Stephen Colbert talked about how difficult he found his first six months of hosting The Late Show at a Paleyfest panel moderated by Pete Holmes. When he first started hosting the show, he focused a lot on the current political landscape before shifting his focus to a more light-hearted approached. "Neither approach felt quite right," he admitted, according to Variety.
While Colbert has since found his footing, he said that it took some time before he found the right political tone. It clicked for him when a producer asked him, "Why don't you just do what you're really good at, which is talking about what happened today?" However, he worried that those shaky six months would have scared people away.
"My biggest fear was that people wouldn’t come back and notice, they wouldn’t see that I had finally found what I wanted the show to be," Colbert explained. "Those first six months felt terrible because you’re having to reinvent a new way to do the show. I had never my entire life done anything as myself. I had always done something in character. I was an actor. It was the first time I had to be me, I didn’t know if I could do that, so I had to learn to do something I’d never done before with a camera in front of me, on live television, in front of a massive audience."
He also spoke about how politicians today are starting to sound like his right-wing character on Colbert Report, which he hosted from 2005 until 2014.