Stephen Colbert's alter egomaniac on The Colbert Report may be a hawk, but the real Colbert is a peace-loving guy, at least when it comes to the late-night battlefield. We caught up with the Comedy Central cutup — in a rare interview out of character — at the opening-night gala for the Montclair Film Festival in his adopted home state of New Jersey (his wife Evelyn is one of the fest's organizers).
TV Guide Magazine: How do you feel about Jimmy Fallon moving to the 11:35 slot against you?
Stephen Colbert: I'm all about the late-night wars, baby. It's all I think about. I call up Conan and curse him. I'm always so angry at Dave and Jimmy Kimmel. It's what I live for.
TV Guide Magazine: You guys get along so well. Why is it not like the Leno-Letterman feud?
Colbert: I don't know. I like Jimmy Fallon, and he seems to like me. And I like Jimmy Kimmel. Conan's a friend. I'd love to be in a late-night war, but I just like the guys too much.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you think Conan did at the White House Correspondents Dinner?
Colbert: I didn't get to see it, but I read some of his jokes. Killer. I loved "Mr. President, your hair is so white, it could be a member of your Cabinet." And "Why are you still asking us for money in fundraising emails? Do you have a gambling problem?" Super solid jokes. I thought he was great.
TV Guide Magazine: You've emceed that event before, and they haven't asked you back. They asked Conan back a second time. Are you jealous?
Colbert: Oh, he did it back in 1995. It's been 18 years. I think maybe sometime in the next 18 years, they might ask me back.
TV Guide Magazine: You got Bill Clinton to sign up for Twitter the other day on your show. Have you been following him?
Colbert: I was the first person to follow him, and I was the first person he followed. So me and Bill, we're kind of BFFs now.
TV Guide Magazine: How did you set that whole thing up?
Colbert: I was interviewing him for the Clinton Global Initiative and I said, "I know you're not on Twitter. I've taken the liberty of signing you up."
TV Guide Magazine: Did he know you were going to do that?
Colbert" No, but it was harmless, so I figured he'd do it. He's pretty playful. He's a funny, smart guy.
The Colbert Report airs weeknights at 11:30/10:30c on Comedy Central.