A New Nation
April 10, 2014 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Stephen Colbert will take over for David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Just weeks after coming under fire for an out-of-context tweet, the former Daily Show correspondent and host of The Colbert Report will enter network late night. Will he drop the character? Would his fans embrace the real Colbert? Bonus footage: a young Colbert as a reporter for Good Morning America.
posted by moviehawk (328 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Great choice regardless if Colbert drops the act or not.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:31 AM on April 10, 2014


yes, of course we need another white man hosting a late night show. I do love Stephen Colbert though, his recent twitroversy notwithstanding.
posted by Red Loop at 10:32 AM on April 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


I take it this is a bad time to call for a non-white-male host, then?
posted by dhartung at 10:32 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


Colbert is going to show that Letterman on the Late Show is replaceable. Unfortunately, Colbert on the Colbert Report is not replaceable.
posted by Sock Ray Blue at 10:33 AM on April 10, 2014 [95 favorites]


I don't think there ever will be a non-white-male host. I think the format will die before the industry is ready for that.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:34 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


I can only take Colbert in small doses, and I love Dave, so I'm iffy on this.
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Dislike. I mean, I'm sure he's a great guy, but I don't think he's funny, and there was no excuse for not picking a woman, or a person of color, or both.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Funny, I was just revisiting the original MeFi thread about his legendary 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner keynote speech. The man deserves all the success in the world.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2014 [36 favorites]


As the poster of the Letterman FPP, I'm cool with there being a different FPP for this development.
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


ArbitraryandCapricious: you are familiar with Arsenio Hall, right?
posted by jonmc at 10:36 AM on April 10, 2014 [28 favorites]


I, for one, am looking forward to the next season of Rick and Morty.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:37 AM on April 10, 2014 [12 favorites]




Unfortunately, Colbert on the Colbert Report is not replaceable.

Maybe it's time to let that show go, though. I think it's probably past it's prime, and Colbert would surely like to move on to something new.

Can't see myself staying up late to watch Colbert though.
posted by Hoopo at 10:37 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Arsenio was (and is) syndicated.
posted by Etrigan at 10:38 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've really liked Colbert over the years, but his schtick has gotten a bit grating lately, and the recent Twitter stuff didn't help. It'll be interesting to see how he handles the Late Show though.

(Hey, I guess #CancelColbert worked after all.)
posted by kmz at 10:39 AM on April 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


Just posted this in the other thread before I saw this one, but you can see how he interviews out of character (with NdGT!) here.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:39 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


One of the things that makes me an awful person is that seeing Limbaugh upset about this makes me want to forgive CBS for not hiring Maria Bamford.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:39 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


and there was no excuse for not picking a woman, or a person of color, or both.

Who? They're not looking to take risks here. Colbert already had a show and an audience in what amounts to a very similar format. You need to have that first before you can get called up to the big league.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:40 AM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


He's been doing the Report for nearly ten years now. He's about to turn fifty. Colbert's earned a change, and I'd like to see what he'll do with a fresh start.
posted by Iridic at 10:41 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


I heard he's dropping his character

CBS will make him drop his character, for sure. He asks too many pointed questions in his CC persona.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


While I'm disappointed they're going with another white-straight-male, I'd love to see Colbert do interviews without his persona overshadowing everything. He gets really interesting guests: it's clear he loves geekery from science to Tolkein with a deep passion he doesn't always get to indulge in properly. I hope he can still book them instead of being stuck with Hollywood airheads.
posted by rikschell at 10:42 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


For some reason, this really surprises me.
posted by likeatoaster at 10:43 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't begrudge him wanting to change formats. I would probably do the same. I just think the change is a loss for the forces of good.
posted by Sock Ray Blue at 10:43 AM on April 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


I remember reading an interview with Colbert and in it he said he doesn't really like his kids to watch the Colbert Report because it's disingenuous, and he doesn't want them to see him acting like that. Maybe this new format will be a chance for him to be himself in front of his family, on television.
posted by ChuckRamone at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


