Stephen Colbert kicked off his hosting gig on The Late Show with a nod to former host David Letterman and with special guests George Clooney and Jeb Bush.

Stephen Colbert’s ‘The Late Show’

“Hello, nation …you are witnessing TV history, and like all history, it’s not on the History Channel,” Colbert quipped in his first joke during his first night hosting The Late Show.

The former Colbert Report host then utilized his singing voice to perform a harmonization of The Star-Spangled Banner across the country. He also took some time to honor Letterman, stating sincerely that, “The comedy landscape is so thickly painted with the forest of Dave’s ideas.”

Colbert’s first guest of the night was Clooney, who also appeared on one of the last episodes of The Colbert Report. Since Clooney didn’t actually have a forthcoming film to promote Tuesday night – aside from the made-up Decision Strike – Colbert asked him about his wife, human rights attorney Amal Alamuddin.

“What is it like to be the arm candy in a relationship, because she’s the very serious person?” he asked Clooney, adding, “She must say like, “We’re going to meet extremely intelligent people tonight – these are not show folk. Just be shiny and pretty.”‘

Clooney, conceding the point, said, “That’s mostly what I do.”

When it was time for Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush to join him onstage, Colbert got the big question out of the way first, “Why do you want to be President of the United States. Bush seriously replied, “Because I think we’re on the verge of the greatest time to be alive, but our government isn’t working.”

The presidential hopeful had similarly staid replies to questions about his mother saying there doesn’t need to be another Bush in the White House, and the exclamation point at the end of his name on his campaign poster.

For his second episode of The Late Show, Colbert will have Scarlett Johansson and SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on as guests. Rapper Kendrick Lamar will perform.

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