Joshua Jackson Says He Owes His Career to Jon Stewart

While visiting The Late Show on Thursday (April 12), Joshua Jackson and host Stephen Colbert bonded over their mutual admiration of Jon Stewart.

“You and I have something in common. I have been told that you say you owe your career,” Colbert began before coughing. “I just swallowed my pride,” he joked and then continued. “You owe your career to Jon Stewart, too.”

“He’s the reason I got thrown out of my second high school,” shared Jackson. “If I had actually done something constructive with my time instead of watching his TV show, I probably wouldn’t have had to make it as an actor ‘cause there was no other option for me.”

The actor explained that the syndicated late night talk show The Jon Stewart Show was rebroadcast from a Seattle station so he could watch it in his hometown of Vancouver. “So he’s getting rebroadcast, but I don’t know why they put it on at 1:30, so I would stay up every night to watch the 1:30 show, which kept me up to 2:30, which meant that clearly I wasn’t gonna make my first class, so I just didn’t,” he recalled. “When I did that enough, they were like, ‘Well since you don’t want to come in the morning, you might as well not come in the afternoon, either.’”

Jackson’s fascination with Stewart led him to get kicked out of high school for a second time. “The first high school I got kicked out of … it was like an arts school,” he said. “And I got kicked out for starting my professional career. I’m not kidding about that.” He prefaced the anecdote by stating that he has not seen the woman that ran the school in 20 years and that the story has a happy ending. “She didn’t like that I left the school to go work on a movie. I went to go do The Mighty Ducks, so when I came back she said, ‘You’re not part of the school spirit. We don’t want you here.’ So then I had to go to my local school.” Colbert stated that he could have been part of the school spirit, to which Jackson replied, “I certainly was not once they kicked me out.”

Jackson also discussed his latest career endeavor in the Broadway revival of Children of a Lesser God. The actor had to learn American Sign Language to play the role of James Leeds. “We did an out-of-town run of it last summer. A large part was just to see if I could learn the language, so I had about four months running up to that and now it’s been about a year,” he shared. “I’m not fluent in ASL, which is a different language, but fluent enough to get me through the show.”

“I have made some spectacular mistakes,” Jackson said after the host asked him if he ever messes up the language. He then shared his worst screw-up so far. “I’m in the middle of a scene with Lauren [Ridloff] and I’m supposed to say the line, ‘Yesterday I had a lousy visit with your mother,’ but what I said was, ‘Yesterday I had a lousy f— with your mother.’”