Stephen King says critics who used to diss him are dead now

In his debut week as host of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert has invited a well-rounded mix of celebrity guests. Joining the likes of comedian Amy Schumer, actress Scarlett Johansson, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, and rapper Kendrick Lamar has been Maine’s own Master of Horror, author Stephen King.

King appeared on the show on Friday, fresh off a visit to the White House where he received a National Medal of Arts from President Obama, which is the highest honor given to artists by the federal government.

In the interview with Colbert, the host began by asking King “why do you think your ability to terrify people makes them love you?” To which King responded by saying he’s not sure, but on his last tour the question he heard the most from fans was, “you scare the hell out me, can I have a hug?”

Here’s the full interview from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert YouTube page:

“I’ve become, sort of, America’s Teddy bear with little daggers,” King joked.

Colbert asked King about some of his harsher critics from when the author first began making a name for himself in the mid 1970’s.

“When you started out, you couldn’t get any respect,” Colbert said. “The critics wouldn’t give you any respect at all, do they give you any respect now?”

“You gotta keep in mind that when I published Carrie, the first book, I was like twenty-six years old,” replied King with a smile, “so a lot of the critics who dissed me back in those days are dead.”

“And how did they die Stephen?” Colbert asked with a laugh.

King responded chuckling, “Slowly! Very slowly.”

Maine author Stephen King. Photo- Ashley L. Conti/Bangor Daily News

Maine author Stephen King. Photo- Ashley L. Conti/Bangor Daily News

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.