Stephen Colbert during the premiere episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Sept. 8, 2015.
Jeffrey R. Staab—CBS via Getty Images
September 10, 2015 8:58 AM EDT

If you were one of the 6.6 million people who tuned into Stephen Colbert’s Late Show premiere Tuesday, you almost didn’t get to see it. According to Colbert, technology problems almost kept the show off the air.

On his second episode last night, Colbert told the story, Deadline reports. He said they were trying to edit the show:

“Here’s the thing: It took us awhile to cut the show down to time, and when we tried to send it to the network so they could show it to you on air, the computers kept crashing. Yeah! And, at a 11:20, no one in the building could give me a guarantee for certain the show was going to go on the air last night. So! You can imagine how exciting that was for all of us. After CBS had plastered my face on every flat surface on the planet. … And as I felt the oxygen begin to drain from my brain and all my organs shutting down, I thought, ‘If we actually make it to air, this will be a pretty good story. And if we don’t, it will still be a very interesting story to tell at the theater camp I’ll be running in Idaho.”

Luckily the show did make it to air, and it become the funny anecdote Colbert hoped for.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Tessa Berenson at

You May Also Like