Stephen Colbert took over The Late Show on September 8, 2015. Since then he has had exactly two comedians perform stand up on the show, and they are both giants. On January 6, 2016 Jerry Seinfeld became the first comedian to tell jokes in front of the new Late Show curtain. and then just over a week later, Maria Bamford performed for the Late Show audience. Seinfeld is about as big a ‘get’ as you can find, and Bamford is Stephen Colbert’s absolutely point-blank favorite comic. Two greats, back to back and now there’s a third being added to the list.
Tomorrow night, New York comedian Sam Morril makes his Late Show debut. Morril is one of our favorite New York comics and we couldn’t be more excited that the team at the Late Show picked him as their third stand up. It’s not Morril’s first time doing late night- he’s appeared on @midnight (yes he won), Adam Devine’s House Party, and two Conan appearances (crushed both), and it was just a few months ago that his first Comedy Central special aired.
It will also be Morril’s first time performing stand up for network television in New York City– he’s taped in Boston, Los Angeles and New Orleans, but never New York, and the Ed Sullivan Theater is a pretty good place to start. We talked with Sam today, as he was getting ready to tape his set (Friday shows tape on Thursday). Of course the first thing we wanted to know was, how did he pull off getting booked on the show that nobody can get on. “There’ve been some people over there who have been fighting for me in one way or another for a little while,” he said, “so I’m grateful that they like what I do and they wanted to put me on,” he told us.
Sam has a reputation for some comedy that gets a little dark, and network television can sometimes shy away from dark material, but Sam said for the most part, they let him do the set he wanted to do. “It’s a little dark for sure. I’m shocked at what they’re letting me get away with. They [CBS] are the toughest of any network.” So the dark stuff stayed in, but they did make him change a few words here and there- one in particular that surprised him. “They did make me take out the word ‘bimbo’ in the set. Which is weird because they’re like ‘you can’t say bimbo because it suggests there are stupid women.’ I’m like, well there are stupid women. There are stupid everybody. They said well you can’t suggest that. I was like well isn’t that more offensive, to suggest that women can’t be stupid? Anyone can be anything. The suggestion wasn’t that women are stupid – it was one person. So I changed that, and they asked me to change it to terrible person. I was like, you can say that women can be terrible but not. . ..? The way it works is a little weird but you just gotta work with it.”
Despite an inability to use the word bimbo, Morril says his set is solid. He’s doing some tried and true material, and also a few newer more topical jokes, that he says he feels good about. “I think it’s going to be great. You want to honor the jokes you want to get the wording down. Some of the wording with me is a little complicated. So I just want to make sure I nail every word, the tone, and its funny.”
He’s bringing his girlfriend, comedian Beth Stelling along to the taping with him. He and Stelling met when they were both taping Half Hour specials for Comedy Central last year and formed a true comedy super couple. He said she was with him when he taped his second (and favorite) Conan appearance too. Is she a good luck charm for him? Yes, he said. Maybe too good luck. The two squared off on @midnight this year, with Sam coming out the winner.
Tune in tomorrow night, Friday April 22nd at 11:35pm to watch Sam Morril take the stage and perform for America on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. And then go grab his recent album, Class Act. It’s the kind of comedy that makes you call a friend and say you’ve got to hear this. New Yorkers can see Sam headlining Gotham Comedy Club all weekend. Get tickets here.