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Courtney Cox, Billionaire City, The Bidet

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2024 3:07 pm

Courtney Cox, Billionaire City, The Bidet

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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May 19, 2024 3:07 pm

Jane Pauley hosts our annual special broadcast about design. In our cover story, Luke Burbank looks at a plan backed by Silicon Valley billionaires to build a new city in California. Also: Serena Altschul looks at the history of baby strollers; Martha Teichner meets the country's most acclaimed maker of weathervanes; Jonathan Vigliotti sits down with actress and entrepreneur Courteney Cox; Kelefa Sanneh investigates the rising popularity in bidets; Martha Stewart gives tips on throwing a garden tea party; and Susan Spencer enjoys fun and games with Wordle, jigsaw puzzles, and the board game Monopoly.

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See Good morning. I'm Jane Pauly and this is a special edition of my show. edition of Sunday Morning.

A Sunday Morning by Design. It's our annual look at the people, places, and things that show how innovation in design enriches our lives every day. To that end, you might notice something different about our look this morning.

More on that in a few minutes. For now, just enjoy the view. It's a reminder how design, in ways large and small, is everywhere. And we'll start large.

Very large. If you had unlimited funds to design the perfect city from the ground up, what might it look like? Sound far-fetched? Luke Burbank tells us that's exactly what some tech billionaires in California are trying to figure out.

But how they're going about it is raising some eyebrows. If you build it, they will come. At least that's what the backers of a new plan to turn this farmland into a new city believe. But what if not everyone wants it built? I had a hunch that this was a really good place to do something like this.

Coming up on Sunday morning, big techs, big dream of a big city. She was one of America's favorite roommates in the hit TV series Friends. These days Jonathan Vigliati explains, Courtney Cox has designs on your living quarters. When Courtney Cox's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame needed cleaning, guess who stepped in? I played that character Monica, and that character, yeah that character. So she was a neat person and guess who else is?

Me. Courtney Cox, a neat freak with a fresh outlook on life, ahead on Sunday morning. In bathrooms across America, there's a new must-have accessory. With California, we go behind closed doors. They're saying hi. I've never been saluted by a toilet before. Ever since the great toilet paper panic of 2020, more and more Americans are deciding that the bidet is right up their alley. It's like a reverse toilet, right?

Instead of the water going down, the water goes up. It's coming up. Let's give it a shot. Later on Sunday morning, a not so dry run. Of course we all need a break once in a while, so throughout the morning Susan Spencer will be looking at the serious design that goes into fun and games. Serena Altschul surveys the front lines of Stroller Wars, a competition that's anything but child's play. Plus Connor Knighton on the latest addition to the American toolbox. We'll have those stories and more, all on our Sunday Morning by Design.

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Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates rate and discounts not available in all states or situations. Much has been made over the years about living the California dream. The question is, can money, a lot of money, build that dream from the ground up?

Luke Burbank found a place where some tech giants are trying to do just that. For over five years, starting back in 2018, something mysterious was going on. It's a nearly billion dollar land purchase.

Just 90 minutes northeast of San Francisco. No one, not even the federal government, can figure out who's behind it. A secretive group was purchasing farmland.

Lots of it. Some 60,000 acres in rural Solano County, California. Many feared it might be a Chinese government plot to try to set up shop near Travis Air Force Base. Like a lot of people, I was chasing it around, running into the usual locked doors. But as the New York Times' Connor Doherty, who helped break the story, found out, Solano is a kind of unusual county.

The truth was even stranger than the rumors. I got a tip from someone that what was behind the locked doors was the richest people in the world quietly buying all this farmland. Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, venture capitalist. Laureen Powell Jobs, the founder of the Emerson Collective, and Steve Jobs' widow. Mark Andresen of Andresen Horowitz, venture capital firm. Just really a who's who of Silicon Valley was involved in this. Something else surprising, within hours of Doherty's big scoop, this mysterious company launched a website and publicly identified itself as California Forever, an ambitious plan to build a brand new kind of city for as many as 400,000 residents. We knew this would be controversial when we announced the project. And this is the guy behind it. I had a hunch that this was a really good place to do something like this. Jan Sremmik, a 37-year-old Czech-born former Goldman Sachs trader turned aspiring city builder.