I'm a little upset that the Report will be ending, but if Comedy Central would decide to give the 11:30 slot to W. Kamau Bell and revive Totally Biased or something else like that, then that would be just alright with me.
posted by dudemanlives at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2014 [16 favorites]


It does sort of feel like the establishment co-opting a potent threat
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:45 AM on April 10, 2014 [27 favorites]


Colbert says Neil deGrasse Tyson is his favorite guest, so I'm really hoping that NdGT : Colbert :: Sagan : Carson, appearing on the show a crazy amount.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:45 AM on April 10, 2014 [26 favorites]


Esquire: Stephen Colbert — The Real Stephen Colbert — Will Be Perfect At This

I pretty much agree with that article entirely. That and the person on Twitter who suggested that Amy Sedaris be his Ed McMahon.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:46 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


.
posted by brundlefly at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2014


I hope he pronounces it "Lay Show".
posted by Flunkie at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2014 [32 favorites]


I cannot fault CBS or Colbert for this, but I will note that I can probably count on two hands the number of times I have actually laughed because of a late night show. Even Craig Ferguson, who I keep thinking I should like, given the sort of material he has on his show, is barely watchable to me on the best nights.

So I'll probably stop watching Colbert, but I watch him only infrequently now. However, he was a fantastic counterexample to Tom Lehrer's statement that satire died when they gave Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize.
posted by Hactar at 10:48 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


another white-straight-male

So, you wanted Wanda Sykes?
posted by davebush at 10:48 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ellen DeGeneres was rumored as one possibility for the slot. While I think breaking the white male grip on late night hosting would be a great thing, it should be noted that Ellen's salary for her daytime talk show is a whopping $65 million, which is significantly more money than David Letterman's $20 million.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:49 AM on April 10, 2014 [22 favorites]


I don't want to politicize up this thread, so treat this as a derail if necessary, but hey, people are going to be talking about it. I feel like most people misunderstood the intent of the "Cancel Colbert" campaign and why it was an activist coup. It wasn't about canceling the show, or even about Colbert in macro. It was a progressive/radical attempt to shake this bubble of liberal complacency around social justice and race issues, this idea that liberal intentions are good or well-meaning and thus they get a pass. It was a success in that it got people angry, questioning, and just plain talking. Good! Colbert was a perfect target to shake up a certain segment of people, kind of a bullseye actually. But I'm pretty sure we can wish Colbert well going forward. No one's really asking for his head on a pike or anything. FWIW, this is one of the better articles I've read placing that campaign within a larger progressive project.

Anyway, go Colbert and stuff. Now sign my petition to give Maria Bamford a Comedy Central show.
posted by naju at 10:50 AM on April 10, 2014 [15 favorites]


I suspect that Stewart will leave The Daily Show soon as a consequence of this as well. I think he was discreetly angling to replace Letterman himself- see his comments about Letterman at about 1:15 in this clip from the 2005 Emmy's, for example. Stewart has been doing his show even longer than Colbert has, and been getting more obviously antsy.

I'd also note that CBS must have really wanted Colbert, given that as a consequence Viacom is killing The Colbert Report, plus they're paying a hefty buyout fee to Craig Ferguson. It's much cleaner to steal talent from some other company.
posted by gsteff at 10:50 AM on April 10, 2014


At first I was kinda bummed by this news, because it feels like Colbert is going from something cool and creative and provocative to basically the most pat, sort of hum drum thing on TV. But I actually think it will be really interesting to see what Colbert does with the show.

there was no excuse for not picking a woman, or a person of color, or both.


