In a press release published today, CBS announced that Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show when Letterman retires in 2015. Colbert is currently the host, writer, and executive producer of The Colbert Report and has received Emmy and Peabody awards for his work. As most college students know, The Colbert Report is the hit fake news show in which Colbert impersonates a right-wing blowhard. Although Colbert can hardly be judged for taking up the mantle of serving as the next “King of Late Night,” this career move is truly disturbing for those of us who appreciate Colbert’s character in The Colbert Report.
Forbes reported today:
Colbert will be leaving his right-wing persona behind along with his Comedy Central show. As “Stephen Colbert,” the comedian has made endless fun of the right while pretending to be an idiotic member of that group. It’s a tricky line to walk, but Colbert has done it seemingly effortlessly, staying in character when interviewing his nightly guests.
Colbert’s show has been unique in that it that he was able to simultaneously behave like a goofball, impart political wisdom, hold his own in interviews with today’s foremost social theorists and scientific minds, and make audiences laugh for a nearly half-hour straight. Colbert’s promotion will bereave us of this provocative, engaging design and, like a mouse on a wheel, place him in the age-old format of late-night talk shows. Colbert will certainly be challenged to win over audiences using his own persona and a cliche format of easy jokes, fawning over celebrities, and musical performances.
By taking over The Late Show, Colbert will have to start appealing to wider audiences, many of whom may be politically conservative. Colbert’s success has come largely from the grace and style he executed in his satirization of the American right-wing movement and his freedom to push the boundaries of what is considered politically correct in order to make his points. Now that he will be on CBS, we may have to say goodbye to all of the things that made The Colbert Report so nuanced, cerebral, and hilarious.
However, despite my skepticism, I’m definitely going to give the new Late Show a chance. Colbert has proven his ability to innovate with comedy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t have something new up his sleeve as the next stage in his golden career begins.
Post submitted by Jacob.