How Will Stephen Colbert Shed His Character for the 'Late Show' Chair?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stephen Colbert hostsComedy Central's 'Indecision 2008: America's Choice' at Comedy Central Studios on November 4, 2008 in New York City. (Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central)

Yesterday, just a few months after Jimmy Fallon took over for Jay Leno, CBS announced that David Letterman will pass the torch to Stephen Colbert. 

Letterman started the "Late Show" franchise in 1993 after NBC decided that Leno would succeed Johnny Carson, Letterman's longtime idol. Last week, CBS announced that the late night veteran would step down in 2015, and Colbert has already announced that he will abandon his right-wing persona at the center of the "Colbert Report" once he transitions to the "Late Show" set.

Alan Sepinwall, author of "The Revolution Will Be Televised" and television critic at Hitfix, examines the Letterman-Colbert shift. He discusses how Colbert might begin to "play himself" after what will be a decade of acting in character, and who might succeed Colbert at Comedy Central.


Alan Sepinwall

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger


T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

ML from Miami FL

Don't forget Letterman hosted "Late Night with David Letterman" on NBC from 1982 to 1993. He's been hosting since before I was allowed to stay up late to see his gags and shenanigans.

Apr. 16 2014 11:36 AM

Man O man - inferiority complex really comes out on here, doesn't it? ~ Phew!

If Arsenio Hall had stayed in the mix he'd have been a good choice - yet I don't see him being the whit that Colbert is. Colbert will do fine, can only imagine he'll keep his alter-ego in his back pocket for special gigs. I thought Letterman was a dud; so there's always someone who doesn't like the moments choice.

Apr. 15 2014 01:01 PM
toussaintl from NYC

Question: Why do the "White Guys" always get the host jobs? The Oscars, late night shows particularly.

Apr. 11 2014 08:40 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The elephant in the room is Hockenberry.
With little prompting, I am certain that John could become a harsh bombastic mean spirited Host to fill in for Colbert.

Call the show, "Devil's Advocate" and John could play a schizophrenic who can be radically right or radically left, depending on whether he took medication or not.

Or John could just be himself. He can be pretty edgy in his own right.

You could call the show,...hmm...The Takeaway!

Go pitch it, before I do. When I pitch, I throw screwballs, and make heads spin.

Apr. 11 2014 01:27 PM

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