Over the years, audiences have gotten to know comedian Stephen Colbert in many forms: Daily Show correspondent, Colbert Report pundit, and now Colbert is the host of CBS' The Late Show , premiering Tuesday night. His Colbert Report schtick has become particularly iconic, parodying outspoken political pundits. But, will Colbert do the Colbert Report persona on The Late Show ? It sounds like the comedian will be leaving those right-wing commentating days behind him. According to an interview in the September issue of GQ magazine, Colbert will be trying a new persona entirely. "I just want to do things that scratch an itch for me," he said. "That itch is often something that feels wrong. It’s wrong because it breaks convention or is unexpected or at times uncomfortable. I like that feeling."
But, his new Late Show character still seems to still be willing to get political. In a pre-premiere video, Colbert picked apart guest and presidential candidate Jeb Bush, whose campaign offered VIP tickets for the show to supporters without consulting Colbert or the show. And, if that video is any indication, I don't think we have to worry about the new Colbert taking on CBS late night. Not that we ever were — he's got plenty of experience.
From 1997 until 2005, Colbert acted as a correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and transitioned to the host chair in 2005 for The Colbert Report, where he got to debut the now famous persona, who has said to be based on O'Reilly (whom the Colbert character has called "papa bear"), Anderson Cooper, Sean Hannity, and Joe Scarborough, according to The Washington Post. "He's a well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot," Colbert said of his persona in an interview with The New York Times in 2005.
Even though we are sadly saying goodbye to his Colbert Report character, here's what I hope his Late Show persona retains from his previous role.
Colbert was always clearly enthusiastic about the topics he discussed on The Colbert Report nightly. Here's hoping his new persona will bring that same fervor to The Late Show.
Colbert was always committed to his character, and his character was always very committed to his ideals. Sure, The Late Show persona may not be as political, but I hope he's just as confident as what we saw on The Colbert Report.
I may not have agreed with everything Colbert's character said on The Colbert Report, but I surely understood the satire and good intentions behind it, which is what made the show so brilliant. Here's hoping that same goodness is also included in The Late Show.
Ability To Bond With Guests
You have to admit that Colbert had a way with guests on The Colbert Report. Now, I hope he transitions that talent to the big stage at CBS.
Not Being Afraid To Ask The Tough Questions
But, I also want to see him not shy away from asking real questions during an interview and not just asking, "So I heard you went to Hawaii? Tell us about that." (Yawn.)
Colbert had a fun rivalry with Jon Stewart on The Colbert Report. Stewart has retired, but that doesn't mean he can't be a guest on The Late Show, right? Cannot. Wait.
Images: Giphy (6)