Comic disdain for show business is a business in itself, and, for David Cross, that meant doing a lot of comic business on Thursday’s Late Show. Emerging from the wings with his grey turtleneck sweater yanked up high enough that only the tip of his bald dome poked out of the top like a Band-Aid-ed fingertip, the comic steadily fumbled his way up onto Stephen Colbert’s raised set and, eventually, into his chair. Not that he stayed in it for very long.
Technically appearing to promote what he—again, eventually—announced would be his new stand-up special, I’m From The Future, Cross, instead, used his nine or so minutes of network airtime to screw around, as is his way. After answering the seen-it-all Colbert’s game index card questions (“Oh, fantastic, thank you—thank you for asking,” Cross deadpanned at Colbert asking how his pandemic has been), the Mr. Show and Arrested Development alum went on to take a sip of his water, right through the fabric of his sweater.
And things only got less on-topic from there, as Cross, after tantalizingly rolling down his makeshift face covering to reveal first his eyes, and then, finally his whole, bearded kisser, pretended to get down to it. (“All right, this is bullshit,” Cross noted upon abandoning the bit at the four minute mark.) So, down to the business of promoting his new comedy special, right? Well, not really. Colbert did manage to wheedle out of Cross the detail that I’m From The Future was recorded in the recent past (November 2021) in the wake of Cross’ Omicron-scuttled stand-up tour, but that’s about all the brass tacks he got to before a camera cut revealed the comic standing among Colbert’s audience.
After ascertaining that, indeed, every live NBC audience is fully vaccinated and masked, Cross did his version of crowd work, bussing one lucky crowd member on the head before stealing another’s cool sunglasses. (He and Colbert eventually swapped off wearing the glasses, indicating that they are as equally unafraid of cooties as COVID.) After stressing that his real news is his recent subpoena by the committee investigating that whole, in-progress Republican coup thing (Cross claimed he intends to plead the Fifth, Third, First, and Twenty-Second Amendments, just to cover all his bases), Cross took the opportunity of Colbert returning that guy’s shades to hop the couch and steal Colbert’s interviewer’s seat.
Colbert, thus having the tables/chairs turned, was perhaps robbed of the opportunity to ask a question about a certain Mr. Show alum who actually is in hot water for being part of the aforementioned violent coup against American democracy. Instead, Colbert merely used the vantage of his guest seat to gently stroke Cross’ luxurious, salt-and-pepper beard while the comic/new host finally got around to explaining that he has a new stand-up special, it’s called I’m From The Future, it was filmed in Brooklyn in November, and it will drop on February 12 at officialdavidcross.com. Now, was that so hard?