BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — No one is more eager for CBS’ “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to start next month than Colbert himself. He prays every night for GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump to stay healthy “until I can get on the air.”

“I want to do Donald Trump so badly. I’m dry-Trumping,” Colbert told a roomful of journalists Monday afternoon at the Television Critics Association’s press tour. (Then, tickled at his own joke, he took a minute to tweet that out, turning “dryTrumping” into a hashtag.)

“Can’t wait to get on the air Sept 8th. Until then: #dryTrumping”

“I’m anxious to get on the air,” said Colbert, whose old show on Comedy Central signed off in December. “I don’t like comedy in theory. That’s just theology, I want to get to the religion.” The only nervousness he has is an “anxiety about the eagerness to get on stage.”

Earlier in the day, CBS Entertainment Chairwoman Nina Tassler said she has the highest hopes for the new show. “What you will find is someone who is very of-the-moment,” she said. “We are coming into an election year. Who are you going to want to hear from? Who are you going to want to watch? It’s going to be Stephen.” Tassler said she expects that “Late Show” viewers will, in addition to laughing a lot, see “interviews of substance.”

Other news about “Late Show,” which premieres Tuesday, Sept. 8:

George Clooney is booked for the first show (“I hope someone has let [Clooney] know; it’s going to be very awkward if he doesn’t show up,” Colbert said); Kendrick Lamar is the show’s first musical guest. The show has already booked several weeks’ worth of guests, well into the fall season.

Moving in: The staff – many of whom came with Colbert from Comedy Central – recently moved into offices at the Ed Sullivan Theater, the “Late Show’s” home since 1993. The theater has undergone a complete makeover, taking it back to its origins as a Broadway-style theater. “I find it a very intimate space now,” Colbert said. Advancements in sound and lighting technology, he said, require less equipment on and around the stage.

Paradigm shift: The desk is moving to the other side. Colbert said he had a long afternoon meeting with his predecessor, David Letterman, during which he asked Letterman if there was anything he’d wished he’d done differently. “I wish I’d tried moving the desk to the other side,” was Letterman’s reply.

Format? When asked if “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” will subvert the usual format (monologue, desk bits, guest, another guest, followed by musical guest) Colbert suggested that it won’t be too radical, but “CBS has asked nothing of me other than I fill an hour every night Monday through Friday.” He said he feels free to set whatever tone and invite whatever guests suit him.

Trump jokes aside, he’s most looking forward to interviewing guests. Interviews were his favorite part of “The Colbert Report,” and now, he said, “I feel more freed up,” when it comes to engaging guests. On the old show, “Everything had to go through an occipital CPU up here,” he said, pointing to his noggin, in order for the old “Stephen Colbert” character (an ill-informed conservative blowhard) to converse with them. Now the real Colbert can take over.

So who is the real Stephen Colbert? It’s the question that simply will not go away. Colbert said that if you go on YouTube and look for supercuts culled from “The Colbert Report” where he starts laughing and breaks character, “that’s the real me. I don’t think anybody would have watched (‘The Colbert Report’) if they didn’t know I was playing a character – that guy was a real tool.”

What “late-night wars?” Colbert pretends that such a thing doesn’t exist. He said he “really admires” Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” and gave no indication that he’s aware of a contingent of late-night TV viewers who are hoping against hope that the new “Late Show” will be the antidote to Fallon’s hyperactive variety-style shtick. “Fights amongst each other doesn’t sound funny,” he said. “I didn’t play sports when I was young, so maybe I missed the competitive gene. … All I can feel is the swell behind me and I’m paddling as fast as I can.”