tv The Late Show With Stephen Colbert CBS June 14, 2017 11:35pm-12:38am PDT
the parade of champions, golden state warriors nba champs. >> it's "the late show with stephen colbert." tonight, stephen welcomes trevor noah. ilana glazer. and sam richardson. featuring jon batiste and stay human. and now, live on tape from the ed sullivan theater in new york city, it's stephen colbert! you! ( cheers and applause ) thank you, ladies and gentlemen. thank you very much. hey, everybody!
welcome. welcome, everybody. welcome to "the late show." i'm your host, stephen colbert. ( cheers and applause ) ladies and gentlemen, before we get started, i just want to take a moment to talk about the attack today in alexandria. once again, we're all shocked in mind and soul by a mass shooting, this time targeting, apparently, republican congressmen. and i pray to god that everyone pulls through. violence of any kind is never justified and is the last refuge of the incompetent. thankfully, none of the members or their staff or police were killed today. and i will say this: even in the horror of this day, there was reason to take heart in bipartisan responses like this: >> we will use this occasion as one that brings us together, and
not separates us further. >> we are united in our shock. we are united in our anguish. and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. >> stephen: so i just want to say thank you to the congressional leadership and to the president for responding to this act of terror in a way that gives us hope that whatever our differences, we will always be the united states of america. thank you for that. ( cheers and applause ) now, let's try some comedy. what's going on today? oh, it's donald trump's birthday. 71 candles on that cake. although, trump later said it it was "over a million candles. most candles ever." and 200 democrats got together to give the president something he might like. but instead, they're suing trump over foreign payments to his businesses.
( cheers and applause ) at least-- at least-- it is his birthday. it is his birthday. at least they got together to give thim this card: "congratulations, birthday boy you've been served." it's nice. it's sweet. if you're going to do it, it's a nice way to do it. also, 24 hours later, we're all still digesting the senate intelligence committee's "all-you-stonewall" buffet featuring attorney general and doll carved from an apple, jeff sessions. ( laughter ) ( applause ) sessions-- they sneak up on you sometimes. sessions had a lot to answer for, from his role in the comey firing to his undisclosed meetings with the russian ambassador. and republicans did not hesitate to hold his little curly shoes to the fire. >> attorney general it's good to see you here. it's good to see mary. i know there are probably other places you'd both rather be today. and it's good to see you here
together and know that your family continues to be proud and supportive of what you do. >> thank you. i've been blessed, indeed. >> i agree with that. i agree with that. >> stephen: "mr. sessions, my question is as follows: are you now, or have you ever been the world's greatest grandpa?" ( laughter ) "do you recognize this mug, sir?" "at long last, do you not recognize this mug?" thank you. that shelf is getting very crowded over there. >> jon: it is. you have to dust it. >> stephen: but there were a few tougher questions for sessions to answer; namely, about conversations he had with the president, but sessions was perfectly willing to not answer them. >> i'm not able to discuss with you or confirm or deny the nature of our private conversations that i may have had with the president. it would be inappropriate for me to answer and reveal private conversations with the president.
