When a new host takes over a storied late night chat show franchise, they look to start the show with the biggest guests they can get. Stephen Colbert is no exception. He's booked George Clooney as his first guest ever when he kicks off his duties on The Late Show next Tuesday. What a get that Clooney is. Two time Academy Award winner. Respected actor, director, and producer. Your mom's imaginary boyfriend. Your imaginary boyfriend. One of the last few true movie stars, that Clooney sure is.
And for the other guest on his first show Colbert has booked ... uh, distant third place GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush. A man currently scurrying around swing states talking about Asian "anchor babies" and desperately hoping this whole Donald Trump thing blows over.
Given Bush's incredible (though, we admit, possibly temporary) fall in polls and popularity he should be thankful for the opportunity to snag such a high profile media appearance. Viewers tune in to catch a host's first show by the millions. The fact that Colbert is dropping the political caricature of his Comedy Central days and taking over for late night legend David Letterman only adds to the intrigue. It's sure to be a rating slam dunk.
Bush — who actually isn't desperate for money at all, and at least leads all other Republicans in the fundraising race — decided that exposure wasn't good enough. He decided to try and turn the appearance into a fundraiser itself.
He sent out an e-mail to supporters informing them that if they donated at least $3 they'd be entered into a raffle. The winner would be Bush's guest at the taping and receive "VIP" treatment.
The oddest thing to us about this is that Bush is trying to get his supporters excited about Stephen Colbert, a man who lampooned conservatives for nearly a decade on The Colbert Report.
The oddest thing to Colbert about it is that Bush's campaign didn't OK the fundraiser with the Late Show staff first, and he seems a bit irked with his first episode being turned into a political money grab.
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SHOW ME HOW
So Colbert has started his own raffle. For just $3 you can enter. Not only do you get a chance to attend the first show, but you also get to author a (non-obscene) question that Colbert will ask Bush. All proceeds go to the Yellow Ribbon Fund.
Bush gamely replied by lowering the raffle donation fee to just $1.
Of course, if you're a Miamian thinking about entering Bush's raffle, no judgement. Just be warned that the package includes a private diner with Bush's national finance chair Woody Johnson. Yes, the same guy who owns the New York Jets.