Stephen Colbert's 9 Best Jokes From the CBS Upfront

The 'Late Show' host took aim at both his own network — including the man who used to run it — and the political climate.
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS
Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert joined his fellow late-night hosts in appearing at his network's upfront to poke fun at his employer.

The Late Show host made a brief appearance Wednesday at CBS' upfront presentation at Carnegie Hall in New York to crack jokes about the network's perceived old-skewing audience and the man who used to run it.

And, as he typically does in his Late Show monologue, Colbert took a couple shots at political figures as well. 

"Hello, CBS upfront," he began. "It's great to be back at Carnegie Hall, and despite Lindsey Graham's advice, I honored my subpoena to be here today."

Colbert's upfront mini-set followed that of Seth Meyers at NBC's presentation and Jimmy Kimmel's annual roasting of ABC.

Here are Colbert's best lines from the CBS upfront.

1. "Let us sell to you [the advertisers]. And because I respect you, I'm not going to destroy tonight's show by interrupting it with commercials. They're so annoying!"

2. "CBS sent me a thick document about how well we did this season. I didn't have time to read it all, so I just read Bill Barr's four-page summary. Turns out, Les Moonves? Totally exonerated. I did not see that coming. (Pause) There had to be one."

3. "CBS has been No. 1 for 11 years — do you know what that means? It means a lot of old people don't realize the TV in the basement has been on for over a decade."

4. Referring to the spinoff FBI: Most Wanted, Colbert suggested another possibility: "FBI: Yeah, we want to catch people, but we also have other interests."

5. "CBS has very successful crime dramas. For some reason, Americans these days just really want to watch people who have obviously committed crimes go to jail for them."

6. "Two days ago, on May 13, I turned 55. I just want to thank you all for all the years you gave a damn about what I watched."

7. "The Late Show isn't just No. 1 in late night, it's also No. 1 in in the 18-to-49 demo. Tonight, we have Korean supergroup BTS on the show. That brings in the 18-year-olds, and the 49-year-olds who are desperate for something to talk about with their 18-year-olds."

8. "With The Big Bang Theory ending, we're down to one Sheldon. So I'm calling for a captive Sheldon breeding program. Jim Parsons, we need your DNA. Grab your lab coat and get to work."

9. "I haven't even talked about CBS All Access — something I have in common with most Americans."