i'm not able to share with this committee private communication. i'm not able to comment on conversations with high officials within the white house. >> stephen: wow, he's really good at providing absolutely no information. i think we found the replacement for sean spicer. ( cheers and applause ) congratulations, sir. so why isn't sessions answering? well, the only possible reaso would be that the president had invoked something called executive privilege, which usually prevents his aides from sharing details of their conversations with the president. but trump hasn't claimed executive privilege here and sessions can't claim executive privilege. so, what's happening? >> you said you don't have the power to assert the power of executive privilege. so what is the legal basis for your refusal to answer these questions? >> i am protecting the right of the president to exert it-- uh assert it if he chooses. >> stephen: that's not a thing
( laughter ) you can't just refuse to answer a question in case the president later decides he didn't want you to answer it. you can't just-- that's like saying, "i invoke my constitutional right to the 28th amendment, which, of course, is not written yet, but it might be written one day. and it might say that i don't have to answer your question. so i can go outside and play in the sprinklers. wee!" ( cheers and applause ) weee! ( applause ) even though no one has ever heard of this nonprivilege privilege before, sessions claims it's a department of justice policy. >> so i can understand, is the basis of that unwillingness to answer based on executive privilege or-- >> it's longstanding policy of the department of justice not to comment on conversations that
the attorney general has had with the president of the united states. >> can you share those policies with us? are they written down at the department of justice? >> i believe they are. >> stephen: "yes, i believe they're absolutely written down on paper. totally unrelated question: can i borrow a pen and some paper?" ( laughter ) just for a minute. could i clear the room, please? weee! ( applause ) funny thing, though, those answers didn't satisfy california senator and mom from a cereal ad, kamala harris. senator harris wanted to know the concrete details of sessions' secret policy about secrets, and that did not sit well with other members of the committee. is >> you referred to a long- standing d.o.j. policy. can you tell us what policy it is you're talking about? >> the policy is based on the principle that the president-- >> sir, i'm not asking about the
principle. i'm asking-- >> i'm unable to answer the questions. >> you would rely on that policy. did you not ask your staff to show you the policy that would be the basis for you refusing to answer the majority of questions that have been asked to you-- >> chairman, the witness should be allowed to answer the question. >> senators will allow the chair to control the hearing. senator harris, let him answer. >> stephen: yeah, come on, senator harris, if you just give the guy a minute to talk, i'm sure he can come up with a new reason why he can't answer. "i've got my anti-senator force field up. and, also, the floor is lava!" ( laughter ) i yield the remainder of my time. now, remember, this hearing was about russian interference in our elections. and kamala harris had a lot of questions. well, let me change that. she had a lot of the first half of questions. >> did you have any communication with any russian businessmen or any russian nationals? >> i don't believe i had any conversation with russian businessmen or russian
nationals. >> are you aware of-- >> although a lot of people were at the convention, it's conceivable that somebody-- >> sir, sir i have just a few ques-- >> well, you let me qualify. if i don't qualify it, you'll accuse me of lying, so i need to be correct as best i can. >> i do want you to be honest. >> i'm not able to be rushed this fast. it makes me nervous. >> stephen: yes. jeff sessions doesn't respond to being rushed. in fact, it's the only kind of rushin' he won't engage with. ( cheers and applause ) weee! but according to former trump advisor and goatee host organism, jason miller, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why harris kept getting interrupted. >> he came out with a surprising amount of vinegar and, uh, fire in his belly today with some of his answers. he knocked away some of the
hysteria from kamala harris. >> how was senator harris hysterical? i think she asked a lot of questions. she was very dogged, there was no question. but i wouldn't say she was anymore dogged than ron wyden, would you say that? >> uh, listen-- my-- my opinion on that is-- i think she was hysterical. >> stephen: really? if anyone was hysterical, maybe it was the old question saying that her questions were scaring him "have you know shame, senator harris? how many verbs is this sentence going to have? a dangling participle coming at me like a viper in the night. i do declare, this aggressive line of questioning. ( cheers and applause ) i have the vapors. beauregard, bring me a fainting couch and a mint julep!" we've got a great show for you tonight. trevor noah is here. but when we return, the return of russia. stick around! weee! you know how your hair tangles the minute you wash it?
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( band playing ) judge ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: welcome back! welcome back, everybody. say hi to jon batiste and stay human right over there! ( cheers and applause ) i don't often see a tie. looking very fresh. >> jon: i like the tie. >> audience: stephen! stephen! >> stephen: thanks, everybody. i'll take a second chanting, i'm not proud. before the commercial break i was standing over there with the legs, and i was talking about attorney general jeff sessions not answering questions at his hearing yesterday. he was being "vewwy, vewwy quiet."
