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tv   The Late Show With Stephen Colbert  CBS  December 3, 2021 11:35pm-12:37am PST

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>> you played it. congratulations. it is almost saturday. captioning sponsored by cbs >> according to the "new york times," cute cats are being used to spread misinformation online. cats like keyboard cat, grumpy cat, and lil bub are being used by misinformation peddlers to draw an audience in and then redirect them to a publication or site spreading false information.
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>> announcer: it's "the late show with stephen colbert." tonight: tree's company. plus jeff goldblum takes the colbert questionert. and remembering stephen sondheim. featuring jon batiste and stay human. and now, live on tape from the ed sullivan theater in new york city, it's stephen colbert! ♪ ♪ ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: there you are! hey, i got that money i owe you. i'll see you after the show. i got it. i don't welch. i don't welch. ( cheers and applause ). ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> stephen: oh, wow, welcome, welcome, one and all to "the late show." i am your host, stephen colbert. ( cheers and applause ) and happy, happy-- you feel that jon? >> jon: i feel that. >> stephen: what would you call that. >> jon: that is a friday audience. >> stephen: that is a friday audience. ( cheers and applause ) the holidays are right around the corner, which means down in d.c., it's a time for both parties to put aside their differences and reach across the aisle for a common cause: murdering a pine tree. the capitol christmas tree went up this week, and it isn't any ordinary conifer. no, it's eight stories high, and the u.s. forest service has named it "sugar bear." of course, it's traditional for holiday trees to be named after 1970s pimps. last year, my family opened presents under a blue spruce named "big king rooster." ( laughter )
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let's check out this bad boy. wooo! that is beautiful. there it stands at the capitol, the same hallowed ground where america's racist uncles gathered to shimmy down the chimney and pinch out a sugar plum on nancy pelosi's desk. ( laughter ) but as we all know, the most important moment of any christmas tree lighting ceremony is the awkward leadup to flipping the switch. >> now we're counting from five. five, four, three, two, one. ( applause ) >> stephen: oh, that's fun! though, it's hard to tell if that countdown was about the tree or biden's poll numbers. i know, sometimes jokes are sad. ( laughter ) but you have to-- you have to fay it. then it gets funny. ( laughter ) but that's not the only festive fire hazard in d.c. yesterday, the white house held the national christmas tree lighting, which featured special
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guests chris stapleton, kristin chenoweth, and billy porter-- though it was a little awkward when billy porter showed up wearing the exact same outfit as the tree. ( laughter ) what can i say? billy wore it better. ( laughter ) ( applause ) now this-- this year-- billy porter fans. billy porter fans. this year-- this year is actually the 99th national christmas tree lighting. here's a photo of the first one way back in 1923-- oh, and hey, look! there's joe biden! ( laughter ) he looks good. he looks good! he looks fantastic. >> jon: he was there. >> stephen: he was there. >> jon: i didn't know he was there. ( laughter ) >> stephen: of course, tonight is also the sixth night of hanukkah. and this week at the white house, president biden and vice president harris hosted a family hanukkah celebration. and it was particularly special, because it included the first jewish spouse of a vice
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president, second gentleman, and dad about to hand the waiter his clean plate and playfully say, "we hated it." doug emhoff. emhoff-- ( applause ). sure give it up for emhoff. they dig doug. emhoff celebrated by lighting the menorah with senate majority leader, chuck schumer. schumer almost didn't make it to the ceremony, because he first had to get permission from joe manchin. yeah, again, sometimes jokes are sad. speaking of things that last longer than you expected, the pandemic. this last week we learned there's a new version of the coronavirus, which is bad, but there's also a new version of taylor swift's "all too well," which is good-- and almost as catchy. but now, something has happened that has shaken me to my core-- and after 20 months of pandemic, i barely have a core left. we just learned that big
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retailer dollar tree is bumping up their prices to $1.25 for most items. ( booing ) hey, "dollar" is right in the name of the store! i haven't been this upset since i found out that panda express does not serve real panda! l( laughter ) i think it's to-fanda. this is not a rash decision, though. dollar tree tested the new prices and found that 91% of customers said they would continue to shop there despite the price change. sure, but is that 91% out of 100, or out of 125? because, apparently, numbers don't mean anything anymore to you animals! ( applause ). >> jon: yeah, what are they doing? i can't get a bag of salted penuts. >> stephen: listen to how upset i am! this is my upset voice. of course, dollar tree isn't the only retailer feeling the pinch this year. i'll tell you the latest on the ongoing supply chain crisis in tonight's "cargo unchained: booze edition."
