Dear CBS: Please let Colbert be Colbert

04.10.14 4 years ago

Comedy Central

Dear CBS: Please let Colbert be Colbert
“Just please God, don”t let that thing be a middle-of-the-road, Hollywood-centric, let”s-roll-a-clip, something-for-everyone 11:35 p.m. talk show,” James Poniewozik writes of Colbert”s ascension. “Colbert is smart, quick, personable and likeable, but that likeability comes from-weird as this is to say about someone who”s hosted a show in character for nine years-authenticity. Colbert is specifically not for everyone; he”s geekily intelligent, blisteringly funny and has a distinct, often political, point of view. Take that away and you take away everything.”

Rush Limbaugh on Stephen Colbert: “CBS Has Just Declared War on the Heartland of America”
The conservative radio host weighed in on Colbert”s “Late Show” promotion, calling him a “partisan, so-called comedian.” He added: “”No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives––now it”s just going to be wide out in the open. What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny and a redefinition of what is comedy.”

Survey: 23% of Colbert”s viewers watch Letterman, but “The Colbert Report” has younger viewers
In fact, a recent survey found that “Colbert” fans were most represented in the 18-29 category.

Who should replace Colbert – Amy Schumer? Aziz Ansari? Jon Stewart!?
Why not replace “The Colbert Report” with a 1-hour “Daily Show,” one that doesn”t require you to go online to watch the full interviews.

Watch Stephen Colbert out of character
Here”s a glimpse of “The Late Show” Colbert, as shown during the Emmys and in an interview with Oprah.

Why Colbert was a no-brainer choice for Letterman”s replacement
“If ever there was a no-brainer for such an important slot at the network — and despite what you might think about the late night talk show environment, it”s still a marquee gig when judged from within — then hiring Colbert was it,” says Tim Goodman. “He has a built in following which will likely grow when he drops his faux right wing persona that was the cornerstone of his time on The Colbert Report. He is insatiable about pop culture, politics, music — pretty much anything in the zeitgeist. And he has the ideal mind for taking in those information streams, weeding out what”s important and then commenting on them.”

Why this is not going to end well for Colbert
The real Stephen Colbert has never spent any appreciable time on camera, so it will be difficult for the CBS audience to get used to his real persona.

Colbert is perfect for the job because he”s “multi-talented”
Being “multi-talented” is “suddenly a requirement for hosting a late-night show – a trend driven mainly by Jimmy Fallon,” says Adam Buckman. “Colbert might not possess Fallon”s talent for mimicry and celebrity impressions, but Colbert is an accomplished professional in all the other aspects of show business – particularly singing, dancing and acting.  He”s a shrewd showman who writes best-selling books, created a highly profitable show ('The Colbert Report') built around a fictional character he developed and plays personally, and seems to create excitement and draw crowds wherever he goes.”

Why Colbert will triumph on CBS
As Brian Lowry points out, “Anyone fretting about Colbert”s ability to hold down an hour or step out of the self-absorbed conservative talkshow host persona he”s affected on 'The Colbert Report” clearly hasn”t been paying attention to the obvious, which is Colbert”s gift for improvising in that character is virtually unmatched. (Sacha Baron Cohen would be a close cousin, but it”s a different vibe.)”

#CancelColbert creator declines to react to the Colbert news
Suey Park tweeted: “[Absence is a politic. #NotYourClickbait]”

Why CBS was so quick to announce Colbert”s hiring
Stephen Colbert”s contract at Comedy Central was nearly up, the upfronts were coming soon, and CBS wanted to end all the distracting speculation, says Verne Gay, who adds: “But here's the key reason: These transitions take time — time for the hosts to get used to the idea, time for viewers and fans.”

Recalling the rise of Colbert
Stephen Colbert has been with Comedy Central since 1997. PLUS: See the shirtless Colbert.

Conan O”Brien responded to the Letterman retirement news minutes before the Colbert hiring news
“I think people are thinking about it the wrong way,” Conan told Ryan Seacrest this morning. “Right now, we have a glut of people more or less my age or a few years younger than me hosting shows. I think if CBS was smart, they”d counter-program. They would go with really, really old or really, really young. So I”m suggesting either Larry King or Beyonce’s baby, Blue Ivy … so I think they”re barking up the wrong tree with me or anyone like me.”

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