( laughter ) uh-huh. but he did-- it's an easy change, isn't it? ( laughter ) but he did answer this one question from maine senator angus king. >> do you believe the russians interfered with the 2016 elections? >> it appears so. the intelligence community seems to be united in that, but i havi know nothing but what i've read in the paper. >> stephen: so, the top criminal investigator in the united states gets his intel from newspapers? "i do not think we should investigate russia. my horoscope says it's a bad time for capricorns to start new projects." all right. my moon is in aries, right now. but senator king kept going. >> there was a memorandum from the intelligence community on october 9 that detailed what the russians were doing after the election, before the
inauguration. you never sought any information about this rather dramatic attack on our country? >> no. >> never? >> stephen: yeah, just never thought to ask about it. it's all explained in his children's book. "not curious jeff." ( laughter ) i think, i think our leaders maybe should take a little interest here. vladimir putin has. in fact, we just learned that russia's attempts to hack the election were far more widespread than we thought, including hacking into voter databases and software systems, in 39 states. that's right, 39. that the mean in 2016, the russians had higher voter turnout that we did. ( laughter ) in illinois alone, the hackers got access to a database including "names, dates of birth, genders, driver's licenses, and partial social security numbers on 15 million people." which explains why so many americans suddenly got pay
accounts on sturgeon-girl-sex-party.ru. ( laughter ) nobody, nobody-- it's a quality site. nobody knows-- nobody knows exactly what russia plan to do with the information, but the obama administration believed they might "delete voter registration," "slow down vote tallying," or "suppress votes in low-income neighborhoods with short poll hours and voter i.d. requirements." wait, i'm sorry. that last one was north carolina. my apologies to russia. the point is the threats from the russians is real and it's not going away and we need to fight it. it's in everyone's interest. because while russians appear to have favored trump in the last election, next time they could throw their support behind the democratic nominee: putin in a pantsuit. we'll be right back with our friend trevor noah. stick around. ( cheers and applause )
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( band playing ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the show. folks, i greatly admire the work of our first guest tonight. he hosts "the daily show" every night on comedy central. please welcome trevor noah! ( cheers and applause ) >> thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you.
>> stephen: good to see you. good to see you. i just want to say since the last time i had you on here, last september or something. >> that's right. >> stephen: you have written and released a book called "born a crime." >> i did, indeed. >> stephen: all right, i'm angry that you have time to do that. ( laughter ) or the energy, really. because i just go home at night and they put me in amniotic fluid so i'm ready for the show the next night. >> you have an hour show, and i have a half hour so. you also have a family. i'm alone. ( laughter ) >> stephen: that's true. that's true. yeah. but you travel all over the world. you've got to be exhausted on a certain level. >> you know what, i find i get my energy from doing the things i love. it's actually something i learned from you. i don't know if you remember saying this. when creating the show, stephen colbert said-- like he's not here-- he said, "the joy of the show is not oftentimes in performing it. the joy is derived from creating it, and what you're watching is a manifestation of that joy."
>> stephen: you show the audience what we all to do together. >> if you do what you love-- and i know it's hard in this world-- if you do the thing you love you don't get tired. you get tired because of the challenge. but you don't get mentally and emotionally challenged. man, that was a nice day. imagine doing something you love until you got tired. that sounded wrong, but you know what i'm saying. ( laughter ). >> stephen: it sounded very right to me. of course, there are days like today, when shows like mine and shows like yours, we talk about what has happened in the day, and today there was another-- there was another horrific shooting in america, this time targeting, apparently, g.o.p. members of congress. >> right. >> stephen: do you have any thoughts on what happened today? >> i think what you said, similar to what i had as an initial thought-- especially because we watch the news so much-- and that was it was great to see people from both sides seeing this and uniting under the banner of "human" and "american" before anything else.