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>> bartender! i'll have another. of anything. >> stephen: the latest supply chain snafu is hitting the beverage industry, where there is a growing alcohol shortage, including high-end rums, cognacs, and tequila. no tequila?! well, time to update the song. hit it! ( band plays tequila ) water! >> stephen: that's quality, it's a long-- it's a long walk to the well. ( applause ). >> jon: but it was worth it. >> stephen: but there was water in there. >> jon: there was water in there. >> stephen: long walk, long walk. but wait, there's less! there's also shortages of wine, which explanation i feel the same way. which explains your suburban mom's new t-shirt: "don't talk to mommy until someone has resolved the kinks in the global
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supply chain." it's been nearly 11 months-- 11 months-- since the capitol insurrection, and the justice keeps hitting the fan. and i'll tell you the latest in tonight's "seditionist round-up roundup." >> it would be-hoove these asses to pony up for a lawyer. ( laughter ) >> stephen: tonight, in the ring of wrong, we've got oath keeper and actor james beeks, seen here showing his range from "banker cowboy" to "cowboy banker." beeks was arrested last week for allegedly attempting to break through a line of police officers guarding the senate chamber. but it turns out, he's not just a threat. he's a triple threat, because until his arrest, he was playing judas in the touring production of the andrew lloyd webber musical "jesus christ superstar." a broadway performer was at the insurrection? that explains why he was giving notes to the other rioters: "no, no, no. when you scream 'hang mike pence!' you do it from your diaphragm ♪ hang mike fence ♪
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but investigators finally found beeks after attending two performances of "jesus christ superstar." really? two performances? come on, f.b.i., just admit you like a good musical. "i think we need to go back tomorrow night to buy a t-shirt-- i mean, i.d. the perp. do you think he would sign my 'playbill'-- i mean, 'subpoena'?" this week, beeks was in court, and he got himself in hot water when he told the judge that he had divine authority and argued the government had no jurisdiction over him. "divine authority"? does he think he is his character from "jesus christ superstar?" ( laughter ) god, i wish he'd been in "cats." "your honor, this is not a jellicle court, so it has no authority over jellicle cats. i rest my case. meow. i said meow, sir!" ( laughter ) ( applause ) ♪ ♪ ♪
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( laughter ) but the judge must have been a fan, because beeks was released under strict conditions, including that he observe a curfew and wear a g.p.s. tracking device. so get ready to see james beeks star in "joseph and the amazing technicolor ankle monitor." ( laughter ) but even though-- ( applause ) oh, i forgot. now i have to bring it home. but even though he's not going to be a touring broadway artist anymore, beeks has another career to fall back on. because his youtube page also lists him as one of the top michael jackson tribute artists in the u.s. it makes sense, because this guy is "bad," and he clearly "wanna be starting something," but he's no "smooth criminal" because we all "remember the time" biden
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won the election, but beeks tried to "beat it" and left capitol maintenance having to clean poop "off the wall." beeks can "say say say" whatever he wants, and "scream" about sovereign citizenship, but he'll go down in "history" as somebody seriously "dangerous." "p.y.t." ( laughter ) ( cheers and applause ) we've got a great show for you tonight. i give jeff goldblum the colbert questionert. but wh w cok, i's "meanwhile." it's "meanwhile" y'all. (vo) for fourteen years, subaru and our retailers have been sharing the love with those who need it most. now subaru is the largest automotive donor to make-a-wish and meals on wheels.
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( applause ) >> stephen: jon batiste and stay human, everybody. ( cheers and applause ). there it is. there it is. welcome back, everybody. you know, folks, i spend most of my time right over there, combing over the day's news, selecting only the highest quality and most topical bonded calfskin-leather stories, carefully tanning and cutting
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them with millimeter precision, then weaving it all together in a double-faced intre-cciato pattern to create for you the exquisite bottega veneta clutch that is my monologue. but sometimes, while at a rave in a condemned cement factory, i get injected with a mystery cocktail of hallucinogens and paint solvents, then, obeying the voices who will steal my teeth if i don't, i stumble into a shipyard where i rip the canvas tarp from a gravel truck, tie it off with the rope from a rotting fishing net, then wander a food court, filling it with what i think are gold coins but are, in fact, other people's car keys, to drag around the rootless transient's clutter sack of news that is my segment: "meanwhile!" ( applause ) it's like coming home, baby. it's like being kissed by your mom. meanwhile, researchers at georgia tech have discovered a massive "marvel" plot hole: thanos couldn't have snapped while wearing a glove.
