David Letterman recently dropped a bombshell on his fans, announcing his retirement in 2015 after being a television host for over thirty years and the star of The Late Show since 1993. CBS recently announced that the man to fill Letterman’s incredibly large shoes is none other than Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert is one of my all time favorite TV personalities, and I am only somewhat embarrassed to mention that The Colbert Report is frequently my primary source for current events. Since leaving The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert has won numerous Emmy’s and Grammy’s. Not to mention being the star of my favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor, Americone Dream.
Perhaps his most notable achievement, though, is being named number 69 in Maxim’s Top 100 Sexiest Women in 2012. In addition to being sexy and hilarious, he is also a renowned author, with books like I Am America (And So Can You) and I Am A Pole (And So Can You). With all of these awards, a promotion should be a pretty exciting thing, right?
I am not so sure. Being the host of The Late Show and the host of The Colbert Report are two very different things. The Colbert Report mocks and mimics the news. Colbert does this by playing the role of a hyper-conservative talk show host that should probably belong on Fox News. The Late Show does not fit this model, and so Colbert’s role in television will change immensely.
First and foremost, he will be dropping the act. While Colbert plays the role of a staunch Republican on the Report, he is personally much more of a liberal. In addition, he will probably adopt the usual routine of a monologue, guests, and a musical guest. CBS has granted Colbert some creative liberties with the show, so I hope to see some elements of the Report to continue, such as “The Word” or “Better Know a District.” Colbert will undoubtedly do a fantastic job in this role, but so have so many others. Perhaps I am just a little bit afraid of change, but the world needs The Colbert Report, not another late night talk show. I think Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Craig Ferguson, and Jimmy Kimmel probably have it covered. The Colbert Report helps people realize just how ridiculous the media can be, and shows how important it is not to rely too heavily on just one news source. He also inspires audiences to question everything, because frequently what the news may report, is not actually what is going on.
Stephen Colbert leaving The Colbert Report also raises quite a few questions. For example, who will replace Colbert? My first guess is John Oliver. While Jon Stewart was away filming a movie last summer, Oliver filled in and performed incredibly. I personally enjoyed him more than Jon Stewart. I think it would be a smart and hilarious choice to plug John Oliver into that time slot. While I will certainly miss The Colbert Report, I look forward to seeing what Colbert does next, because whatever it is I know it will be brilliant.