The success of the Colbert Report can be largely attributed to Stephen Colbert’s ability to create a caricatured character that is political yet still remains funny, entertaining and topical. The show, which has inspired a loyal fan base for several years, has been a mainstay on Comedy Central since its premiere. Many fans enjoy watching the “block” of The Colbert Report and the Daily Show to see how the two hosts tackle similar issues. Colbert’s show often mocks political activities through satire, while the Daily Show is keener to point them out in a comedic and argumentative fashion.
When David Letterman made his recent announcement that he would be leaving The Late Show, speculation quickly began on who would replace him.
The potential replacements ran the gamut from Ellen DeGeneres to Tina Fey to Seth Meyer.
When it was announced that Stephen Colbert would be taking the coveted position behind the desk, many fans rejoiced—while others expressed some worry.
The worry of some fans stems from the fact that the Colbert Report and the Late Show have a wildly different tone. The Colbert Report was founded on—and celebrates—satire and parody, while the Late Show is more of a straightforward nighttime talk show. Stephen Colbert is tied with the character he has created for his comedy central talk show, and some fans are worried that he will be unable to make the transition from “satire host” to regular nighttime talk show host.
The transition may be awkward, especially if the creative team for The Late Show does not know how to properly handle such a significant transition. It could be especially ‘dangerous’ for CBS is fans of The Colbert Report do not warm up to the Late Show or its format and usual tone.
Fans that are used to seeing Colbert exclusively as his “character” may not be able to adjust to his role as a real host.
Of course, Colbert is perfectly capable of surprising everyone—his fans included—by making a successful and healthy transition into the world of late night. The change of pace for Colbert may not only be good for the comedian, but for his fan base and loyal audience as well.
Who knows—perhaps Colbert will change the face of late night TV forever! To watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, all you need is a cable connection from Charter.