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amazing! they found an unrealistic thing in a "marvel" movie. ( laughter ) also, quick follow-up, scientists: how's that cure for cancer coming along? just checking. now, the head researcher explained that he was skeptical from the start, saying, "i was like, no way can that thanos snap with that infinity gauntlet. i bet, like, the softness of our skin has something to do with it." he's just following the time-honored scientific method: make an observation, ask a question, wonder why everyone's leaving the party, sit alone in bed and tell yourself that if "wonder woman" were real, she'd think you were interesting. meanwhile, in canada, a deer was seen wandering an alberta town with antlers full of christmas lights. oh, boy. this always happens at santa's office christmas party. blitzen gets blitzed and then jealously tries to outdo rudolph: "you're not special, rudy! you were born like that! this took thought, you freak!"
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( laughter ) blitzen's not nice. blitzen is the mean one. you can tell. meanwhile, we're all hoping for breakthrough technologies to free us from depleting the world of precious resources and polluting our oceans. and this week, we learned that scientists just made plastic out of salmon sperm-- you know, that highly renewable and extremely plentiful resource, salmon sperm. next, i hear they're going to work on making gasoline out of tiger bones. of course, the trickiest part of collecting salmon sperm is asking the salmon to go into that little room with a cup and a copy of "blowfish magazine." ( laughter ) ( applause ) apparently, strands of d.n.a. from salmon sperm were dissolved in water and mixed with ionomers to create a gel that can be molded into various shapes. and the scientists molded a
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small white mug. and i believe we have some footage of that mug being made. >> we're going to need a lot more salmon sperm. ♪ ♪ ♪ ( laughter ) >> stephen: never seen the movie. i hear it's great. never seen the movie. meanwhile, scientists have found meanwhile, the jamaican government launched a campaign about how great weed is. i think people know that, jamaica. they learned it from watching you. we'll be right back with jeff goldblum. new gifts arriving at a store near you for way less than you expect. at t.j. maxx, marshalls and homegoods. for people living with h-i-v, keep being you. and ask your doctor about biktarvy.
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>> stephen: welcome back, everybody! folks-- thanks everybody. folks, i gotta tell you, you are in for a real treat tonight, because the ever-fascinating and ever-fascinated jeff goldblum is going to take the colbert questionert. ( applause ) now, as you all know, the colbert questionert is "the late show's" scientif-ish way of distilling everything worth knowing about a celebrity down to 15 simple questions. and i had the privilege of administering the colbert questionert to mr. goldblum when he stopped by in early november. however, because he takes so many pauses in between words,
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we didn't actually finish until this afternoon. so, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to truly know jeff goldblum. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: jeff, listen, you know i love having you on. every time you're on here it's a delight. i feel energized, like i hooked up my battery cables to you. as much as i have enjoyed talking to you-- we have done it quite a few times over the years-- it's hard to get to know somebody over this short period of time. it's hard to plumb the depths of someone else's soul in 10 to 12 minutes, however much time we have. >> i know. >> stephen: i have 15 questions here and if you're willing to answer them-- and i want you to think seriously about this-- if you're willing to answer them at the end of these questions you're willing to be known-- do you understand that-- willing to be known, laid bare, under the golden sun? >> yes ( cheers and applause ). >> stephen: here we go.
