October 1, 2022

Jon Bautista leaves Colbert to explain ‘Late Show’ — new bandleader

Big shake at The Late Show: Stephen Colbert announced Thursday John Bautista The band leader will step down, effectively immediately, ending his off-screen tenure.

“Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that John hasn’t been here this summer. Well, I have an update: John has decided to leave the show,” Colbert said. “But it’s for all the best reasons, including continuing to share his art with the world. We wanted to give him a big, in-person send-off, but John’s out of town. I hope he’s cutting his new album, and I hope it’s called ‘More Grammys Please.’

“We have been very fortunate to have had a front-row seat to John’s incredible talent for the past seven years,” the presenter continued. “Can we lose him here? ‘Yes!’ But we’re happy for you, John, and I can’t wait to have you back as a guest on your next hit record.

In turn, Stay Human pic Louis Cato, who served as interim bandleader this summer, will take over on a permanent basis. The Late Show Sep. 6 will return for Season 8 on Tuesday – at which point the name will be changed to Stay Human The Late Show band. Joe Sailer will be joined by longtime house band members Louis Fouché, John Lampley, Endia Owens and Nega Santos from the show’s 2015 launch.

“Lewis has done a great job this summer,” Colbert said. “He’s very modest, so he won’t say this, but I will say it: He’s a musical genius. He plays every instrument there is. Give him an afternoon and he’ll learn to play Mozart on the shoehorn.

Cato added: “Working on this show alongside some of the most talented musicians and creators I know is one of the greatest honors of my life. Having watched and learned from both John and Stephen over the last seven years, I am truly excited to continue the special legacy they have established.

Bautista’s star has risen steadily over the past two years. As of 2020, he is a music composer for Pixar the soul (with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross), for which he received an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award, a Grammy Award and a BAFTA Film Award. He earned four additional Grammy Awards in 2022, including Best Music Video (“Freedom”) and Album of the Year (“We”).

Do you miss Bautista? The Late Show? Sad to see him go without a proper, on-screen send-off? Hit the comments with your reactions to the news.