Friday, April 11, 2014

Stephen Colbert to Take Over for David Letterman on The Late Show

I'm of mixed feelings about this one. As a Daily Show with Jon Stewart fan since it was . . .with Craig Kilborn, I of course have watched The Colbert Report since the beginning. At first, I wasn't sure he could sustain his pompus, "educated Archie Bunker" news reporter character through a regular series. But sure enough, he could and did. Colbert's show was the perfect follow-up to Stewart's, and the interplay was terrific. And it has to be said, Colbert's in-character roasting of George W. Bush at the White House Correspondent's' Dinner was masterful.

I've also watched The Late Show with David Letterman since it was Late Night. I watched from episode for all of the above. And though, more often than not, I watch the Comedy Central line up instead of CBS's, I'd come back to Dave whenever Jon and Stephen were in reruns. And it's only due to those guys that I ever left. I still find Dave preferable to the Jimmys. But Dave is leaving. And Stephen is moving in!

But not Stephen Cole-bear. This will be Stephen Cole-BURT. The real guy, not the character. Having seen the real Stephen in other things--not to mention being able to see through the character to the brilliance of the real dude--I'm cool with that. While he'll surely need to tone down the politics a bit, and will have to spoon-feed a little more to the larger general audience, I believe he's deft enough to pull it off. Still, I'm hoping he retains the old guy in some capacity. Whether it's a Colbert Report show-within-a-show segment, or just one of a roster of characters, I'd hate to see that persona retired forever.

As for Comedy Central, I think they may have as tough a choice as CBS had. They fortunately have a lengthy list of performers to choose from, many from The Daily Show, past and present, or from other Comedy Central shows. They'd be wise to create  something in the mold of either Stewart's or Colbert's current shows, to be a companion to The Daily Show, rather than trying to plug in a Tosh.O or Workaholics, and hoping it keeps the audience.

My choice--though I'd miss his current new-ish show--is Chris Hardwick. His @Midnight is a hoot, and I never miss The Talking Dead. He's smart, funny, irreverent, cute and nerdish. The perfect combination. But I'll bet you John Oliver is sorry he deserted for a weekly HBO show.


Why Stephen Colbert is the perfect choice for CBS

CBS nailed this. Stephen Colbert, just named to replace David Letterman, might seem in some ways an odd choice for a late-night broadcast host: He's an intensely satirical comedian who at least until now has hosted his show in the guise of a self-righteous buffoon. But he may also be the smartest person in late night. And the most likable. . .

Read more at: MSN

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