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question number one, are you ready? >> yes, i am. >> stephen: jeff goldblum, what is the best sandwich? >> the best sa sandwich-- this y sound like bragging, and sorry, because i am bragging, i was invited once in milan in italy carde, and sofia loren.eudia >> stephen: wow, that is a nice neighborhood. >> in order i was-- i was sandwiched between them. ( laughter ) ( applause ) >> stephen: that's our show. drive safely. please drink responsibly. >> drink responsibly. >> stephen: what is the one thing you own, jeff goldblum, that you should really throw out? >> good question. well, i'll tell you, now that you've brought it up, you know, i'm the kind of person if you really want to get to know me, i'm a minimalist. and since i was a kid-- this is
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true-- i had a yen to eliminate things. so i like to throw things out. i love it. i like to recycle things. i like to get rid of things. >> stephen: what's on the bubble right now? what's-- what's-- what is not long for this world? >> having said that, i just-- i've got in my closet... four pair of pants that i'm thinking of, and i just-- the day i flew here-- was it yesterday? it was yesterday-- they went to a store and i bought one new pair of pant they really am kind of in lovwithhat will replace those four-- did i just spit on you? i'm sorry. >> stephen: that's all right. >> there it is, it's right there. >> stephen: there you go. >> send that to the lab. so this one pair of pant is going to replace those four and those four are headed out as soon as i get home. and they'll be recycled. >> stephen: do they know? do they know? >> they're pants, they don't know. they-- they -- >> stephen: they know. you don't personify objects? i have trouble throwing things
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away because as i go to throw it in the trash can is goes, "why?" >> really? >> stephen: and i go, "let,s you can stay in my closet a little longer." >> i thought my second career would be to go to people's houses and have them get rid of stuff. >> stephen: how fun would it be to shoot a piece where jeff goldblum comes to my closet and tells me what i can save and what gets thrown out. >> did you read that book, that tiding up book? >> stephen: sure, sure, we had her on, marie kondo. >> i'm all into it. tidy up. tidy up. >> stephen: what's the scariest animal? >> the scariest animal, trest, velociraptor, or the house fly. ( applause ). >> stephen: the gamut. the gamut. okay, apples or oranges. >> or the human animal. >> stephen: deep. >> deep. >> stephen: apples or oranges? >> interesting question. the correct answer...
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( laughter ) because you can spread peanut butter, or any nut butter-- almond butter, any nut butter on it, is banana. is banana but the real answer is they're equally good. i'm going to send you a case of pink lady apples and navel oranges and you'll see how they're-- when together -- >> stephen: are you actually going to do this, or is that a show biz "i'm going to send you things." >> i'll send it to you. >> stephen: i'm not forcing you. i'm just asking you. i have my own apples and oranges. i make a fine living. i don't need your fruit, jeff. >> my word is my w ward bond if you ever saw "the searchers," he's in the "searchers," lovely actor. >> stephen: have you ever asked someone for their autograph. >> yes, i would like your autograph. do you remember bruno kirby. we were pals. we went to see muhammad ali on
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closed circet -- >> stephen: did you go to the rumble in the jungle? you said went to see muhammad ali in zaire on closed circuit. >> he was in zaire. you were not. >> i was at the theater in closed circuit. i thought i made that clear. but-- but i later met hu muhammd al. >> and i said, "champ, i love you, i have loved you for my whole life." and he said, "you scared me." i saw 'the fly. '. he said, "where do you live. some day i might come to your door and knock. when bruno turned 30 sent a boxing glove to the champ and said, "can you keep on punching?" he sent it back and it said, "keep on pushing." i think he upgraded it. pushing is more-- pushing the
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envelope, i think he must have meant, is more important than -- >> stephen: i agree. i'm sure that's what he meant. >> that's my answer >> stephen: when we come back, jeff goldblum lists his 25 favorite action movies. stick around. ♪ ♪ ♪ ( applause ) ♪ are mother nature's recipes ♪ ♪ that bring the bare necessities of life ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the bare necessities of life will come to you ♪ they'll come to me! ♪ they'll come to you ♪ all the delivery, no delivery fees. dashpass.
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( applause ) >> stephen: hey, everybody, welcome back.
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and now, ladies and gentlemen, the stunning finale of jeff goldblum versus the colbert questionert. what's your favorite action movie, jeff? >> i knew that you might ask me that. now, this is a work in progress. i'm going to-- i can't-- i would be-- i can't say one, but here are a bunch of movies, very quickly. >> stephen: not just a tiny version of the rubeiat of omar kayan. what is that? >> it's my notes. i did it all through "the world according to jeff goldblum." >> stephen: is that shorthand? >> no, you couldn't read that. it's my printing. i don't do-- what's that called anymore that my kid are learning to do? >> stephen: cursive. >> cursive, cursive. i haven't done that in a long time. >> stephen: you don't join your letters? >> no. favorite action movie. it's one of these-- listen closely. seven samurai. kill bill. team america world police.
