Hungry Man Dinners For Women

There are a lot of brands that pander to women during Women’s History Month. This is another one.

I had a super fun time directing this fake “Hungry Man Dinners for Women” ad for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which was also my first time directing back on-set in-person in 2021. Thank you to our COVID compliance officer and whole production team for keeping us all safe on set.

And major thanks to Nicole Conlan for writing (and acting on-camera), Emily Potthast for producing (and ALSO acting on-camera), Abbi Crutchfield (for just acting), and our production design team for absolutely killing it with the look and packaging. I’m so excited on how the visuals on all this turned out!

(I also still cannot BELIEVE that CBS ad sales let us get away with this. I guess Hungry Man doesn’t advertise much in late night!)

“The Queen’s Gambit”, but it’s about a Rubik’s Cube now.

After the runaway success of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, studios have started clamoring to develop media from other successful “games”, and have now greenlit a Rubik’s Cube movie (this is completely true) and a Rubik’s Cube game show (again, ACTUALLY TRUE, I promise you).

But who’s gonna make a 14-part limited series for streaming? Luckily, Stephen Colbert has already gotten started on a new prestige drama that mixes elements of The Queen’s Gambit — with a strong desire to make a lot of money off the popularity of The Queen’s Gambit.

As expected, treating something this dumb very seriously is… of course, still very dumb.

Major thanks to everyone at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that helped to pull this off. Not only in the realm of extreme production value that came from our awesome hair, makeup, and wardrobe teams – but in the fact, that we shot this entire sketch on greenscreen in New York in a matter of four hours – and that I remotely directed the whole thing over Zoom from Tennessee.

I can’t even believe working like this is possible these days! I am beyond excited at the quality of images that we were able to create, and it’s a testament to how great our team is that we were able to do it with ease and for it to be so much fun. Thank you and and thrilled to continue to work with y’all!

UPDATE: Got a really lovely shout-out from The A.V. Club & Scriptnotes podcast! Thanks, y’all!

Jon Batiste “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

After 8 months in quarantine, it was really satisfying to be back in a studio (with full social distance, mask, & COVID safety protocols, of course) to direct this musical performance with Jon Batiste for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

I can’t tell you how nice it was to just create something beautiful, that’s also a nice message about coming together again in the future. Jon’s a real gem to work with and a fantastic performer, plus I relish any chance to play around with Christmas decorations on camera. It’s a thrill every. time. And, there’s some bonus holiday magic near the end of the song that we got to do for real, right in the room. All in all, a really fun morning.

Thanks y’all for watching and here’s wishing a very Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season to you and yours. See you in 2021 (god, I hope)!

WATCH: Thanksgiving Tips!

Throwback to three years ago, when we made this dumb instructional Thanksgivings tips guide for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I forgot to share it back then, but luckily the holidays keep coming back around, so it’s relevant again!

Major kudos to all the folks that worked on this – I’m very proud of it and how dumb it is – most especially including Ariel Dumas for almost being attacked by a live turkey on camera. Anything for the jokes!

Kamala Harris Music Vid + Drincodin

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert‘s bandleader Jon Batiste was so jazzed about Kamala Harris for VP that he couldn’t stop himself from writing the late ’90’s-style R&B anthem for her that you didn’t know you wanted (but also that you discovered you definitely needed).

(In fact, due to the FCC equal-time rule this jam was TOO HOT FOR TV, so we could only air 20 seconds on CBS. But the entire club rattling music video is now available online.)

Buckle up and get your enthusiasm going with this “remote directed” banger.

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The election’s finally here and if you just can’t handle the stress of waiting for the results (and who knows how long that’s gonna take?!), The Late Show‘s new pharma sponsor DRINCODIN has exactly the right product for your needs.

Specially formulated for election-related stress with a mix of rye and barley for a smooth finish.

Car-A-Fire + Sexy Teen Dramas

Peaceful protests are still happening nationwide, but they aren’t always covered by the news.

Luckily, a new video filter from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that can help your protest footage get attention, by simply digitally inserting a burning car! Voila!

Schools are still debating whether to reopen in the fall, which throws a wrench in one critical area of American Culture: sexy teen TV dramas. Conveniently, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has a sneak peek at one fall show that’s already adapted their storytelling to the new reality of remote learning.

(more…)

Great Moments in Indoor History

Welp, we’ve all been indoors for awhile now, but let’s not forget that some of history’s greatest achievements also happened indoors. That’s why The Late Show with Stephen Colbert partnered with the always exceptionally funny Paul F. Tompkins to take a look at some of history’s greatest indoor achievements.

Jon Batiste Scores Your Chores

After weeks of quarantine, keeping a tidy household can become a bit monotonous. Fortunately, The Late Show‘s own bandleader Jon Batiste has come up with a way to make doing your chores…a little more exhilarating.

And visit colbertlateshow.com/scoresyourchores to download the full tracks of Jon’s music to play as you clean up!

Netflix’s Cheer + James Bond Theme

Netflix’s new docu-series Cheer is a huge hit with audiences. And folks especially love what they call on the show, “Mat Talk”: encouraging motivation yelled from the sidelines to cheer on the cheerleaders. It’s something a ton of people have wished they could have for mundane tasks in their everyday lives. And now, they can!

Special thanks to Jerry, Gabi, La’Darius, and Coach Monica from Cheer for coming in very early to be super extra in this really silly bit.

BONUS FUN FACT: This bit also marks my 100th sketch on air for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert!

Sure, it is an arbitrary milestone, but it’s still really exciting and it’s been a thrilling four and half years. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone that I work with and everyone who’s given me a chance here to make some really dumb stuff for CBS. Hooray!

Meanwhile…it was announced that multi-Grammy Award winner Billie Eilish will be doing the theme song for the new James Bond film “No Time To Die”, making her the youngest artist to ever record a Bond theme.

Now some would say that her music & unusual style might be an odd fit for the Bond franchise, but we at The Late Show got a sneak peek at the new track, and I think you’ll be pretty impressed…

Hallmark Is Making Too Many Christmas Movies

It’s barely after Halloween, but The Hallmark Channel & Lifetime have both somehow decided to ALREADY start airing Christmas movies. And between the two of them, they’re premiering 70 original Christmas movies this year!

But, not to be outdone, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert decided to buckle down early and get into the Christmas movie mix ourselves by producing our own films. And we have a lot more.

Thanks to our incredible scenic, props, and costume departments for whipping up all this Holiday cheer (and making it snow on 53rd st) in the middle of October. It was really super fun and I’m very proud of how many (too many?) jokes there are crammed into this bit.

Produced by Emily Potthast, written by Kate Sidley & Ariel Dumas, and featuring Ryan Farrell, Elyse Brandau, Glenn Eichler, Ariel Dumas, Asher Perlman, Gary Mahmoud, & Talib Babb, with voice-over by the incomparable Jen Spyra.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Happy Almost Thanksgiving!