Since December, the Colbert Nation yearned for more of witty TV personality Stephen Colbert after he ended his satirical Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
Replacing retiree David Letterman, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert raises a lot of questions. What will the humor be like? What will happen to “Stephen Colbert?” Who is Stephen Colbert?
While viewers anxiously anticipate the debut, here are five features to expect Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.
Ever notice how most talk shows position their desks on the right side of the screen? Colbert’s desk will be on the left. Those opening images and backdrops of a window-lit city at night? How about a sunny cityscape instead? Colbert is making his modernized mark on classic programming.
Long-time fans will recognize the Captain America shield and bookshelf from The Colbert Report set. There will also be a sign that purposely reads “The Late Show with,” which hangs over where Stephen Colbert will stand each episode.
New Orleans Soul
Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra will be replaced by New Orleans band Stay Human. Sprinkled with hints of jazz, soul and R&B, bandleader John Batiste describes their musical philosophy as “social music,” catchy beats that welcome a sense of community like “drum circles in Africa.”
Stay Human appeared on The Colbert Report several times and obviously made an impression, enough that when Colbert first approached the band, he tossed the interview cards aside. The rest is history.
Originally filled with wisecracking and sometimes intentionally awkward questions, Colbert is no stranger to interviews. In early July, The Late Show’s Youtube channel released a 40-minute video where Colbert annexed a Michigan public access show called Only in Monroe. Questioning the show’s typical hosts as well as Michigan native and infamous rapper Eminem, the structure and style of the interviews shined a possible light on what to expect on Sept. 8.
Actor George Clooney and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush will be the first guests – or victim, if you’re Jeb Bush – on the show. Hollywood talent like George Clooney was a given, but politics was an uncertainty. After a brief Twitter squabble with Jeb Bush as well as mocking Donald Trump’s presidential announcement back in June, it’s clear Colbert isn’t stepping too far away from his political background, and he’s sure as hell not letting up on his Republican “pals.”
Guests later this week include the uproarious Amy Schumer, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and musical talent like Kendrick Lamar and Willie Nelson.
In age, we mean. Contrary to the image above, alongside its partner-in-politics The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report always suffered criticism of statistically appealing to a biased demographic majority: progressive, liberal youth. CBS hopes to blend the Colbert Nation with new audiences from all backgrounds. With so many differing opinions and perspectives on one tiny set, let’s hope no one mentions the forbidden dinner-table topics!
The Man Behind the Mask
This is without a doubt the biggest buzz surrounding the show. On The Colbert Report, viewers glimpsed an Irish Catholic Bill O’Reilly-wannabe and Tolkienist – a hardcore fan of fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien. But Colbert emphasized that his ultra-conservative alter ego is a relic of the past, as most conservatives are (badum-tish).
While comedy is a given, the over-the-top idiocy will tone down to what audience previewers described as “genuine.” The question then becomes, when the real Stephen Colbert stands up, will he outperform the beloved Comedy Central character?
With all the hype and press surrounding the premiere and likely carrying over into the following morning’s headlines, there is no doubt Stephen Colbert’s long-awaited opening night will be Tuesday night’s show of interest. Stay tuned!