The Future of Stephen Colbert
The big news in entertainment this week came from Stephen Colbert. After nine years of filming The Colbert Report, he is leaving the show to replace David Letterman as the host of The Late Show on CBS. As a long-time Colbert fan, I have mixed feelings about this. I am very happy for Stephen Colbert the man, but sad about the future of the fictional character named “Stephen Colbert”.
The Colbert Report is unique on television. Based on the simple gimmick of a liberal pretending to be a conservative, it’s the kind of show you’d expect to last for one season at the most. Instead it’s persisted and thrived for almost a decade. As an unconventional talk show, The Colbert Report is free to have everyone from university professors to rock stars on as guests. Furthermore, Colbert and his creative team aren’t afraid to branch out into different formats. Over the years they’ve done holiday specials, concerts, sports coverage and book discussions. It’s this kind of flexibility that makes Colbert unique. I really fear that he’ll lose something when he moves to a more “traditional” late night talk show format.
I worry that Stephen Colbert will lose something when moving to CBS, but I’m also cautiously optimistic about his future. Stephen Colbert is hands-down one of the best comedians of our era, and if anyone can do it, he can.
How do you feel about Colbert’s move to CBS? Let me know in the comments.