While I get this sentiment, there certainly was an 'excuse'; namely that Colbert is really experienced in this format and, probably most importantly, also brings his own following and audience with him. So the excuse was money qua viewers and ratings - not an inherently great excuse I guess but I'm not sure what other reasoning really comes into play with a decision like this from the Network's point of view. Colbert will be good at this, no doubt. I'm also not totally convinced that tokenism is always the way forward in terms of generating diversity and equality.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:50 AM on April 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


Well, Fallon is still basically Fallon, so I gotta say, I can't wait to see what Colbert brings to The Late Show.

Also, of all those guys, Jon included, Colbert is the best interviewer. He is white-hot smart, light-speed quick, and he seems to engage his subjects in a way that no one else does.
posted by valkane at 10:55 AM on April 10, 2014 [17 favorites]


I'm glad he will be dropping the personna too.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:56 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


This baffles me. Maybe it's more fame and and money and audience or whatever, but Colbert already has plenty of all of those and why give up a more interesting show for yet another late night talk show? Why stop talking to interesting people about important things and just help movie stars pitch movies? And are his fan really interested in seeing him pitch softballs to Cameron Diaz and Hugh Jackman? This doesn't seem like a career-developing move so much as a coffin-building move.
posted by Legomancer at 10:57 AM on April 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


I would point out that the tweet that inspired #cancelcolbert didn't come from Colbert, the show, or the network - it was from a fantwitter without the same satiric precision as the show has developed (i.e. said twitterer thought they could make the satiric point in 140 characters without nuance/context)

That said, I, too, would love to see Amy Sedaris as his sidekick. She could bring some real verve and a different take to the role, if CBS let her go full Sedaris. I would worry, however, that she might find it too constricting or CBS would clamp down. Frequent visits, however, are a must.
posted by julen at 10:58 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


naju: It wasn't about canceling the show, or even about Colbert in macro. It was a progressive/radical attempt to shake this bubble of liberal complacency around social justice and race issues, this idea that liberal intentions are good or well-meaning and thus they get a pass. It was a success in that it got people angry, questioning, and just plain talking. Good! Colbert was a perfect target to shake up a certain segment of people, kind of a bullseye actually.

And now he's gone, so that good (not easy, but helpful in that he played along to a degree) target is gone. I don't think CBS would put up with #CancelTheLateShow.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on April 10, 2014


Due to dwindling numbers, the catholic church needs him in this position.
posted by Zenabi at 10:58 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Legomancer: This doesn't seem like a career-developing move so much as a coffin-building move.

It'll be the comfiest coffin in coffin-town!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I feel like most people misunderstood the intent of the "Cancel Colbert" campaign and why it was an activist coup. It wasn't about canceling the show, or even about Colbert in macro.

While that's true, no one should be shocked or disappointing if people think that propagating the hashtag #CancelColbert means that you want to Cancel Colbert. Not everyone can do the triple reverse ironic meta hyperbole interpretation backflip to translate #CancelColbert into #IKnowWhyColbertDidThatButThereAreGoodReasonsWhyThatWasUncoolSoPleaseLetsTalkAboutThis
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:59 AM on April 10, 2014 [73 favorites]


Why stop talking to interesting people about important things and just help movie stars pitch movies?

Why is it a foregone conclusion The Late Show under Colbert will be the same as The Late Show under Letterman?
posted by craven_morhead at 10:59 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


There was a scandal a while back, I think in the Army, where a for couple promotion cycles all the people seleted for high flag ranks (three and four stars) were white men. And the selection board's reply was "they were the best qualified!" Which, as it turned out, was true - the white men were better qualified for the positions ... because they had gotten selected for better, more important slots earlier on in their careers, and people who weren't white men, but were equally qualified at the time, had gotten passed over.

So I wonder what will replace The Colbert Report?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:59 AM on April 10, 2014 [30 favorites]


So, there goes another Ben and Jerry's flavor.
posted by valkane at 11:00 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


(Hey, I guess #CancelColbert worked after all.)

Something something DAVID HUME!
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


ArbitraryandCapricious: you are familiar with Arsenio Hall, right?