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skyfall, casino roal. goldfinger. from russia with love. spider-man into the spider-verse. treasure of the sierra madre. french connection. apocalypse now. lawrence of arabia. isle of dogs. no country for old men. jurassic park. rio bravo. one-eyed jacks. bullet. jaws. badlands. bladerunner, 2017. dune, 2021. bonnie and clyde. raiders of the lost ark, or mad max fury road. ( applause ) >> stephen: 25. >> really, is it 25? >> stephen: that's give nicely done. >> i didn't know -- >> stephen: i have fingers. >> really? so one of those-- i don't know. any way, that's my answer. one of those-- pick one. >> stephen: okay, favorite smell. >> oh, i have a few. very quickly. fresh air.
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the loomy, loomy earth. rain. my kids. i have a six-year-old and a four-year-old boy. just to pick one, their hair, their hair. and then emily. i think her neck. right there. right there. >> stephen: wow, wow. you had three of the elements. you had air-- >> fire. >> stephen: you have earth, and you had water. >> yes. >> stephen: and you were about to go for fire. >> fire. what's fire smell like? oh, fire can smell delightful. a nice cozy fire. depending on the logs. that's a great smell. ( laughter ) ( applause ) >> stephen: depending on the logs. depending on the logs is a great modifier to every sentence. sentence. depending on the logs, this could be good. >> when you read the fortune cookie, you just end it with "depending on the logs." >> stephen: exactly. >> and it makes sense. or a new album by earth, wind, and fire. how that smells when you first take it out. a delicious smell. >> stephen: most-used app on
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your phone. >> here's the truth, i appreciate the navigation app, because i was never good with a map. that's very helpful. but the most used is two of them. google-- i think it's amazing that we can go, "what's another word for, you know, da-da-da." i can look up a thesaurus there. i can look up everything. it's fantastic, instead of going to the library-- which is great. also youtube, you can see an old clib of thelonius monk, or a comedian we like -- >> stephen: what's the lacht video you looked up to watch on utube. >> i was listening to things today. i'm in a cycle down a rabbit hole with shows, podcasts with physicists. >> stephen: oh, have you ever watched richard fein man's lectures on youtube? >> no. >> stephen: fantastic. >> really? >> stephen: yeah. >> i did-- aren't they great? isn't it great that you can get that. >> stephen: yeah. >> it's fantastic. >> stephen: i will tell you
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what my last one was-- thanks for asking. my last one was, i looked up antonio gures. a great flamenco dancer. and i bet you have attempted flamenco. you've got the body for it. >> thank you, thank you. >> stephen: that long, lean thing. yeah, yeah. >> thank you. >> stephen: check it out. >> if i change my name is might be faruca gold bloom. >> stephen: cats or dogs? >> well, i'll tell you-- well, i've already told you, we did an episode of the first five coming up on the "the world according to jeff goldblum" on dogs. and we have, who appears in it, our personal dog right now, woody, our family dog, woody is in it. i'm totally in love with dogs. and i have had dogs throughout my life. even though i had a couple of cats for a while, and there's nothing wrong with cats. they're delightful-- purrrrr. if i had to pick, i would say
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i'm a doggy, doggy man. >> stephen: okay. you only get one song to listen to for the rest of your life, what is it? >> as you know, very difficult question. because i'm-- i'm a guy, if i-- even though there are songs that affect me, have affected me tremendously, and i put them on th thing, once i choose it and listen to it, i get kind of out of steam with it very quickly. i would rather-- if i had my druthers, i would put on a good radio station or have somebody curate or surprise me. i like surprise. so i wouldn't-- i'd like not to choose. but if i had to, there have been-- ( laughter ) there have been songs that i've gone through cycles with. the two that come to mind are when i was-- oh, boy, 13-- when it first came out on a 45, i had stevie wonder doing "for once in my life," you know that recording with that solo that he's got. it drove me absolutely crazy and i played it over and over and ov aga. then there was a te recentlyerrs
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"eldorado." it's great, you can see it on youtube and i played that over and over again. ♪ ♪ ♪ it's great. so that tickled me. so those two, if i had to pick something. ( laughter ). >> stephen: one of those two. ( applause ). >> yeah, i guess. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: what number am i thinking of? >> ah, oh, that's easy. 4,128. i did it! i don't know how. ( laughter ) i'm getting chills. >> stephen: describe the recht of your life in five words. >> oh, that's a tough one. when you're hot you're hot, when you're not, you're not. wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. oh, i got it! i got it! all you need is love.
