“Sincerity” is not a tone often evoked in the world of late-night TV talk. But when it does arrive, it’s often at the hands of Stephen Colbert, who—despite his irony-soaked beginnings—has always known when to get real with his audience. Said real Colbert was in full display earlier this week, when he took time out of digging through the Mueller report or snarfing down ice cream with Robert De Niro in order to pay tribute to a long-time member of his team who recently died: Camera operator John Meiklejohn.
It’s a very sweet moment, as Colbert recounts an anecdote in which Meiklejohn—a veteran camera operator of more than 30 years, who filmed everything from the Tony Awards to Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?—offered an unknowing voice of support to him in the earliest days of The Colbert Report. (Also, they both apparently really loved their boats.) It’s a lovely tribute to one of the many typically unsung people who help create the shows we love, and someone who was clearly always a comforting presence as he looked out at the Late Show studios from his spot at Camera 2.