that's one of the things that we're seeing less and less of in society today, it feels like. it's almost something-- i was talking to senator al franken, and i was saying to him, like-- a lot of people didn't know he was friends with jeff sessions before the whole, you know, testimony. and i think that's something that's lacking in american politics is politicians showing from both sides of the aisle that they are friends. it's almost become like wrestling, where the fans don't realize that those people get along. ( applause ) those people fight every single day, but, like paulrian said today, like nancy pelosi said, we fight tooth and nail, but we don't forget that we are people. we are friends, we are families, we are colleagues. and i feel like they could do a better job of saying that to americans, "hey, we fight. you can fight. but don't forget at your core, you are americans. don't ever forget that." ( applause ) >> stephen: well, that's absolutely-- that's absolutely right. but that also reminds me that--
how long have you been in the united states? how long have you been living here full time now? >> this is my second time living here. i left just to practice leaving before donald trump said so. ( laughter ) so i lived on the west coast for two years. and then i left the united states and went to work in the world, and then i've been living here i guess it's close to three years. >> stephen: five years all together. are you an american citizen yet? >> no, no, no, not allowed to be. >> stephen: not allowed to be. >> not yet. >> stephen: are we playing hard to get. >> no it's time. i get it. with an immigrant they're like we want to see where this is going and figure out are you really into us? let's go slow. and i get it. >> stephen: i guess that's the question. are you really into us, trevor noah, after three years here and every night talking about what's going on in america, do you still find us attractive? >> i'm here and i'm loving it. i'm a citizen of the world, and i've always loved the united states. >> stephen: you can't actually be a citizen of the world. the world does not issue a passport. >> surprisingly it does. there is a world passport.
it doesn't get you anywhere, but there is a world passport. >> stephen: it gets you to a phish concert. tie-dye. >> my dream was to live in the u.s. mostly because this is the home of stand-up. and i live that dream every day. and i'm blessed. when people go which country do you live in? i go, "i live in new york. it's not a country, it's a place." if you know new york, you know what i'm talk about. it's a world unto itself. >> stephen: every language spoken here, every religion practiced here. >> i don't take that for granted. i wait to see-- let's fut this way-- if america is around when i can become a citizen, then maybe we'll see if i join in. >> stephen: i hope so. >> we don't know. we don't know. maybe i'll be inviting you to south africa. you never know. >> stephen: another i've been to south africa, not to the cities but i've done like, you know, the united states, you know, western man thing. i've gone and done the safari-- >> that is the sphaeps that is the cities. ( laughter ). >> stephen: you ought to get some of those lions out of your
cities, then. does south africa have anyone or have they ever had anybody like our president? because-- >> wow. >> stephen: we've-- we've never had a donald trump before, so we don't know entirely what to do with him. ( laughter ) he seems to break a mold. he breaks a lot of norms for us. >> yes, he does. >> stephen: has south africa had one judge it's tough. donald trump is so different they don't know that i can definitively say we've had or not had a donald trump. he reminds me of african dictators but i don't know for certain -- >> stephen: in what way? >> i mean, i've said many times like, you know, he loves himself. he believes that only he can fix the problems. he speaks in the third person. he-- i mean, he's the first african dictator to use twitter, which is the millennial coming out. but have we had-- let me fut this way: i don't know for certain. i will say this, this is my president. my president is currently embroiled in a scandal where his
family has been using their ties to the presidency to make money. so i don't know if that rings a bell... ( laughter ) let me see what else? what else? uhm... he had a few issues before he became president with sexual harassment and-- no, okay. let me think. ( laughter ) he's friends with vladimir putin. that's different-- no, no. i don't know. you tell me, stephen. >> stephen: i'll trade you. ( laughter ) ( applause ) just to try. >> we should do that, right? >> stephen: like swapping. >> we should do a president swap. i will say this-- now, imagine donald trump and if he was black. hmm? >> stephen: he's-- >> he's a man of color? is that what you were going to say? >> stephen: yes. >> you can say it. >> stephen: i wasn't sure. you can say it before i can, my friend. "the daily show" is doing something interesting this weekend-- you do something interesting every day-- but you're actually doing something
on the weekend. explain to the good people here in manhattan. >> here's the thing. a lot of people go as "the daily show" you hate on donald trump, and i don't believe that we do, but i did feel there was something we could do for the president in and around his birthday. there has been a concerted effort by people, especially with the administration, to silence the president's sweets twooets. we know about this, kellyanne cob way, they go, other ignore the tweets. i don't think that's cool. say what you want about his presidenting. he's the king of twitter. he rocks it. you can't hate on donald trump when it comes to twitter so we decided to have a twitter presidential library that honors donald j. trump's tweets. i know, normally-- ( applause ) yeah, thank you, thank you very much. you know, normally, i know in america, you have the presidential library when the person leaves office. we don't know when that will be. >> stephen: or ever. >> you don't know. so appreciate person while they're still around. >> stephen: where is it?