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( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: jeff goldblum, congratulations. you are known-- >> i'm known utterly ( bell rings ). ♪ ♪ ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: my thanks again to jeff goldblum. season two of "the world according to jeff goldblum" is available now on disney+. we'll be right back with a tribute to stephen sondheim. ♪ best of my love by black pumas feat. sofia reyes ♪ at target, shopping has never been easier — use same day delivery, free order pickup, or free drive up, — and leave with your holidays in the bag. order today, get it today at target. [end music] ♪♪ some things can't be tried at home. where next? with capital one, the possibilities are unlimited.
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and earn a cash bonus when you open a new eligible account and complete required activities. ( applause ) >> stephen: hey, everybody. welcome back to "the late show." folks, last friday, stephen sondheim, a man whom i consider to be the greatest composer and lyricist in the history of american theater, passed away at the age of 91. but his extraordinary legacy will live on. because as the man himself said, "art is infinite. it has no beginning and no end." in september, i had the extraordinary privilege of sitting down with the man, and i'm incredibly grateful i had the chance to tell him how much his work has meant to me personally. and tonight, i want to share with you an extended version of that conversation, because i enjoyed every minute of it, and i hope you will, too. please welcome to "the late show," stephen sondheim. ( cheers and applause )
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: you've got-- it's nice-- it's nice to see you again. thanks for being here. >> good to see you. >> stephen: i got a chance to interview you a couple of times at the "colbert report," and one of the things you said to me then was that, as a young man, you were lucky enough to be mentored by oscar hammerstein ii. i have a photo of the two of you right here. >> oh. >> stephen: there's hammerstein. there's you. >> 16 years old. >> stephen: you haven't changed at all, kid. you look-- you look fantastic. for the-- you know, for the people out there, the burgeoning sondheims out there, what is it that he taught you that still sticks with you today as a composer and as a lyricist? >> majorly, he taught me to write for myself, because i
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wrote songs that imitated him. he said, "no, write what you feel." you know, he said, "this is what i feel about, you know, love and humanity. you write what you feel." and that was important, because you think that would be natural, but it's not. it's not, particularly, if you think highly of the person that you're imitating, which i did. >> stephen: how long did it take you to-- it's not a switch you can flip. how long did it take you? >> no, no. no, it took me-- well, i was writing a score, i was writing a musical right after i got out of college, and it took me the time it took to write that musical. the musical ended up not very good, but i had learned my lesson. and it sounded like me, which wasn't necessarily the best thing. ( laughter ) >> stephen: well, welcome back to broadway. this is a broadway house we're in right now. >> right, it was founded. >> stephen: and the odd thing is oscar hammerstein ii his
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uncle built this theater. this is the hammerstein theater, arthur hammerstein. and named it after oscar's grandfaher, oscar hammerstein i. >> he built one that is now a movie house on 42nd, the hammerstein opera house. >> stephen: he lost this in '29. >> is that it. >> stephen: at the beginning of the depression. cbs bought it from him and turned it into a studio. >> oh, okay. >> stephen: hence, ed sullivan. there you. >> stephen: are you still writing by the way? >> yes, i am. >> stephen: you are? well, that's good. not everybody composes into their 90s. ( applause ) >> i've been working on a show for a couple of years with a playwright named david ives. and it's called "square one." and we had a reading of it last week, and we were encouraged. so we're going to go ahead with it, and with any luck, we'll get it on next season. >> stephen: you and your collaborator--
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( applause ) you and your collaborator, james lupine, wrote a book called, "putting it together," about the two of you creating "sunday in the park with george." what's your favorite part about working with lupine? >> oh, james is-- he's a generation younger than i. and he will go anywhere. he'll try anything. i was brought up more conservatively, which-- the number has got to be or the scene has got to be perfect before you go into rehearsal. and he said, "no, let's see where we go. let's see how it goes." the improvisatory aspect of his generation, that was very good for me, loosened me up. and that was a great deal of fun to write with him for just that reason. >> stephen: well, i was-- i was-- nicely enough, i got a note from james lupine asking me
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if i would blurb the book. >> oh, boy, thank you. that blurb was great. >> stephen: and i wanted to read it to these people. >> please. >> stephen: it's a true story, and i wanted to say it to you. you may know this. when i was 19 i read the lyrics of "putting it together" to my mother to say this is what i wanted to do with my life. even though i had no idea of what 'this' might be. i couldn't sing like mandy patinkin. i couldn't compose like sondheim. but that play was a window from this world to that, and i will always be grateful to you for laying out the desire and the beauty of the act of creation itself, regardless of where that may take you." >> when i read that, i was touched. and i'm touched again. thank you. ( applause ) >> stephen: thank you. now, broadway fully opened this ek ic fantastic.
