I had very strong feelings about David Letterman leaving.
I also felt nervous about Colbert taking over – how would his “Colbert Report” character translate to the late night format? Would he be good enough to carry on the tradition of “The Late Show”?
In a word, Yes. In fact, he is amazing. Turns out that the “real” Stephen Colbert is funny as hell and fits in well on late night.
The house band is Stay Human, led by Jon Batiste. I love that he welcomes Colbert at the start of every show and dances a bit with him before Colbert starts his monologue.
I’ve only seen a couple of his shows so far, but I’m loving it. I can see that his Colbert Gets All Up In Your Faith segment is going to be a favorite of mine, because it’s a continuation of his This Week In God segment on “The Daily Show”. You would think that a bit on religion would be offensive, but it’s not. Or maybe I just find offensive material funny. Who knows.
What stands out is Colbert’s choice of guests. His first guest is usually a Hollywood celebrity, followed by a “serious” personality – a politician, author, and in the episode I just watched, a Supreme Court Justice. It’s not bad, because really, only Colbert can make a Supreme Court Justice look cool and actually interesting. I just find it weird that his first guest is his concession to the whole showbiz / late night / Leno-Fallonesque celebrity machine, while his second guest seems to represent who he really is and what he wants to talk about. It creates this very noticeable divide between the show’s segments – Side A is fluff, while Side B is the serious stuff. Like half of him is giving in to the late night tropes, while the other half remains staunchly Colbert.
Don’t get me wrong, the whole show is funny. And just like Letterman, Colbert makes you feel smarter for just watching him. It’s just strange. Definitely new, and might take getting used to.
But all my reservations about this new Late Show are gone. I still miss Dave terribly, but I think Colbert will take proper care of Dave’s legacy.