how can i see it? >> it's actually a block away from trump tower. it's going to be on 3 west 57th street. so he can, like, just pop out, and then-- yeah, just like you know... >> stephen: are there any displays? >> it will be everything. the twitter library will give you context, what the tweets are about, the story. he's an amazing man when it comes for twitter. if he was running for twitter president, i would say everyone should vote for him, everyone. >> stephen: are they organized by subject? are they organized by hashtags? >> as much as we could. the only subject that's consistent is "sad." that's the only thing. >> stephen: there is the "sad hall of fame." >> that's about it. ( applause ). >> stephen: you said you-- you know, you came, you love new york because new york is the home of stand-up. you still do stand-ups on the weekend >>. >> not just in the united states. but around the world. you fly. how do you find the time and how do you have any jokes left.
>> i find the jokes from stand-up and bring them to "the daily show." if i talk about nashville or make a joke about el paso, texas, or say something about eerie, pennsylvania, i like ton i was there. i've been to 45 states now. i've been to hundreds of u.s. cities. i saw mar-a-lago in person because of stand-up. i never would have gone to palm beach. they wouldn't let me in, but i went to mar-a-lago. >> stephen: i heard it was very nice. >> i said can i come in. and he was very sweet but he said, "it's for members only." and i said, "i'm the host--" and he said, " we know who you are. like security knows who you are. >> stephen: have a good show tonight. nice to see you. >> thank you again for having me.
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( applause ) >> stephen: hey, everybody, welcome back! folks, my next guest tonight is half of the hilarious duo behind broad city and now stars in the movie "rough night." >> i just got some coke from the bus boy. >> what! >> america, already, right on the nose. >> okay, guys, i can't do any cocaine. >> i'm very jet lagged so i will do cocaine. >> so everyone's in. >> great. >> i don't know. >> jess, come on, just do some cocaine! sorry, i did a little bit of it. ( laughter ) >> stephen: please welcome
ilana glazer. ( applause ) >> stephen: hey! >> hey. >> stephen: nice to see you. >> you, too. >> stephen: now, does abbey know that we're hanging out tonight? >> she does. >> stephen: is she okay with it? >> she says hi. whoever of us dwets to see you, we're very happy. >> stephen: okay with seeing other people. >> yeah. >> stephen: all right, last time you were here it was the two of you, and our good friend doris kerns goodwin, and this was during the convention last summer before-- in the "before times" as i call them. >> yeah, yup. >> stephen: do you have any memories of that night? how has the world changed for you? >> i was talking about it on our ride here because i couldn't believe the last time that we had been here, i could not believe it. >> stephen: was it during the republican or democratic convention, do you remember? >> i think it was the d.n.c. but we met doris --
>> stephen: who is wonderful. >> yes, and she was so lovely, and we said, "doris, do you think there's any chance that he could win?" and she was like, not a chance. not a country that, you know, is built on slavery but has elected obama. our country is not-- is not going to vote for that guy." ( laughter ) >> stephen: i've always said she does not know what she's talking about. >> she's an idiot. she's an idiot. >> stephen: yeah. apologies to doris kerns goodwin, obviously, but dumb, dumb lady. >> she has, like, studied all of it, and knows the patterns. and i think smoog there was a glitch in the system. because when she said it i believed that she was right. >> stephen: broad city season four starts when? starts august? >> yes. >> stephen: august of this year? >> yup. ( applause ) >> stephen: you guys made a little political comedy news in the last couple of days because you're doing something special this season with-- well, with our president. what is it? >> yes.