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>> yeah, isn't that great? >> stephen: which is fantastic. and soon "company," your musical "company," is coming back in november, this time swapping the gender of male-female of bobbie and other members of the cast. have you seen it yet? >> oh, yeah, i saw it in london. and, also, we had a week of previews here before the pandemic closed everything down. so i saw it there. it's a wonderful production. highly recommended. and i don't usually tout my own stuff, but i urge everybody here to see it. ( laughter ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: i have a date with christine buransky. she's taking me. she asked me to go with her. >> you're going to have such a good time. it's really one of the most entertaining evenings i had in the theater. it's great. this lady, marianne elliott, who directed it, is remarkable. >> stephen: i'm really looking forward to it. it's got a lot to live up to it. i was in a production in lincoln center of "company" in 2010. and i have a bone to pick with about that. do you know why i have a bone to
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pick with you? >> no. >> stephen: we didn't get to rehearse with each other or the orchestra, literally, until the day we opened. i i was working with somebody who had a t-shirt on that said "patti lupone on it, and request the musical director. so i got one chance to sing my song, literally, right before they closed the house and brought the audience in, to sing my song, "sorry grateful" with the philharmonic. and i'm about to open my mouth, here comes the swells-- the strains, the lead of the show, and stephen sondheim walks down the aisle of the theater and sits in the front row right before my song begins. and i have flown with the thunderbirds. i have gone with the-- down a toboggan with the world championship bobsled team. i have jumped off of bridges in new zealand. and the most terrifying thing i've ever done is open my mowings and sing sondheim in front of stephen sondheim. you had to know the effect that was going to have on me when you
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sat down there. >> do you know why i sat in the front row? >> stephen: why. >> because i wanted to see the look of thrill on your face when you heard that orchestra behind you. you must have thought i'm on top of a mountain. i mean -- >> stephen: it is an extraordinary feeling to be in front of philharmonic and ride the wave of all that beauty. >> oh, man. absolutely. >> stephen: you're just afraid you might drown. >> i didn't know you did all those athletic things. that's news to me. >> stephen: oh, yes, yes. i'm a real athlete. you should watch the show more. ( laughter ) i'm very sporty, steve. >> no, no, you're fearless, obviously. >> stephen: i'm very sporty. in december, we'll get to see stephen spielberg's version of "west side story," and you visited the set. here we go. there's another. there you are with stephen spielberg on the set. you visited while they were shooting. >> yeah. >> stephen: what can you tell us? what do you know? >> oh, it's terrific. again, touting my own work. no, it's really terrific. everybody, go. you'll really have a good time. ( laughter ) and for those of you who know the show, there are going to be
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some real surprises in it, because tony kushner, who wrote the screenplay, has done some really imaginative and surprising things with the way the songs are used in the story. and the whole thing is-- has real sparkle to it and real energy. and it feels fresh. it's just-- it's really first rate. and movie musicals are hard to do, and this one, spielberg and kushner really nailed it. >> stephen: it's lovely to see you again. thank you for coming on. >> my pleasure. >> stephen: i look forward to "square one." >> my pleasure. >> "square one," indeed.
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♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪ (music) ♪ so i think to myself ♪ ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪
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>> stephen: that's it for "the late show." tune in next week when i'll be joined by jennifer lawrence, adam mckay, and michael b. jordan. come on! good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ the late late show oh, oh ♪ the late late show, ooh the late late show ♪ oh, oh

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