Stephen Colbert began his run as host of the CBS “Late Show” by taking on Donald Trump’s often mocked proposal of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Colbert compared media trying to resist covering candidate Trump to the difficulty of eating only one Oreo cookie.
“I promise you, just like the rest of the media, I will be covering all the presidential candidates who are Donald Trump,” Colbert quipped, before tackling Trump’s border plan to build a 1,900-mile wall.
“A border wall could not be simpler, just build a 90-story building, knock it over, 10,000 times,” said the former host of “The Colbert Report.”
“Then you keep the Mexicans out with a doorman,” he joked.
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Colbert continued the politics talk with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. The two men talked about how to restore civility to politics. Colbert pointed to his brother sitting in the audience and noted that he disagreed with him politically.
He asked Bush where he disagreed with his brother, former President George W. Bush, and the current candidate said his brother didn't do enough to hold down spending in the second term of his administration.
In a bonus clip posted online, Bush was given the opportunity to throw a small jab at Trump as he impersonated his fellow candidate. (He was reading off a Teleprompter.)
Along the debut show, Colbert also played a tribute to predecessor David Letterman, had a brief conversation with rival Jimmy Fallon and a surprise cameo appearance of Comedy Central buddy Jon Stewart.
"With this show I begin the search for the real Stephen Colbert," he said. "I just hope I don't find him on Ashley Madison."
He also showed a picture of the now-retired Letterman, saying that he bowed to no one as a Letterman fan.
"We will try to honor his achievement by doing the best show we can and occasionally making the network very mad at us," Colbert said.
The show opened with a filmed skit depicting Colbert traveling across the country to sing the national anthem, accompanied by various folks at a bowling alley, in a factory and at a youth baseball game. At the end, an "umpire" at the baseball game takes off a mask to reveal himself as a bearded Jon Stewart, who shouted, "Play ball!"
Colbert appeared most comfortable seated behind his new wraparound desk, conversing with his guests. First guest George Clooney, who several months ago handcuffed himself to Letterman in a joking attempt to get him to stay, was given a Tiffany paperweight engraved with "I don't know you" as a wedding present.
"What is it like to be the arm candy in a relationship?" Colbert asked Clooney. Noting that the movie star had no new movie to promote, they made one up and showed "clips" of the film.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.