You can see Travis Air Force places out here. Who has to try to convince the public that the project isn't just an oasis for billionaires or some high-tech city of the future. So over there would be a downtown. His vision is to turn all of this into a walkable city in the mold of Savannah, Georgia or Philadelphia, PA or New York's West Village. So if you are successful with this, how will this still be a place that middle-class people could even afford?

By continuing to build for a long time. And so if we look at why places have become unaffordable, it's because they've just stopped building. Instead of taking all of these well-paying jobs that are being created in Northern California and sending them to Texas or Florida, let's create a place where we can send them to Solano County. A place where our children's future can be bright. Walkable middle-class neighborhoods with homes we can afford. The project's fate will ultimately be decided this November by the voters of Solano County who have to decide whether or not to overturn a three decades old law restricting where new development can go.

We're gonna have total gridlock. You need to work on your soft skills. Don't insult us when you come to talk to us. Jan Sremmik's charm offensive has been met with, let's just say, a healthy amount of skepticism by many locals.

You're not gonna answer that question because telling the truth is not in your nature. The current proposal is to build a city about two miles up this road. Locals like Al Medvitz and Jeannie McCormack. They're some of the last holdouts here. Most of their neighbors have sold to California forever at far over market value, but they've turned down millions to keep farming this 3,700 acre ranch which has been in Jeannie's family for more than a century. Having developers come was always a fear my whole childhood because California was just changing so fast with development in farm areas. Many of their neighbors who didn't sell have been sued by California forever who's accused them of colluding to raise land prices in the area, a charge they deny.

The housing is important, there's no question about it, but there are appropriate ways to do it. We're reaching out to voters because the East Solano plan was recently submitted as an initiative to the county. California forever is sparing no expense to try to win over county residents.

Welcome everyone, thanks for joining us tonight. In what the New York Times' Connor Doherty says could be the most expensive political campaign in the history of Solano County. The idea that this tech money is being redirected to this very kind of brick-and-mortar thing as an investment is kind of weird to me. Is it just that there's that much money to be made potentially?

Everyone thinks I'm crazy when I say this, but I just don't think it's principally about money. I think that many of the people involved are extremely frustrated that the pace of change in the physical world has lagged so far behind the pace of change in the digital world. If we could redesign everything and not have to deal with all the inherited problems that cities come with, that that would make everything so much easier. California Forever still has plenty of hurdles to clear, some that may prove impossible.

Most of the beloved cities in America looked like this not that many years ago. But Shremick insists this idea of designing and building a relatively affordable, walkable city within the nation's most unaffordable and car-centric state is in fact possible. He says his company has the know-how, the patience, and critically, the deep pockets to make it a reality. To me, success is that in 10 or 15 years, Solano County is this incredible economic success story that people all over America are looking at and saying, can we replicate that here? Where with good design and a good idea and the right partnerships locally, you can build something special. Do you see yourself living there with your family? Yeah, I'll be moving in the first house.

My wife is already designing it in her head. A lot can happen in the next three years, like a chatbot may be your new best friend, but what won't change? Needing health insurance. United Healthcare tri-term medical plans are available for these changing times. Underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, they offer budget-friendly, flexible coverage for people who are in between jobs or missed open enrollment. The plans last nearly three years in some states, with access to a nationwide network of doctors and hospitals. So for whatever tomorrow brings, United Healthcare tri-term medical plans may be for you. Learn more at Hey, it's Ryan Reynolds and I'm here with Keith, co-star of my upcoming film, If, only in theaters May 17th. You want to tell people the big news?

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And then some. Good morning. Here begins something new. For 45 years, Sunday morning set created by legendary CBS designer Victor Paganuzzi has served as our backdrop. But for this year's design issue, we opted for an update. And who better to reimagine our surroundings in virtual form than the eminent design firm Rockwell Group.

There were things about the CBS Sunday morning piece that were an immediate yes for me. When I think of it, I think of it as one of the ultimate communal rituals and every project we do is really about celebrating a sense of ritual. David Rockwell is the firm's founder and president.