we are bleepg his last name, "president bleep. of he gets enough air time as it is, and, you know, it's-- in the world, it would be better not to hear his name. ( cheers and applause ). >> stephen: now, it's going to make it sound-- you could actually say anything you want in that moment. >> that's right. >> stephen: and people would know what you were saying. you could say you're saying trump but you could say anything. >> that's true. and i usually go with drumpf. that's his last name. >> stephen: you've had so many guest stars on that show, is there a particular guest star you have had over the years that has been most exciting to you? >> i mean, when we had hillary clinton, it was -- >> stephen: i remember her? >> do you remember? >> stephen: nice lady, nice lady. >> really nice. >> stephen: she works for the national park service now, i think. >> really qualified. >> stephen: yeah. >> yeah, she was brilliant. and that was incredible to meet her. that was crazy. since-- since we've been watching all this, you know,
fake news! and whatever, real news and the president. and anticipating coming here tonight, i had been thinking, stephen, that you are really a model white man. >> stephen: i am the picture in the dictionary next to "white man," i think. they don't get much whiter than me. >> you are the good version of one. our president, almost the number one white guy in america because he's the president. i'm also like, stephen colbert is. you've just been revealing yourself yurs to us over the years. i've been watching "strangers with candy" lately, and you've just been revealing yourself. >> stephen: that was the character i was playing on that show. and he was very disturbed, but thank you very much. >> that's what i mean he was like-- you were so young in it and pretty. ( laughter ). >> stephen: well, thanks for stopping by. >> you were so-- but you were-- you were less -- >> stephen: i was thin, too. >> you're thin! but you were less-- you were less attractive of a person
because you-- you guys were being grotesque in it and you were not being yourselves. and over the years you have become a real version of united airlines or whatever, as real as you are. and it's really-- it's-- i think-- i hope that the president watches this show and learns from you. >> stephen: i'm sure he does. ( laughter ) now, you are directing now. that is a big step. to go from writer, performer, to director. why did you want to do it? and are you power mad? >> i am-- i am power crazy. i have been, like, just slapping p.a.s' asses. we've been hiking up the sexual assault bills for comedy central. but, yeah, it wasue know, it actually was more efficient for us to direct because all these conversations end up with us anyways, so it eliminated many email chaingz that we would be cc'd on anyway, and be answering all these questions. it really condensed the work. but it sort of made gray hair grow out of my body, also.
( laughter ). >> stephen: now, the movie "rough night" that you're in, it's you, scarlett johansson, gillian bell, kate mckinnon, zoe kravitz. it's a female cast, directed and written by women. it's the first "r" rated wide-release comedy directed by a woman in 20 years, or something like that. what was it like to make-- how did you bond so quickly together? >> we did a lot of bits on set. i had one that was pretty gross. zoe is so obsiege beautiful, na-- obsiege beautiful, we were like who would be the most beautiful person zoe could have a baby with? and it's, obviously, jaden smith. because he's -- >> stephen: very handsome young man. >> a pretty beautiful young man. and we were saying wouldn't it be amazing if jaden and zoe had a baby and the baby turned out ugly? ( laughter ) so my character is-- i didn't name him-- jingo smith, jingo
smith-kravitz, and he talks like this ( lisping ) he makes up for a lot of his looks and personality. >> stephen: did jaden know you did this? because he might want to tweet about it. >> no, jaden doesn't know who i am. hello jaden smith. hello! >> stephen: nice to see you again. my best to everyone in the broad city family. "rough night" is in theaters this friday. ilana glazer, everybody. we'll be right back with "veep's" sam richardson. stick around. this thursday through sunday at kohl's
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frontline gold. available at your vet. ( band playing ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: hey, everybody, welcome back to the show. my next guest stars as the pathologically happy chief o >> you just go into the room. >> i shook the devil staff richard splett on "veep." please welcome sam richardson. 's hand. you. >> you mean masturbate. >> does it hurt? >> oh, no, richard. >> how is that possible? >> really? >> my family and i were also pretty religious. grandma said self-pleasure was a
sin, like microwaves for laughter. >> i feel like he has a really good heart. >> i'm sorry, i'm still not understanding how the cup comes into play. >> please welcome sam richardson. ( cheers and applause ) thanks for being here. >> stephen: nice to meet you. >> very nice to meet you. >> stephen: i am a huge fan of your work, of this show, but your character you play on the show, richard t. splett eye don't know why i said t., your middle name is john. richard t.splett is a great, unbelievably optimistic, cheerful character, who doesn't seem to understand that everything is going wrong around him. >> right, like he's just got this bouyant like energy around him, like every negative thing is like water on a duck's back you know.
