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Stephen Colbert brought back his unique method for getting public figures to open up on CBS’ The Late Show on Friday night: He chatted with returning guest John Oliver inside a cardboard box labeled “Personal Space.”
The “Personal Space” box has cutouts that fit only two heads and a camera. Colbert previously brought the box out with actor Tom Hanks in December 2016 for asking “personal” questions.
Colbert kicked off the questioning by asking Oliver about his HBO show Last Week Tonight, which will premiere its fifth season on Feb. 18. “First personal question: Have you ever done a deep dive on your show and at the end of it, even you don’t know what the fuck you talked about?” Colbert asked. Oliver responded that it happens a “maximum of one in four times.”
The network host then asked the cable network host his favorite curse word that he gets to say on HBO. “A simple journeyman ‘fuck’ has the soft ‘f’ and the nice landing of the hard ‘k,'” Oliver responded as he and Colbert were bleeped on CBS. “It’s really the piece of cutlery you want to go into battle with.”
Colbert also pressed Oliver why, if he has lived in the U.S. for 11 years, he still has a pronounced British accent. “I think it’s the currency that I traffic in,” he responded. “I think you take away this accent, and you realize I’m not actually left with that much. … The secret sauce is that you want an imperial-sounding accent. … If you imagine my show with me sounding like I’m from Queens, no one’s watching that fucking show, Steve.”
In more intimate questions, Colbert inquired as to whether Oliver moisturized, and if he wanted a mint. When Oliver assented to the mint, one popped into the box from the camera side. When Oliver could not reach it with his tongue, Colbert offered him Binaca, sneaking his hand through his head hole to spray Oliver’s mouth.
The CBS host ended the bit by asking what Oliver’s first kiss was. When Oliver suggested that the story of his first kiss wasn’t appropriate to air on network television, Colbert asked, “Who’s your next kiss?” He then sprayed Binaca into his mouth.
The Friday appearance was Oliver’s second of the week. On Wednesday, he and Colbert sat down to talk about skewering 2018 politics on their shows and to plead with President Donald Trump to speak with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading up the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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