So we started with lots of hand sketching and as we zeroed in on it I realized there was an opportunity to do something that had the kind of simplicity and restraint of the original but have a kind of exuberance and theatrical flair. Rockwell knows theatrical flair. He designed Hollywood's Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars since 2002.

The winner is Sophia Lawrence. His vast portfolio spans hotels, stadiums, stage sets, libraries, playgrounds, airport terminals, bars and restaurants. More than 500 restaurants since founding the firm in 1984, 40 years ago this year. Some Rockwell trademarks? Screens, vibrant and playful. Stairs, sweeping and stately. And light, deep, warm and rich. My earliest thoughts about lighting in restaurants comes from candles and thinking about restaurants in in Guadalajara where I lived where the candle was like a hearth. So you can't always replicate that but it's it's not a bad place to start.

It's not all glitzy restaurants and luxury hotels. This children's hospital emphasizes color and imagination. And this temporary viewing platform at Ground Zero helped mourners grapple with the unthinkable in the months after 9-11. Really what was needed was a public viewing platform so people could have this unmediated look at what really happened. That temporary structure was definitely one of the most powerful things I've ever been involved with. Rockwell's firm which started out with fewer than a dozen people has grown to some 330 with outposts in LA and Madrid. I'm so grateful that I get to do what I do and feel lucky every day.

And today, Sunday morning, is the grateful beneficiary of their creativity. How would you like to look five years younger? In a clinical study, people that had volume added with Juvederm Voluma XC in the cheeks perceived themselves as looking five years younger at six months after treatment.

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Serena Alschul now with a look at a design trend forever in its infancy. I know everybody's looking for the perfect stroller and we will find that perfect stroller. Emilio Ortega has been filling garages for nearly 40 years. At Bambi Baby, his family store in New Jersey, it's about finding folks the smoothest ride. It's a lot like buying a car. Do people say that to you?

A hundred percent. And we have minivan strollers, we have SUV strollers, and we have sports car strollers. Once just a means for transporting a baby, now strollers have become $1,000 accessories, complementing the high-tech lifestyles of parents who want convenience at the touch of a button. Whoa!

Or the tap of a screen. The baby's gonna get rocked automatically. English architect William Kent is said to have designed the first baby carriage. His whimsical creation for the Duke of Devonshire in 1733 was meant not to be pushed but pulled by animals. William Wilson remodeled the design in 1877 and founded Silver Cross, a favorite of British royalty. Her majesty was seen in the role of mother during a few days respite from all cares of state. Has amazing suspension with the original leather straps still in place.

Nick Paxton is Silver Cross's CEO. The baby actually was suspended on this oscillating piece of leather, so it was a totally natural environment for the baby to ride. Whether you call them strollers, perambulators, a pram, or a pushchair, the buggy has always been a status symbol. These would have been for families that had means, that had a desire, I think, to be seen as well with these products. They were very glamorous. Glamour these days starts with premium fabrics and soft leather handles. Aesthetics, it turns out, are just as important as protecting that precious cargo, says first-time mom Anaya Cozart.

I want something obviously that will look good, right, like that's always the vain part of it, but I want something that's gonna be functional and last us for a few years. The hardest part is understanding that you want to add so much functionality, but it's got to be almost transparent to the user. It can do this, but you don't need to know about it until you need it. And that's exactly what we want people to do.

Trung Fung is a designer and president at UpaBaby near Boston, where they're not only creating products, but pushing their limits. It has to sit on this treadmill for about 40 hours, continuous, and at the end of that, everything has to work. Should you need your wheel serviced or seat detailed, there are service centers for that too. How do we know when a baby is comfortable? Generally, parents will tell you that if they put the child into the product and the child starts crying, that's a bad sign. Come on, but it can't be the stroller.

Hopefully it's not. Yeah. Parents might be crying when they learn that no one stroller does it all. Two strollers is the perfect stroller.

Bambi Babies and Emilio Ortega. Some families put the car outside and they fill the garage full of strollers. Well, they've got priorities.

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OneTravel. MassMutual knows that finances can lead to uncomfortable conversations. We should talk about our finances. Sure. How about Friday evening? Soccer practice. Saturday morning?

Soccer game. Maybe Wednesday night? Girls night. How about Thursday? Mmm.