Hey, I'm curious: How's Arsenio doing? How are his ratings?
posted by Melismata at 11:00 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Plus, the interviews on The Colbert Show are too damn short.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:00 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why is it a foregone conclusion The Late Show under Colbert will be the same as The Late Show under Letterman?

Celeb guests get better ratings. Celebs won't come on unless they can pitch their movies. It's hard for me to see how they can bring the same interesting (i.e., non movie-star) guests when they're by necessity going to be going for bigger audiences.
posted by skewed at 11:01 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Colbert already has plenty of all of those and why give up a more interesting show for yet another late night talk show? Why stop talking to interesting people about important things and just help movie stars pitch movies?

He has been an actor playing the same role for ten years. It might be nice to be himself for a change. And both him and Stewart already pitch plenty of softballs to movie stars. I really hope he'll continue to comment on the important things, though.
posted by ODiV at 11:02 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


This baffles me. Maybe it's more fame and and money and audience or whatever, but Colbert already has plenty of all of those and why give up a more interesting show for yet another late night talk show?

The Colbert Report is a send up of Bush-era America that he's being doing for 9 years. I doubt he still finds it all that interesting.
posted by spaltavian at 11:03 AM on April 10, 2014 [28 favorites]


Celebs won't come on unless they can pitch their movies.

To be fair, I can't remember the last time a guest on the Report wasn't pitching a new book or DVD or something.
posted by jbickers at 11:04 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


While that's true, no one should be shocked or disappointing if people think that propagating the hashtag #CancelColbert means that you want to Cancel Colbert.

Sure. It was a calculated move to get people reacting and talking. It had to be that hashtag.
posted by naju at 11:04 AM on April 10, 2014


He has been an actor playing the same role for ten years. It might be nice to be himself for a change.

This, and more. Instead of being a Limbaugh/O'Reilly parody nonstop, he can be himself and be any character he wants to be in whatever sketches he wants to do. This is a lot less limited venue for his creativity. He was great on TCR, and I loved it, but it was getting pretty played out, IMHO.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:05 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


This doesn't seem like a career-developing move so much as a coffin-building move.

Yeah, he might end up like Letterman: out of a job and replaced by some shmuck from cable TV.

Cable TV for chrissakes.
posted by griphus at 11:05 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Mod note: Folks, there is an existing, active CancelColbert thread and it's sort of dodgy that we even have three Colbert threads, so maybe keep conversation where it belongs? Thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:06 AM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


there was no excuse for not picking a woman, or a person of color, or both

Of course there was. Stephen Colbert isn't one.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:06 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


So I wonder what will replace The Colbert Report?

I really hope something incisive and challenging replaces The Colbert Report, because The Colbert Report was doing good work with its satire, even if it fell short of the mark sometimes. Admittedly, maybe we've spent long enough on the satire of Fox News-style conservatism, because it is, after all, an easy target.

I'd love to see what kind of show someone like W. Kamau Bell or Hari Kondabolu could do, or if we're staying in the Daily Show hiring pool, Aasif Mandvi or Jessica Williams.

Back to the Late Show though, does this mean that CBS has to pay Craig Ferguson that $8 million or whatever it was for that buyout clause? Pretty sweet deal for him if he truly wanted to stay in the Late Late Show spot.
posted by yasaman at 11:08 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Look, this position open up opportunities for Colbert to continue to move the "baseline" of mainstream America to the more progressive - or at least more self-reflective - side. No matter what else falls out of this, we've got that.
posted by digitalprimate at 11:09 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the Fallon/Colbert friendship will continue the crossover antics? Cuz that would be awesome.
posted by valkane at 11:10 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


The other big question:

Will he go with Col-bert or Col-bear?
posted by Going To Maine at 11:10 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's hard for me to see how they can bring the same interesting (i.e., non movie-star) guests when they're by necessity going to be going for bigger audiences.

