Stephen Colbert sat down with Vanity Fair for a cover interview that covered everything from his take on President Donald Trump, the trauma the country has been through in recent months, and his own illness.


Of saying farewell to Trump and being able to stop talking about him on The Late Show: “You know ‘King John’s Christmas’ by A.A. Milne?” referring to the poem by the author of Winnie-the-Pooh. “At one point, he says, ‘Oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all, bring me a big, red india-rubber ball.’ And I have been saying for weeks now, ‘Oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all, just let me stop talking about this guy.’ ”


Colbert also discussed how he has changed the way he’s processing the news in the new virtual set-up, and is leaning into emotional moments like crying when Dolly Parton sang, or speaking out repeatedly against Trump.

“Individuals at home or in small groups can receive this material in a much more raw state. You can get as dark as you want within your own ethical guidelines, without the concern of how you kill the vibe of a room,” he explains. “As much as I want my audience back, and I desperately do, it would be extremely difficult to talk about what’s going on in the world right now to a group of people who normally have a party atmosphere.”


Colbert explains that he developed a condition called “benign positional vertigo,” the weekend before the election. It basically means when he stands, he gets dizzy.

“It’s almost entertaining, until I forget,” he says. “And then I go to stand up, and then I just fall down. So, I’m coming to you right now from a very weird angle, slightly listing to port.”