Guys night. Let me see your phone. So next time we're both free is three months from now. According to, the average American schedules less than four and a half hours a year for finances. Your finances deserve more.

Go to today. Feel comfortable about tomorrow. Throughout the morning, our Susan Spencer is all about fun and games. First up, wordplay.

For millions of Americans, morning means breakfast, coffee, and most importantly, wordle. I mean, my wordle is usually done in the first 10 minutes of consciousness. Yeah, I mean some people, they play our puzzles the minute they come out. Everdeen Mason is the editorial director of the New York Times games. This has a good amount of space. Zoe Bell is its executive producer.

What do people think when you tell them what you do for a living? It is a cocktail party winner. Yeah. Wordle, the brainchild of software engineer Josh Wordle, was acquired by the New York Times in 2022. A year later, it was played 4.8 billion times.

Tens of millions of people are playing it every day. Okay, let's see what happens. Absolutely nothing.

That's the worst possible result. If you are late to the game, here's how it works. Each day, there's a five-letter mystery word. You get six chances to figure it out. With each guess, you learn if your letters are wrong, right, or right, but in the wrong spot. Can you put your finger on what it is in the design of Wordle that accounts for this astonishing success? If you think about what happens with every guess in Wordle is you get new information, and I think that's really compelling, and then when you solve it, there's a really, really big moment of satisfaction.

Tell me about it. Well, it depends on how soon you solve it. It might be a lot of other things too. Okay, so what's the foolproof strategy for doing that? You know, some people have the same word every single day.

Is that a good idea? Um, it can be. I mean, especially if you pick one with a lot of vowels. Adieu is the most popular first guess, all those vowels, but here's depressing news. Statistically, adieu does not yield the best results. I actually think that the starting word is important, but so is the second word, because if you if you have a good starting word and then you blow it by not eliminating other letters in your second guess, then you're gonna be at five or six. But this is the genius of its design. Right, yes.

A genius that's made Wordle a national phenomenon. All we have is one lousy tea. At breakfast tables everywhere. If you had to, what would you give up? Food or sex? Sex.

Seriously, answer faster. Oh, I'm sorry, honey. When she said sex, I wasn't thinking about sex with you. It's the design issue on Sunday morning, and here again is Jane Folly. The laughs were by design in the hit TV show Friends about life in an apartment building. These days, Courtney Cox is taking her living conditions a little more seriously. She's talking with our Jonathan Vigliati. Yeah, that's pretty.

Dressed in black on the white sands of Miami Beach, Courtney Cox strikes a pose during a recent photo shoot. The camera's on her, but she's the one hyper focused. I always say it's called I suffer from acute awareness. I do notice things. I can't help it.

I was afraid you would notice a few things if I was disheveled or why I would notice you. You're pretty together. Oh, yeah, yeah. Is that a built in cuff?

It is a built in cup. I like it. It's that attention to detail that in part inspired the admitted neat freak to create a new line of scented beauty products for the home, fittingly called home court. It is a combination of everything from surface spray to clean your surfaces, your countertops, your whatever. It is hand soap, hand cream, dish soap, room deodorizer. Courtney Cox, you can choose to put your name on anything.

Why did you focus on home court and cleaning products? You know, I played that character Monica, and that wasn't so... Oh, that character. Yeah, that character. Oh, look at her. So happy. Oh, yeah, that character, Monica Geller.

If only there were a smaller one to clean this one. And at times neurotic, always lovable New Yorker. It just got interesting. So she was a neat person, and guess who else is? Me.

Home court is a full circle moment for the 59 year old Alabama native. Cox studied design and architecture in college before deciding to pursue a very different creative career. I moved to New York. I started modeling. I'm only 5'5", but I did stuff like book covers. Yeah, there's like short hair on one of the book covers I saw. I got my hair cut really short and changed my whole look. Next, the first of a few big breaks. Can you believe that's 40 years ago?

No, it's wild. When Cox was chosen to appear with Bruce Springsteen in the 1984 music video for Dancing in the Dark. It was directed by Brian De Palma, and I guess he hired me because I was authentically nervous and genuinely not a good dancer, but I was shy, and it worked.

Hello, can I help you? Hello, Alice P. Keaton, overachiever. It worked wonders with Cox landing a recurring role on Family Ties.

