The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’s Mood Board Opus Moreschi, head writer of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, weighs in on what keeps him light on his feet.
Posted on May 17, 2017 07:00am

As head writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Opus Moreschi (pictured) has the daily task not only of knowing everything that is going on in the world, but also of coalescing that knowledge into witty, brilliant banter.

A man who is always up for a challenge—he tried one new thing a day for a year in an internet project called "All New Year"—Opus gamely sat and answered Watch!'s questions about what it takes to stay in the creative game.

What's on your bedside table?
A lamp, an alarm clock, and 750,000 unread books.

What was the last great book you read?
The Sellout by Paul Beatty. It was dense and smart and made me a little uncomfortable.

Who are your favorite comedy writers?
George Saunders and Karen Russell are not technically comedy writers, but brilliant authors who are also delightfully funny. I would love for them to marry each other and create a bunch of little super-talented offspring, but I imagine my plan would not be popular with their current spouses.

Who inspires you when you've hit a creative block?
It isn’t a "who" or "what" that inspires me; it's a "when." We have a show to do every night and when I am feeling uninspired, I am under just as much obligation to write as when I’m hooked up to a direct muse-drip of creativity. When I don't feel like I have anything good, I push through, and half the time I surprise myself and find there was something past my stubborn desire not to write.

You tried one new thing a day for your blog All New Year—what was your favorite thing?
I guess my favorite was probably when I got a limo and tried to give people at bus stops free rides. We ended up finding somebody to help out, although it turns out people are wary of strange men beckoning them into a dark car.

What's the one thing you always have on your desk?
Something to fidget with, whether it be a desk toy, or a clicky pen, or a fully active thermonuclear launch button.

If you could visit one city, where would it be?
Are you cutting me off at one city? Because then wherever I'd visit, I'd be stuck. So I think I'd pick New York because that's where all my stuff is.

What’s your cultural guilty pleasure?
Hmm—that's tough, because I don’t know that I find any of my pleasures guilty. I'll say it: I have been to a Spice Girls concert, and I am not ashamed.

Is there one thing you need to work?
Just a quiet place, a computer, and my cursed monkey's paw.

If you could own one piece of art, what would it be?
There's a Yoko Ono piece called Three Spoons, which is a small box containing four spoons. I laughed out loud when I first saw it. It's such a dumb joke and, believe me when I say this, that is meant as the highest compliment.

If you could live in any building, what would it be?
The firehouse from the original Ghostbusters (without the ghosts, please).

What's your favorite TV show?
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is an amazing musical romantic comedy. And this is coming from a person who, in general, doesn’t like musicals or romantic comedies.

What is guaranteed to make you happy?
My doctor says two pills every morning should do the trick.

Who would you most like to make laugh?
You. Did it work? Please, I'm so very desperate for validation!

Watch all-new episodes of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Originally published in Watch! Magazine, April 2017.

Photo Credits: Sean McCabe (Illustration); Dimedrol68/Getty Images (Hourglass); africa924/Getty Images (Paw); Peshkova/Getty Images (Pen); Sunstock/Getty Images (Sheet Music); Jesse Grant/Getty Images (Moreschi); ChristopherBernard/Getty Images (Pills); Amanda Hall/robertharding/Getty Images (Chrysler Building); jurisam/Getty Images (Alarm Clock); Artpilot/Getty Images (Books); Gary Gershoff/Getty Images (Firehouse); Bobby Bank/Getty Images (Sign).