David Mamet, author and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, was on "The Colbert Report" last night to talk about two new books, "Theatre" and "The Trials of Roderick Spode, 'Human Ant,'" though the conversation never got around to his new children's book. (Colbert did address the book in a hilarious tweet last night: "now that david mamet's written a children's book, i can't wait for his collection of essays about how children's books are worthless.")
Mamet was full of witty one-liners about theater, politics, and himself. He proclaimed that "theater is always dying," currently because of the onslaught of revivals of bad plays. When Colbert asked whether Mamet was more of a "Mamma Mia" kind of theater guy, or the kind who sticks meat on his head and calls it theater, Mamet responded that "Mamma Mia is about carbohydrates, as we know, and I won't eat carbohydrates, I just won't do it." Colbert: "You're on a theatrical Atkin's diet." Mamet also talked about how directors are "mostly useless" and that most are bad, excluding himself, of course, and that their only function should be to make sure the actors don't step on each other's lines.
The funniest line in the interview came at the end, when Colbert brought up Mamet's switch from liberal to conservative. "But you're a theater guy," Stephen said, "Could you just be lying?" Mamet: "A liberal pretending to be a conservative? That's like a straight person pretending to be gay to get greater acceptance."