The only thing you haven't won yet is the Miss America contest. Well, you know that's all political. What was Michael J. Fox like to work? The nicest, the nicest guy. He's so talented. He taught me so much. Then, in 1994, the show about a group of 20-somethings in the city. A series that changed everything. That show. Thank God for that show. How did that come to be?

That was at the tail end of when I'm really getting running out of money. I got that audition. I went in, and I read the pilot, and I said, this is this is great, but you didn't know how special it was, but then when you put this cast together and are incredible writers, it was lightning in a bottle.

Lightening in a bottle that launched a meteoric career. From the Scream film franchise, and Ace Ventura, to Cougar Town, to becoming a producer, director, and entrepreneur. Through it all, Cox has remained herself, caring, candid, and deeply empathetic. She's still very close to the co-stars that were with her when it all began. It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since it premiered.

It's been 20 years now since the last episode. You went on Instagram, and you said that you were forever grateful. What are you forever grateful for? I do not want to be those people like cry. That's just, I hate that.

I don't know. I'm just grateful that I had that opportunity to work with such wonderful people, and to live the life that I have now. That was my family.

I mean, we went through everything. Those 10 years were everything, and just made that they're my family. How did you get to be so cute? Well, my grandfather was Swedish, and my grandmother was actually a tiny little bunny. You've reflected on Instagram about Matthew Perry, a member of your family.

Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing, died last year at 54. What stands out most in your life? What kind of impact did he have? I think he's probably one of the funniest human beings in the world. He, you know, he's just so funny.

He is genuinely a huge heart, obviously struggled. I'm so thankful I got to work so closely with him for so many years. He visits me a lot if we believe in that. I know you're a spiritual person, which makes that statement very interesting, so you still feel his presence. Oh yeah, I, you know, I talked to my mom, my dad, Matthew. I feel like there are a lot of people that are, I think, that guide us. I do sense, yeah, I sense Matthew's around for sure. Friends are always close by.

Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow were with Cox when she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And jokingly, Cox couldn't resist giving it a little polish. And it's that shine that she hopes to share with home court. We don't think of our home as an extension of us, but it is. How much time do we spend at home?

So why skimp on the things that are so important? And I just think people should treat their home the way they treat themselves. This is the one I told you is like a real rose. You could smell it in the room. I can tell, yeah. Can you smell how much it smells like a rose? Smells like an English rose, yeah. Yeah.

Smells really like smelling a rose. It really does. Yeah. I'm not paid for this, so. Whether I'm working or not working, it's another creative outlet.

I care about every detail, so it's really, it's a passion. If you're shopping while working, eating, or even listening to this podcast, then you know and love the thrill of the hunt. But are you getting the thrill of the best deals? Rakuten shoppers do. They get the brands they love with the most savings and cash back.

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And one of those lives could be yours. Learn more about driver assistance technologies at slash driver tech. Paid for by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In bathrooms across America, there's a new must-have feature. Calafasane takes us behind closed doors. Architect Stephanie Goto has designed galleries, restaurants, and homes all over the world. In all of them, there's one room she never overlooks.

It's a place of spiritual repose. A bathroom, she says, should be effortless and elegant. People understand by seeing my work that there is a real attention to detail in every room. And so I hope that their expectation is that I would be thinking about the bathroom as in detail as everything else in their home. Increasingly, that means not just a toilet but a bidet. It's a life-changing. It's something that I can't live without. Is it a status symbol the way a Viking stove might be?

I would say that because of the intention to design, it probably does make it something like having a beautiful scarf. According to a recent YouGov poll, nearly half of Americans either have or would like to have a bidet at home. They're saying hi. I've never been saluted by a toilet before. The idea behind a bidet is simple.

Instead of wiping, washing, and drying. Bidets are common in Asia but only just catching on here. Helped along by the great toilet paper panic of 2020. That seems like kind of an extreme reaction to say there's no toilet paper at the supermarket. I'm gonna install a bidet in my house.

Well you would think so. However, toilet paper sold out in like two and a half weeks and then everyone began to look for the alternative. And the alternative became the bidet. Bill Strang is head of corporate strategy at Toto, the global leader in bidet sales. The bidet is like a reverse toilet, right? Instead of the water going down, the water goes up. It's coming up.

