Fans Did Not Expect Stephen Colbert To Get Choked Up Paying Tribute To A Late Controversial Country Music Star

Late Show fans are well aware, Stephen Colbert can be ruthless and relentless, especially when talking about political subjects. For example, Donald Trump…

However, on the flip side, Colbert can also show his emotional side from time to time.

Sadly, in 2024, that has been on full display a couple of times, as the host paid tribute to certain individuals.

We are going to take a look back at his thoughts on Toby Keith’s death, and how close the two were behind the scenes despite their different views and ideologies.

Fans were surprised by Colbert’s reaction, but the host was ultimately praised for how he handled the moment.

Fans Did Not Expect Stephen Colbert To Get Choked Up Paying Tribute To A Late  Controversial Country Music Star

Let’s take a closer look and other emotional moments that took place on Colbert’s Late Show.

Pod Save America Late Show

Stephen Colbert Got Emotional On The Late Show Discussing Toby Keith’s Death

At the age of 62, Toby Keith passed away from stomach cancer. Five months ago, Stephen Colbert made sure to issue a tribute to his former guest. Colbert revealed just how close the two were, and struggled during his emotional speech.

“I was shocked and saddened when I saw the news this morning,” said Colbert. “I knew Toby was ill — he’d been fighting stomach cancer for some time — but I still had hope that we’d see each other again and that we would hear him on this stage.”

Colbert was given a valuable lesson by Keith, and that was to never judge a guest prior.

“As he was heading for the door that goes down to 54th Street, he caught my eye and said: ‘Hey man, you do a great job. Whatever the f— it is you do.’ And I took it as the greatest compliment.”

That very moment impacted the host, and he kept that very quote from Keith in his office.

“That day, Toby taught me to not prejudge a guest and to have my intention but to keep my eyes open to the reality of who they are. For that lesson, and for a lot of other things, I’m always gonna be grateful.”

Toby Keith was deemed as controversial given his feud with various artists, including the Dixie Chicks. Keith’s public opinions also caused controversy, particularly his political views and controversial 9/11 anthem.

Colbert’s emotional late night tribute was viewed by over 1.5 million fans.

Stephen Colbert

How did the fans react to Colbert’s tribute? The most liked comments read:

  • “If Stephen Colbert and Toby Keith can respect each other and be friends, maybe there’s hope for this country yet.”
  • “Did not expect Colbert to give a more touching tribute than most of his fellow country singers. He got me at the end when he got choked up. I have a new respect for Stephen and I am sorry you lost your friend sir.”
  • “Thank you Stephen for putting differences aside and honoring a good man and a legend. We need more of this in our country right now…putting differences aside and finding common ground. RIP Patriot.”

The fans certainly appreciated Colbert putting his views aside for the special tribute.

Stephen Colbert Has Been Very Open About His Grief In The Past, Including The Loss Of His Father And Brothers

Colbert has not backed down from emotional interviews in the past. That was especially the case during a conversation with Anderson Cooper. In fact, things got so emotional that Cooper himself was holding back tears, as Colbert discussed his traumatic past.

Colbert specifically discussed dealing with the tragic passing of his dad and brothers in a plane crash.

  • “Oh, it certainly gives you one step back from society or what is considered normality,” says Colbert.”
  • “Because it’s a shock to the system to lose your father and your brothers at that age. And school and friends and homework and that value system suddenly doesn’t mean anything anymore. And I think it really helps if you’re doing comedy or maybe even specifically doing satire, is that what seems normal no longer has status.”

Stephen was then asked about seeing the grief as a gift. His answer was hard for both fans and Cooper to absorb, especially given the amount of strength it takes to look at it that way.

“Yes. It’s a gift to exist. And with existence comes suffering. There’s no escaping that. But if you are grateful for your life. Then you have to be grateful for all of it. And so, at a young age. I suffered something so that by the time I was in serious relationships in my life with friends or with my wife or with my children, is that I have some understanding that everybody is suffering and however imperfectly.”

“Acknowledge their suffering and connect with them and to love them in a deep way that makes you grateful for the fact that you have suffered so that you can know that about other people. I want to be the most human I can be, and that involves acknowledging and ultimately being grateful for the things that I wish didn’t happen because they gave me a gift.”

Colbert has clearly been through a lot over the years in dealing with grief.

Stephen Colbert Confused Fans After Abruptly Ending The Late Show After Losing His Personal Assistant

In early April of 2024, fans noticed that the Late Show came to an abrupt end. Fans in the audience were also taken aback by the moment. Matt Damon was supposed to appear on the show, but suddenly, things came to an end. The Late show finished on a somber note with Colbert looking into the camera and saying, “That’s it for the Late Show,” while walking off the set.

It was later revealed that his longtime assistant Amy Cole had lost her battle to cancer. Over on Reddit, fans that were in the audience discussed the sudden Late Show ending, and how the mood quickly shifted.

“Stephen says to the staff that he wants to do the outro and say goodbye. The stage manager signals us to applause, we start clapping again but Stephen says he wants the outro with no applause. The vibe shifts and gets very serious and sad. Everyone stops clapping, and Steven gives a very sad “goodnight”. It looks and sounds like he is either crying or about to cry. He walks off stage in silence, talks to someone on the staff for a second then goes out a side door,” the fan wrote on Reddit.

2024 has been a sad year for the host dealing with losses. He also faced medical issues (appendix surgery) of his own in late 2023.

Related articles

Bianca Censori shows bare butt in thong at high-end LA restaurant with Kanye West after controversy over topless outfit

Bianca Censori is known for her revealing outfit choices, but her latest fit is already causing a stir on social media. Bianca Censori and her husband, Kanye West, were…

Patrick Mahomes Doesn’t Want Any More Kids Amid Brittany’s Pregnancy

Patrick and Brittany Mahomes are very happy to be having another child, but Patrick has made it clear, both to his wife and to the rest of…

Heidi Klum attended her son’s graduation ceremony, accompanied by her current spouse and her former partner

Together with their respective new spouses, 51-year-old top model and 61-year-old musician Seal attended their son Henry’s graduation ceremony. Seven years after being married, in 2012, the…

Contestants on Top Chef have faced controversies onscreen and off, including harassment claims and unfair treatment by producers

There have been many onscreen Top Chef controversies, like when a chef was accused of stealing someone else’s food and serving it. Unfortunately, something that many fans don’t know is…

Shannen Doherty’s Mom Speaks Out After She Was Allegedly Broke At Time Of Death

Shannen Doherty’s death has rocked the world after a nearly decade-long battle with cancer. Many of her famous friends have spoken out in her memory as they…

Ben Affleck Is Allegedly Trying To Taunt Jennifer Lopez By Still Wearing His Wedding Ring

Ben Affleck has been seen wearing his wedding ring despite report that he’s preparing to announce a divorce from Jennifer Lopez. Speaking to In Touch, sources claim it’s a strategic move on…