PODCAST: Stephen Colbert gives Jon Stewart the big kiss-off in their Emmy smackdown
It's cold-shoulder time if the program where Colbert used to toil as a writer — Stewart's "The Daily Show" — beats "The Colbert Report" again for best variety series, as it has for the past two years.
"I've told Jon, 'No more kisses if you win!'" Stephen Colbert confides to us. (CLICK HERE to Download the MP3 File and listen to the chat. NOTE: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.)
But Stephen Colbert also competes for the Emmy for best individual performance in a variety show, which he's lost twice to music legends — Barry Manilow in 2006 and Tony Bennett in 2007.
When Colbert lost to Manilow, he memorably fumed about it to Stewart later during that same Emmycast and made a big deal about it on subsequent episodes of "The Colbert Report," one of which included an appearance by Manilow.
"I was afraid this year that Paul Anka was going to be nominated," Colbert tells us, but this year he only competes against comedians — one of them a comic icon who was never nominated in the past.
"This year it's Don Rickles," he predicts. "It's all Rickles because it's a sympathy vote and I will tell you why. It's because his last name sounds like a degenerative, 19th century disease. 'Oh, you have to give it to him! The man's got rickles! Isn't that what happened to FDR? Didn't he have rickles as a child?'"
However, Colbert rushes to add: "Nothing would make me happier than to lose to Don Rickles — except maybe beat Don Rickles."
But Colbert also competes in that Emmy category against Stewart, who is nominated for hosting the Oscarcast — to mixed reviews. What does Colbert think about the negative reax to Stewart's emcee gig?
"I don't think you can win" when you host the Oscars, he says. "Everyone is the subject of unwarranted criticism when they do the show. I think people revel in the judgment of the host."
Nonetheless, when I ask him if he would ever host the Oscars, he roars, "I accept! I would love to host just to have people think poorly of me. Being put-upon is one of my strengths!"
That includes coping with his recent pattern of Emmy losing too.
"I thrive on a sense of victimhood," he says. "You really can't lose — even by losing. Nothing matters more to me than content for my show and, believe me, you can milk a grudge much longer than you can milk a victory. Because grudges go on. Victories have an end."
(Photo: Comedy Central)