he's just positive. like a consummate optimist. >> stephen: is that what you're like in real life? are you half-- glass half full? >> part of me it is. there's a lot of me that i think-- i think some of me is in richard. and then, like-- so, like, with richard, is like a little nerdy and positive. i think i'm pretty positive. but when richard-- i do get offended when somebody insults me. so that's different than him. but, like -- >> stephen: he doesn't understand when someone insults him. it's just not in his vocabulary. he doesn't understand eye world view or someone who would insult someone else, which is odd on that show because it's filled with the greatest insults of any show ever on television. >> that's the currency of that show. richard doesn't get to do those. when richard will do something nerdy, like when richard will correct somebody like on a comic book reference or a harry potter reference, that's sam richardson, 100%. like, the other day somebody was like, "you know, all chubby people are from huff puhhel
puff. and i was like no. it doesn't make sense. that part of me is very much like richard. >> stephen: you and i have something in common. we were both members of the second city in chicago. >> yes. >> stephen: you in crd drt and then in chicago. >> stephen: it's a tremendous place. it's grate place to work and succeed and fail because the audience their are forgiving because you're doing improv a lot of the times. >> it's live and you can't recreate improv. even if you watch it on-- on film or, like, taped, it will never be the same as it is live because everybody is on this high wire-- "what are they going to say next? thank god they said something." >> stephen: and the audience is drunk there. >> and they're drunk. which is the main thing about comedy, be drunk. >> stephen: we tried to get a liquor license for these people and cbs didn't want it. >> i see a few brown paper bag s. >> stephen: did you understudy-- when you work at
second city, it's like a rep system. i understudied people before me. like, sketches from the late 50s i was doing. alan arkin sketches. did you do anything i did? >> i did. i did a scene of yours called "mia." >> stephen: in which i'm an old black woman. >> an old black lady. >> stephen: looking just like this. >> exactly. >> stephen: and talking just like this but the reality of the scene was i happened to be an old black woman. >> you and steve carell, and they're going to your home town-- you just say right before, "oh, by the way, here i'm an old black lady sm. and it's like, "what!" all these people come up and say, "shirley wentworth, how are you?" >> stephen: that's my character's name, shirley wentworth. who do you play? >> i play the gentleman suitor who was really glad to see you go. >> stephen: because he and i could never be together because the town wouldn't accept our love. >> yes. >> stephen: and we kiss in it. there was a gentle sweet kiss.
>> sweet kiss. >> stephen: and the more ensear it was the funnier it is. >> exactly. it was a tear-down great scene. audiences would love it. but we would tour that scene -- >> stephen: around the country. >> around the country. and sometimes you'd be a little bit deeper into the country and that part of the scene would be like, no. i wasn't sure if it was an idea of two men kissing or a black man and a white man kissing. i didn't ask them what their problem with it was. >> stephen: there weren't comment cards? >> "excuse me!" and everybody raises their hands. no, i didn't open that door. >> stephen: you grew up in detroit, right? >> di. i grew up between detroit and ghana, west africa. my mother is from ghana. my father is from detroit. >> stephen: what's the capitol. >> akra. >> stephen: akra, ghana. how much of your childhood, how did you split it? >> i used to go back and forth. i would spend ghanas in summer. and sometimes twice a year, and
be there four months. >> stephen: what was it like to, like, to be splitting your childhood like that in two different countries? >> i would kind of, like, never get-- like, i was kind of a man out of place in both worlds. like, in detroit, my family would make fun of me. they'd be like, "oh, sam you say mum, mum." i would say "mum, and waste bin," a little bit of an accent. in ghana they would be like, "sam, i'm thirsty. i want a glass of that clear liquid. what's it called?" and i would say, "water?" and said say, "water! it's water, same, stupid. >> stephen: sounds like a happy childhood, sam. >> yeah. all laughs. ( applause ). >> stephen: thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> stephen: nice to see you. "veep" airs sundays on hbo.