle. “There’s enough pressure with these jobs. You know, I kind of like doing theatre, doing my monologue, talking with guests, going home, having an old-fashioned, eating some cashews, and watching Anderson Cooper with my wife.”
However, the short trip saw Colbert and his crew working at a breakneck pace, which he admits required a little help from his pharmacist.
“American pharmaceutical companies are fantastic,” he jokes. “They give you pills so you can go to sleep at night, and there’s another pill so you’re awake the next day. The toxicology report on me is going to be fascinating.”
While Colbert’s main mission is to make his viewers laugh, he sees himself as a sort of comedy conduit to help them digest the news of the day. “I care about the news, I care about what’s happening, and I love jokes, so to be able to say to the audience, ‘Come over here, and we’ll hopefully explain it to you in a different way and make you laugh about it’ — that is an absolute joy,” he says.
You can read more with Colbert in the latest issue of InStyle.
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on Global. You can also watch full episodes online.