That title isn’t exactly true. I’ve had many late nights and early mornings with Stephen Colbert previously, but they were all a bit more private, behind the sort-of paywall of cable. Starting tonight it’s all out in the open with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert launching on CBS at 10:35 p.m.
I thought about synchronizing my watch before I realized I could set the timer on my iPhone instead.
The past month has contained more than a bit of information concerning the show’s launch with numerous media outlets staggering interviews and profiles of Colbert and speculation about the format, the comedian, the man, the interview, the alter ego. My favorites are Glamour’s essay, Stephen Colbert Shares Why He Thinks Women Should Be in Charge of Everything, because it was penned by the man himself, or two female staffers; the second is a GQ cover story named The Late, Great Stephen Colbert which delivers on both the text and photograph front with the face and some excellent menswear porn; the third is an Orange County Register article titled Stephen Colbert Has Big Shoes to Fill — and Fast. It doesn’t mention glove size, but it does focus on some interesting measurements in terms of television audiences and whether or not Colbert will translate to network.
I always enjoyed The Colbert Report more than The Daily Show in terms of the coverage. Some of the Daily Show correspondents were always a bit hit or miss for me while Stephen was usually on point. Both shows shined during the interview segments, but Colbert nailed it more often as he typically conveyed a genuine interest in maintaining a conversation — it was much more journalistic which should translate well into the guest-heavy late night format. I think Colbert has the ability to make a show much more about his guests and a lot less about him interacting with the guest, which was a part of his Colbert shtick with some visitors.
A better mix of guests should also be part of the format as Colbert always managed to incorporate the requisite big names with authors, scientists and the odd religious figure. I don’t see him changing this though he may now have the platform to more consistently pull in higher level persons within these fields. I’m also curious to see how he might handle a drunk guest, a flambéing lifestyle expert and the scantily clad — late night staples.
The next several months promise to be an interesting time with the late night revival of the past several years finally coming full circle, and I plan to be tuned into CBS for the bulk of it.
To tide you over until tonight, I’ve taken the liberty of attaching the following two videos. One is Stephen Colbert interviewing Eminem over the summer on public access television. The second is one my favorite Colbert Report segments ever.