Stephen Colbert returns to late night television

The comedian takes over The Late Show on CBS


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Stephen Colbert hosted ‘The Colbert Report’ for 10 years. Now he’s moving to CBS to host ‘The Late Show’ taking over for the retired David Letterman.

Since the announcement of Stephen Colbert’s resignation from his highly successful Comedy Central show The Colbert Report in April 2014, fans all over America have waited patiently for his return to television. As his resignation was announced, so was the news that he would be taking over for David Letterman, who retired after hosting The Late Show for 22 years.

Long-time viewers of The Report know that Colbert played a conservative pundit, a character also named Stephen Colbert, who was, in his own words, a “well-intentioned, poorly-informed, high status idiot.” As we drew nearer and nearer to the night of the premiere, there was one question on everyone’s mind: Who was going to host The Late Show‒Stephen Colbert or “Stephen Colbert?”

On Sept. 8, Colbert’s ventures into late-night television continued on CBS as he introduced to the nation an unseen version of himself: the real Stephen Colbert. No longer will he be the fake conservative pundit he played for 15 years on The Daily Show and The Report. This time, Colbert is taking a more traditional approach.

'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert' is Colbert's newest adventure in late night television.
photo via under Creative Commons license
‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ is Colbert’s newest adventure in late night television.

This, however, does not mean that Colbert is in any way slowing down. The momentum of the first week of the show is steadily on the rise. Famous actors such as George Clooney and Scarlett Johannson, politicians such as Joe Biden and Jeb Bush, and other notable figures such as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Tesla Motors owner Elon Musk, all appeared within the first four episodes.

Although the approach to the new show is very different from that of The Report, there’s no reason to assume that it’s going to be anything short of excellent and entertaining. Colbert has always been and will always be an extremely talented and intelligent comedian. The cleverness and quick wit of Colbert separates him from the rest of the late-night-comedian crowd. The style of the two shows will obviously be quite different for a number of reasons including the length of The Late Show which is twice as long as The Report and the fact that he’s no longer on a cable network. The general reaction from fans and critics is that the first several episodes have been underwhelming and kind of awkward, but it’s not fair to count Colbert out just yet. He’s an expert at his job, and if there is anyone out there who can recreate the spark of the show left by Letterman, it’s Stephen Colbert. Besides, it’s very possible that Colbert’s less sarcastic approach to The Late Show will actually be a good balance of humor and solid information, whereas The Report became mainly a show for entertainment.

It’s too soon to give a definitive statement on the progress of the show just yet, but I know I’m definitely going to be following Colbert and his newest journey with high hopes.