“Shh. Shhhhhhh.” Few, if any, Late Show guests in history have ever begun by emphatically shushing the host, but that’s how Jake Gyllenhaal began his interview with Stephen Colbert last night so as not to disturb his sourdough starter. “It needs to rest,” Gyllenhaal scolded. The lack of a studio audience and the chemistry of live in-person banter has hampered all virtual late night talk shows, but an actor and a comedian getting slightly weird about bread together is perhaps more relatable right now than ever before.
“Have you fallen into the sourdough cult?” Colbert asks. Gyllenhaal, a self-proclaimed bread boy, explains that as his hair has grown longer in quarantine, his love of sourdough has grown deeper. He asked a friend who owns a bakery in San Francisco for some starter (“I have nothing to do”) and quickly began learning all he could about how to feed and maintain it. Colbert himself reaches off-screen and procures his own starter for all to see, and the look of genuine surprise and delight on Gyllenhaal’s face—along with his follow-up questions about whether the starter smells vinegary and has bubbles on top—confirms that the sourdough cult indeed has a new member. He provides Colbert with some patient, loving advice about how to feed the starter and begin baking it into bread.
“It is possible this conversation right now is either getting Super Bowl ratings or people are scrambling for the remote right now to click over to anything else,” Colbert notes after they’ve spent a few minutes deep in the bread-baking weeds. But it actually sounds like these two could co-host a pretty killer podcast—provided they keep things at a reasonable volume while the sourdough is resting.
Unrelated, but both Colbert and many news outlets refer to Gyllenhaal as “the Brokeback Mountain star,” which is technically true and a role he deserves to be celebrated for, but I submit that we instead refer to him as “the Sack Lunch Bunch star” henceforth and forever, in a nod to his finest role.
Even more unrelated: isn’t it nice to see a celebrity who Zooms without fear of an unflatteringly low angle? Okay, we’ll stop gushing about Jake Gyllenhaal for now. Just watch for yourself.