CNNMoney conducted interviews with attendees of recent test shows–episodes that aren’t meant to air and give Colbert and his writers and crew a chance to try out material and format.
One attendee called Colbert “genuine” and said he didn’t carry his “goofy persona” from his Comedy Central show. One bit is said to have played with that history, as he took a lie detector test to answer “Who is the real Stephen Colbert?” Another bit took shots at presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s evasive responses, which one viewer said “felt like an old Colbert thing.” The test shows conducted interviews as well, with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher and U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins.
Viewers passed along word of changes to the studio itself too. The Captain America shield and bookshelf appear to have come to CBS. The backdrop is a video screen that shows a sunny cityscape, as opposed to the nighttime skylines of most late shows, as well as pre-taped comedy bits. Colbert enters through a garage door, and the stage has a sign that reads “The Late Show with.” Colbert stands directly under it.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will premiere on September 8 on CBS. The premiere week will include guests George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson.