In an interview for CBS’s Face the Nation, Colbert said he got Letterman a framed floor tile, and explained why it’s such a meaningful chunk of floor.
“When I first came into this theater—and Dave was still here—we came in on a Saturday morning at 8:00 or something because we had to think about what changes we were going to be making before they left.” Colbert said of when he first arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theater and had to decide where to stand to deliver his opening monologue each night. “I walked around stage. I was there with my manager, James Dixon and my wife, Eve. And we just walked around thinking, ‘Where would I want to stand?’”
Colbert then found the spot that felt best to him. He moved some boxes out of the way, and saw a red dot on the floor.
“I was standing where he [Letterman] stood,” Colbert said he realized. “I thought, ‘Oh, this just feels right,’ There’re places onstage where you feel like you’re communicating with everybody, and it’s hard to explain. It just feels right. And that spot just felt right. And I was so happy to look down and see the spot between my feet.”
Colbert had that square of floor removed and framed, and now he’s given it to Letterman for the holidays this year.
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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com