By Trevor Jeffery
Last night, the brand-spanking new The Late Show with Stephen Colbert premiered to ravenous audiences.
Since the April 2014 announcement of Stephen Colbert as the post-Letterman host of The Late Show, his fans have been speculating how the former Daily Show correspondent would present himself. Known for his satirically obtuse right-wing character (confusingly, also named Stephen Colbert), many wondered how Colbert would fare as himself – as he rarely appeared out of character on television or in public. Would he be able to come off as sincere, or had he too ingrained himself in parody that he couldn’t be taken seriously?
His alter ego aside, Colbert has some big late night shoes to fill. David Letterman, having had the reigns of The Late Show for over 20 years, retired earlier this year, airing his last show in May. Dave will be greatly missed, from the top of his Top Ten Lists to the bottom of his “Will It Float?” tank.
So what can you expect out of Stephen Colbert’s Late Show (or, what can you expect out of The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert)? It’s a perfect blend of where both David Letterman and The Colbert Report left off. While straddling the traditional Late Night style and format, Colbert retains a familiar – albeit extended – structure for the show from his previous series. As well, he brings over from his Report a similarly “C” shaped desk, his Report director Jim Hoskinson (though longtime Colbert fans might better know him as Jimmy), and, of course, Captain America’s shield, left to Stephen as per Cap’s will after his untimely death in 2007 (but don’t worry, he’s since recovered).
Colbert himself is as goofy as ever. While still playing up his comical lack of self-awareness, he has quickly established himself as himself – not the conservative clod that you grew to love, but a sincere funnyman that you can just as easily learn to love. Whether it be making fake movie clips with George Clooney, or asking Jeb Bush some seriously tough questions, Colbert infuses warmth and humour into every minute of his new show.
The audience was more than ecstatic to welcome Colbert into his new home at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York. And based on the passion and appreciation he displayed for his show, The Late Show fans will be happy to welcome him into their living rooms every night.
Be sure to tune in for tonight’s show, featuring Scarlett Johansson, Elon Musk and musical guest Kendrick Lamar, airing 11:35 et/pt on Global!