Stephen Colbert and Kumail Nanjiani Reflect on Dealing With Pandemic

Stephen Colbert and Kumail Nanjiani-Split-Getty-H 2020
Brian Ach/Getty Images; Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The pair spoke about silver linings and managing their anxiety during a heartfelt exchange on Monday's 'Late Show.'

Kumail Nanjiani and Stephen Colbert gave updates on how they are holding up during the novel coronavirus pandemic on Monday's episode of CBS' The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

"I'm OK. And thank God I'm here with my family," the host said at the top of the segment. "My boys, unfortunately, are in school still, so they have to get dragged out of here to go to their online classes."

"As a parent of essentially all adult children who we've managed to wrangle into our house for the last nine weeks, there is that positive aspect of it," he added. "We'll never get them all together like this again. That's joyful on a certain level, but of course behind that is the knowledge of why."

Colbert admitted that it was "a little strange to not know what the right thing to do next is." He added, "That's got its own level of anxiety."

Meanwhile, Nanjiani said that he is self-isolating with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, and their cat, Bagel.

"There's no way to process through this," Nanjiani said about his struggles amid the pandemic. "Usually no matter how horrible of a tragedy you go through, you're like, 'All right, I have to go through different stages of grief where I have to process through this and then I'll come out on the other side.' This is literally something that there is no way to process through."

The actor said that he feels best when he's "not actively thinking about it."

Nanjiani explained that he was "obsessed" with keeping up with the news. "Then at some point I just had to be like, 'This is not helping my mental state. It's really doing nothing to keep me or my family safer,'" he said. "I had to completely check out of those updates because you know what you already know and there's just so much information all the time."

He added, "The only way that I can get through it is by not constantly thinking about it, which also feels like cowardly or something."

Nanjiani also shared that he has become overly emotional during the pandemic. While many people have taken to making bread while stuck at home, the actor shared that he asked his Twitter followers to send him pictures of their homemade creations.

"People just tweeted pictures of these gorgeous and not-so-gorgeous loaves of bread they were making," said Nanjiani. "Just looking at these pictures and the pride that people — I'm getting emotional right now — just the pride that people had in what they made. This really small thing. We're in this world where everything is out of our control, but they're making these loaves of bread, and they just made me cry for three days straight."

Colbert said that he understood Nanjiani's emotional reaction, noting that "people want to do something that's useful and nourishing" amid the chaos of the pandemic.

Watch the full segment, below.