I certainly did not expect Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert to be taking over Late Night after David Letterman retires. David Letterman has been a beloved late night talk show host for decades, having hosted both The Tonight Show on NBC and The Late Show on CBS. He announced recently that his time on CBS’ Late Show would be coming to an end, and it was announced soon after that Stephen Colbert would be taking his place as host. Stephen Colbert has been hosting The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, and the show has actually earned him a Peabody Award. Colbert has hosted the show since 2005, but he has now signed a five-year contract with CBS to take over the Late Show. Letterman announced that he will no longer host the show starting sometime in 2015.
It is interesting to see a new generation of late night hosts taking the helm. A great deal of our popular culture is influenced by these figures, and so it is remarkable to witness this transition of generations. From Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon on NBC, and now from David Letterman to Stephen Colbert. I’m definitely curious to see how the coming generations of late-night viewers will refer to them as Fallon and Colbert, having no associations with Leno or Letterman. Older viewers will remember the days when Letterman was hosting The Tonight Show, or even Johnny Carson. Today that has changed, and it is time to experience the shows evolving, and appealing to their target demographic.
The Colbert Report is framed as a political news show, so it will be interesting to see Colbert transition to the more traditional talk-show host role. There’s no doubt he will be able to fulfill the role, and there is also no doubt that he will make it his own, and we will hopefully see more of what has made the Report so popular on his rendition of the Late Show. Colbert has performed in a variety of comedic and overall entertainment roles, so taking over the Late Show in many ways should be a natural transition for him. I’m sure Comedy Central will be sad to see Colbert go, as his show has been one of the most popular on the network in recent years.
Stelter, Brian. “Colbert to succeed Letterman as host of ‘The Late Show’.”CNN. Cable News Network, 1 Jan. 1970. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/10/showbiz/stephen-colbert-david-letterman/?hpt=us_t2