Friday, April 11, 2014

On The Air (for now): The Colbert Report (2005)

Humorist Stephen Colbert first made his name on Comedy Central's Daily Show. As that series sends up nightly news programs, Colbert's spin-off series, The Colbert Report, parodies Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. After nearly 10 years, however, the Report is soon going to be signing off for good.

That's because Colbert is moving up in the world. On Thursday, it was announced that Colbert would succeed David Letterman as the host of CBS' Late Show. He's even admitted that the schtick he's been doing will not carry over with him. In other words, after 15 years (including his run on Daily Show), Stephen Colbert will finally get to be himself in front of the cameras, and not a character that shares his name.

It had been reported that Craig Ferguson (The Late, Late Show) had right of first refusal to take the promotion, but it seems CBS suits figured on the younger-skewing Colbert, whom some college kids might also know was the voice of Phil Ken Sebben on [adult swim]'s Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Also, CBS wants what ABC & NBC are doing, going with younger hosts for their late night shows (Jimmy Fallon & another Comedy Central alum, Jimmy Kimmel).

Colbert, to an extent, has also become this generation's Pat Paulsen, a comedian who's also made overtures about running for political office, but unlike Paulsen, who kept putting his name in the hat for the White House as his only remaining schtick for years, Colbert was aiming lower, like maybe Congress.

Here's a recent sample of The Colbert Report, compliments of Comedy Central's own YouTube channel:

Simply put, if you're not into Bill O'Reilly, you might dig Colbert.

Rating: B.

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