The main reason to watch, though, is the very tongue-in-cheek James Franco interview. Throughout it, the Stephen Colbert who hosts The Colbert Report is a pompous, blowhard character. The James Franco we're used to seeing in interviews also comes across as something of an arrogant persona. When the two meet, it becomes a competition to see which one can get the other to break character. And, it's an absolute fight to the finish.
Colbert does the usual Franco ribbing: He teases him for being a Renaissance man and asks if he's going to return to General Hospital once he receives his doctorate in English from Yale. Side note: Are we going to have to start calling him Dr. Franco when that blessed day occurs? We can see the movie posters now. "Dr. James Franco and Seth Rogen star in Pineapple Express 2: Chronic Boogaloo."
In the final moments, Franco tries to turn the tables and goes in for the big "gotcha."
"Are you gonna go Democrat when you go to the new show?" he asks. He's talking about what will happen when Colbert abandons his conservative persona to host the Late Show as himself.
"Now here's the interesting thing," Colbert says. "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about."
Remember: Stephen Colbert who hosts The Colbert Report isn't the "person" who's taking over for David Letterman. He has no knowledge of his alter ego's new job. You'd think James Franco, Yale Ph.D. candidate, would know that. You'd also think he'd be smart enough to know that he'll never beat Colbert at his own game.