Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

April 14, 2014

Stepping forward: The real Colbert

CBS naming Stephen Colbert as David Letterman's replacement on "The Late Show" isn't too surprising. There were only so many plausible candidates (among talk show hosts, comedians, actors and raunchy E! personalities) who could take Letterman's place when he exits the long-running show next year. Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

"We've had the smartest guy in late night for many years, and replacing Dave was no small feat," CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler told Broadcasting & Cable. "We feel that Stephen really respects Dave's legacy."

In the aftermath of CBS' announcement Thursday, there are so many questions - especially given Colbert's own legacy with the character he created on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." (In a statement that wished Colbert the best, Comedy Central officials indicated that the show will wrap up near the end of the year.) As far as the new "Late Show," CBS said "specific creative elements" - location, producers and a writing staff - will be announced later.

Here are some of the bigger questions lingering as the next big late-night shuffle looms.

1) How will Colbert play on CBS vs. Comedy Central?

It's hard to tell how the mainstream audience will feel - but in a lot of ways, Colbert is similar to Letterman, with his self-deprecating, biting sensibility. That could play well among Letterman fans. However, it's difficult to predict, because most of the late-night audience probably only knows Colbert from "The Colbert Report," playing the fake, ultra-right-wing cable-news host. Or, as he first described the character to The New York Times in 2005: "He's a well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot." Obviously, Colbert will just be himself on "The Late Show." But can late-night viewers separate the two? As we just saw with the #CancelColbert controversy - people were outraged when a joke on the show was presented out-of-context on Twitter - some people still don't get that Colbert's Comedy Central persona is satire.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page