Stephen Colbert: I Would Trade Good Ratings for a Better President


About the election night: "The election felt a little bit like somebody dying because you suddenly have an unreal feeling. It's unreal and yet absolutely as real as possible at the same time. You feel very raw and very base, very awake and dreaming at the same time."

On whether he owes 45 a thank-you note: "(Long pause.) No. I would trade good ratings for a better president. How about that? The interesting thing is that when we were prepping all that time, we weren't waiting for Donald Trump. We were waiting for something that everybody cared about. Do you know what I mean? Donald Trump is epoch-making; he changes everything. And so we were ready for something that galvanized people's attention and changed their priorities. The thank-you note is to my staff for being ready — that's the thank-you note. Because if it's not Donald Trump, it's something else. There will be something else that we care about, hopefully happy, possibly tragic."

What would he ask 45 if he had the chance: "What do you mean by 'great again'? Define 'great.' " Or, "I challenge you to say anything right now that Vladimir Putin wouldn't like. Say one thing. You could dispel all of these rumors if you would just say one thing. Just say, 'Yeah, he kills journalists.' Say it."

- considers jokes about Barron Trump to be off-limits
-  ordered pizza for the staff the first time they beat Fallon & been doing that ever since
- thinks you can't bullshit your way through 202 monologues a year, you have to care in some way