Why Maddie Rice Left The Late Show With Stephen Colbert


Guitarist Maddie Rice regularly performed with house band Stay Human on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, but why did she leave the talk show?

Maddie Rice was a fixture in the resident house band on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, so why is she no longer performing on the talk show? The latest iteration of The Late Show began in 2015 when new host Stephen Colbert took over the reins from David Letterman after he retired from the long-running talk show. Thanks to Colbert’s biting satire of the Donald Trump administration, the show has seen a ratings gain in recent years and has proved a worthy competitor to fellow late-night shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! or The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Just as David Letterman was replaced on The Late Show by tephen Colbert, so was his long-time house band the CBS Orchestra by newcomers Stay Human. Stay Human was formed by bandleader Jon Batiste, bassist Phil Kuehn and percussionist Joe Saylor while they were studying at Juilliard in the mid-noughties and later added members including tuba player Ibanda Ruhumbika and saxophonist Eddie Barbash. Stephen Colbert selected Stay Human as his house band a few months ahead of his Late Show takeover after they impressed him with a performance on his previous show The Colbert Report.


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Many musicians have performed with Stay Human during the band’s tenure on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert including saxophonist Grace Kelly, percussionist Nêgah Santos or multi-instrumentalist Louis Cato. Utah-born guitarist Maddie Rice has also performed regularly with Stay Human on The Late Show, where she played both electric and acoustic guitar and was once outed by Stephen Colbert as a Harry Potter super-fan while he was interviewing Interviewing Robert Pattinson. However, the talented guitarist hasn’t been seen playing with Stay Human of late, but is Maddie Rice still on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert?

Why Maddie Rice Left The Late Show

Unfortunately, attentive viewers of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert had it right when they noticed Rice missing; the talented guitarist is no longer regularly performing with The Late Show‘s Stay Human. On the bright side, however, Maddie Rice’s Late Show departure doesn’t seem to have been a parting on bad terms. Maddie Rice was only 22 when she started playing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert alongside Stay Human, but she has toured internationally and worked with artists including Rubblebucket, Taeyang, and Big Wild and has even performed at the annual New York Game Awards. It seems that Maddie Rice is always going to be looking for the next step in her career and her departure from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was just part of that and as one of Rice’s first big professional gigs, it actually gave her a much-appreciated opportunity to jump-start her career. This is clearly evident in the fact that Maddie Rice isn’t done performing on late-night live television. In some ways, her new gig might actually be considered a big step up.

What Maddie Rice Is Doing Now

Maddie Rice

Maddie Rice isn’t currently performing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, but she’s still playing guitar – just on a different show. In October 2020 Rice joined SNL’s house band, the Saturday Night Live Band, replacing former guitarist Jared Scharff who had been performing on the show since 2007. The Saturday Night Live Band has been a crucial part of SNL since it started back in 1975 and has featured many different line-ups over the years with past members including The Blues Brothers saxophonist Lou Marini and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers drummer Steve Ferrone. Currently, the house band is led by saxophonist Lenny Pickett and also features long-time keyboardist Leon Pendarvis and trumpeter Earl Gardner. While she has moved on to gig with the Saturday Night Live house band, there seems to be no bad blood between her and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert or Stay Human.

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