Is it an acquired taste? The first time it's like oh oh that's pretty nice. Here's how it works. This is a occupancy sensor. Oh I see. This knows if you're there or not. It will then allow you to press the buttons to allow the wand to work.

The world's most popular bidet is Toto's washlet which starts at $350 and attaches to a conventional toilet. Other versions are more luxurious. You can actually turn on features here that allow you to oscillate and pulsate the water. Oh. Which made us wonder. Let's give it a shot.

How's the water pressure? It looks a little sinister. Oh my god. Heated seats too. Heated seats. Toto's top-of-the-line bidet, celebrated by DJ Khaled, is neo-rest. Does that mean expensive?

No that means rest. It just happens to be expensive. What am I looking at for one of these? Around $20,000 less price. $20,000?

$20,000. This one doesn't just clean you, it cleans itself too. Kind of looks like a pod. It does look like a pod. Architect Stephanie Goto sometimes builds a whole bathroom around it. I'm working on a project now that's using traditional handcrafted tiles with a modern toilet. Is this one of these toilets looks like a futuristic pod?

It is a bit of a futuristic pod, yes, and it talks to you. I don't want feedback from my toilet, just do your job. Your toilet is your friend.

Some friendships take time. I'm not used to asking all these questions about a toilet. I think I'm toilet-ed out. Can we talk about the refrigerator?

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That's All right, there we go. Nine.

I'm going to take the penguin. Brian Baker has the perfect job. His work is play.

Yeah, for 280. We produce board games. We've been doing it in some shape or form for over 165 years. I grew up with all of this. Baker is the senior VP of board games at Hasbro in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Here, even staff meetings are fun and games. If you were on a desert island with three of your friends, what game would you take? It's got to be Monopoly. Available today in 114 countries and 47 languages.

This is the Holy Grail. This is one of the original Monopolies. Born in the Depression almost 90 years ago, Monopoly is now the top-selling modern board game of all time. Baker says it is all in the design. A lot of the elements of the board are timeless. They're iconic.

Everything from the go space to free parking. But design isn't just about looks. It's also about action. Baker calls it replayability, the most important design element for a game's success. One of the great things about Monopoly is that in any given game, anyone can be the winner. Or the loser.

I had a relative who always invariably would burst into tears every time we played before the game was over. Absolutely, and I think it's not uncommon for somebody to end up flipping the board over and having the tokens fly all over the place. This is what you want? Yes, and that's why people want to play. It's rather sadistic, isn't it?

It could be, but we call it competition. Of course you do. Yeah.

We ended our visit, how else, with a relatively friendly round. Oh, I'm sorry. Go to jail. Go directly to jail. I hate this game.

Do not pass go, and do not collect. I'm rolling again. Thank you for listening.

Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Hi, this is Jill Schlesinger, CBS News business analyst, certified financial planner, and host of the Money Watch podcast. This is the show where your money is not scary. It is a show that's all about you. It's your questions that make it possible for me to provide unconventional and entertaining insights on your money, and maybe more importantly, on your life. Follow Money Watch wherever you get your podcasts.

You can listen ad-free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. Hi, it's Stephen Colbert, and I'm here to tell you about The Late Show Pod Show, which is the podcast of The Late Show with me, Stephen Colbert, and I'm here with my producer of the podcast, Becca. Hi, Becca. Hi, Stephen. So what do people get when they listen to The Late Show Pod Show?

Let's sell this thing. The extended moments, for sure, because we run out of time for broadcast, but we have plenty of time on the podcast. It's kind of like being a live audience member of the show, because you get things that no one else hears.

Listen to The Late Show Pod Show with Stephen Colbert wherever you get your podcasts. We're in Rome to meet Pope Francis for a rare, wide-ranging interview. Do you like when you are called the People's Pope? It is very important to talk about the future. You have called for a ceasefire. Can you help negotiate peace? Join us for our special hour with His Holiness on CBS. Pope Francis I, a CBS News primetime special, tomorrow on CBS and streaming on Paramount Plus.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-19 16:07:47 / 2024-05-19 16:25:16 / 17

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