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David Letterman Out, Stephen Colbert In

This is actually good news: Colbert finally retires his played-out character, and believe it or not, he may surprise us in his new role.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

April 10, 2014 - 11:20 am

colbert

It’s official: Stephen Colbert is replacing David Letterman when the latter retires from late night television next year.

PJMedia’s Bryan Preston reacts:

I say it’s an odd choice because Colbert plays a character on his Comedy Central show. He’s parodying Bill O’Reilly. Does he bring that schtick to a full talk show at CBS, or does he leave it behind and re-invent himself?

Now, my antipathy towards David Letterman is familiar to regular PJMedia readers.

As well, I’m not a fan of Colbert’s schtick; yes, I “get” it, and no, it still wasn’t funny enough, regularly enough, to turn me into a loyal viewer.

In fact, Colbert’s character is so “ten years ago,” so Bush Administration, it’s been giving off an anachronistic odor for a while.

This new job gives Colbert a dignified and lucrative way to kill off his tired alter ego.

Because — and here’s the point — Stephen Colbert is perfectly capable of comporting himself out of character.

At least, he was when, for instance, he’d join the gang on Colin Quinn‘s Tough Crowd (speaking of “ten years ago.”)

Some will accuse me of using this post as an excuse to post a Tough Crowd clip, and while I admit that I do love myself some Nick DiPaolo, I really am trying to be, well, fair and balanced.

This isn’t a test of whether or not Colbert is really “left wing” or “right wing.” I’m just saying that the inside joke in Tough Crowd‘s title was that one’s fellow stand up comics were going to be the toughest crowd you’d faced in a long time. Participants who couldn’t keep up were crushed quickly and painfully. Colbert passed the test.

He impressed me when I found this old clip on YouTube. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Colbert may very well prove us all wrong.

Check out this clip and see what you think:

(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 14th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Perhaps I should be ashamed of this -- or perhaps I should brag about it -- either way, I'll simply state it as the fact that it is. After my mother died in 2008, I threw out the TV.

Since then I've rediscovered reading and working on my music (composing). I do on occasion, download a movie or other clip from Hulu. But otherwise I'm blissfully unaware of the silliness that goes on in the world of daily television.

I think the best thing is that I no longer am aware of these "filler" type shows -- these interviewers. Of course I remember watching -- and thinking how cool -- Letterman was when an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in the 1980's. But I've grown out of that now. So I suppose I'm being obnoxiously defiant in a intellectually curmudgeonly sort of way.

All I can say is that some of you might want to try it. You can always download the occasional movie of TV series if you're that interested. You lose (wonderfully) all the commercials and you gain a huge amount of personal time (which I value now that I'm approaching 50 years old, sigh).

-- FF
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The assumption that there is a difference between Stephen Colbert the person and the character "Stephen Colbert" as played on Comedy Central is about as grounded in reality as the perennial belief that each new Soviet leader was a "closet capitalist and lover of jazz". "Stephen Colbert" is a flaming, Leftist, anal orifice. And there is no evidence to assume that such a difference in personas exists.

Then there is the point that he was hired by CBS, and in doing so they had to pass over [and pay a metric Schiess-tun of cash in the penalty clause of his contract] Craig Ferguson who had contractual right of first refusal for Letterman's slot. Ferguson is NOT an acceptable replacement from CBS' point of view because he is a vocally proud naturalized American citizen who loves this country.

Stephen Colbert is known primarily for his anti-American "satire" schtick carried out consistently and with never a break in character for years. Which fits CBS' editorial stance better, if there are any putative 2016 elections?

Subotai Bahadur
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
He'll do the same thing he's doing now. It's what is expected from him.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree... he's a known trasher of conservatives, apologist for liberals, does anyone actually believe he'd be hired on, just to dump his existing audience for an entirely unknown schtick?

Doubtful... and he steped out of character only once that I have seen, to campaign for his liberal sister, not impressed..

He's made his career by playing a conservative stereotype than liberals love, because it plays to their petty little bigotries about heartland America.. and Colbert delivered.. as hatefully as possible..

If anyone thinks he'll ever mock the left fairly, or even at all, I have a bridge to sell you.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Falsi-ness
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps I should be ashamed of this -- or perhaps I should brag about it -- either way, I'll simply state it as the fact that it is. After my mother died in 2008, I threw out the TV.

Since then I've rediscovered reading and working on my music (composing). I do on occasion, download a movie or other clip from Hulu. But otherwise I'm blissfully unaware of the silliness that goes on in the world of daily television.

I think the best thing is that I no longer am aware of these "filler" type shows -- these interviewers. Of course I remember watching -- and thinking how cool -- Letterman was when an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in the 1980's. But I've grown out of that now. So I suppose I'm being obnoxiously defiant in a intellectually curmudgeonly sort of way.

All I can say is that some of you might want to try it. You can always download the occasional movie of TV series if you're that interested. You lose (wonderfully) all the commercials and you gain a huge amount of personal time (which I value now that I'm approaching 50 years old, sigh).

-- FF
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have 4 TV's in the home, a wife, two kids, a young niece, sis in law, and her grown son all livjng with us,.. I simply stopped watching TV years ago, and use console games for entertainment, getting my news off the web.

I don't miss it...

When you can get what you want, need without having one mindless sitcom after another on in the back ground, you end up engaging in hobbies you enjoy a lot more. You find your opinion actually hss nothing to do with what other people think, because you arrive there by forming it yourself, no subconscious adopting any prepackaged talking points... which pop culture loves to hand out... oh you may share the opinion of millions of others,.. but by thinking it through, considering,.. which makes defending it easier.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Colbert is going to drop his conservative pundit persona when he takes over the Late Show.
I think it will work. He's quick witted, has some interview skills. I hope the show stays in New York. Colbert is more of an east coast guy.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't watch Letterman, I won't watch Colbert. I don't really care.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
A gamble, I should think...but I've given up predicting late night hosts' successes. I thought Conan would lose some in the ratings, but didn’t think he’d crater. I thought Fallon would do worse, but not because I particularly dislike him. I thought and wanted Meyers to tank, but he seems to be holding up. Meh.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't watch him because he makes me sad. Don't ask me why.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another Leftist tool on CBS, yeah really shocked here.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Celebrating yet another leftist, in between condemning leftism in general.

Yeah, that make sense, in a bread-and-circuses kind of way.



20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't know Letterman was still on the air. And who's this Colbert guy?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, a French statist and government interventionist. Sounds about right.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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