They also have to fill far more guest slots per week, so I think Colbert et al will be able to sneak in plenty of non-movie-stars.
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the Fallon/Colbert friendship will continue the crossover antics? Cuz that would be awesome.

As posted in the other thread:

@jimmyfallon "I'd like to welcome the great @StephenAtHome to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert." (tweet)

posted by Celsius1414 at 11:12 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Bill O'Reilly's real world relevancy - as Colbert's muse - is about to disappear. Poor Bill.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:13 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Dear Comedy Central,

I will watch the shit out of Wyatt Cenac Gets Angry About Things every night.

Thanks.
posted by griphus at 11:14 AM on April 10, 2014 [71 favorites]


and there was no excuse for not picking a woman, or a person of color, or both.

I'm guessing that the excuse is that whoever was doing the hiring wasn't doing so under the directive that they must choose a woman, a person of color or both. So, due to a variety of factors, they chose a white guy named Stephen.
posted by philip-random at 11:14 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Look, this position open up opportunities for Colbert to continue to move the "baseline" of mainstream America to the more progressive - or at least more self-reflective- side. No matter what else falls out of this, we've got that.

I do wish that people wouldn't refer to progressivism as "we" here. Speaking only for myself, I don't really want MetaFilter, or late night comedy, to serve primarily as an ideological battleground.
posted by gsteff at 11:14 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


So, you wanted Wanda Sykes?

What's wrong with Wanda Sykes?
posted by kmz at 11:15 AM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


To be fair, I can't remember the last time a guest on the Report wasn't pitching a new book or DVD or something.

Well, but "pitching a book" very often goes hand in hand with "I did a lot of research on something interesting and now here's my chance to discuss it for a broader audience." Not exactly equivalent to "Hey, I'm Love Interest from Transformers 5, go see that."
posted by psoas at 11:15 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


It should be interesting to watch the process of introducing the Real Stephen Colbert to his future audience. I'm certain that Comedy Central won't want him breaking character for more than a goodbye segment on the last show (and Viacom no longer has the same corporate parentage as CBS; they split a few years ago, although they still share a lot of stockholders). There will be a period in early 2015 after Colbert's last Report and before the end of Dave's "victory lap", and building his new show won't be half as interesting as preparing his old audience AND Dave's old audience for it. Most of his major off-TV appearances (the graduation speech, one for a serious Catholic organization and the controversial security conference speech where he was way to easy on the NSA) recently have given those of us who are looking a good idea what to expect... now, we need to prepare the other 290million Americans.

It must be noted that The Colbert Report has been getting comparable ratings to Letterman for some time (and with much better demographics) while being "on cable", so for things like guest selection, he likely won't have to compromise much.

At first, I really didn't expect Stephen to be able to 'keep up the character' for more than a couple years and am still impressed at how little "fraying around the edges" he has shown.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:15 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't think there ever will be a non-white-male host. I think the format will die before the industry is ready for that.

Arsenio Hall, Magic Johnson, and George Lopez have all been late night hosts. Daytime hour-format talk show hosts include Rosie O'Donnel, Wayne Brady, and Ellen Degeneres, who currently is so successful at her show she makes more money than David Letterman.

This is of course, not even getting into the non-variety format, where there was that whatshername lady, O-something.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2014 [37 favorites]


this was linked in one of the earlier articles, but watch this clip and tell me that Colbert isn't going to be GREAT as himself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pDbyisUGKc
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Will he go with Col-bert or Col-bear?

While he makes jokes about it all the time, the pronunciation isn't part of his act. He was silent-T when on the Daily Show.

Kind of a shame John Oliver already got a HBO gig. He would have been great replacing either Stewart or Colbert.
posted by spaltavian at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Jimmy Colbert, way better than that other Jimmy.
posted by valkane at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2014


Ellen DeGeneres was rumored as one possibility for the slot.

She's lost her edge since she went to daytime. One of the funniest ever when she was just doing stand up. But now . . . making sure the advertisers aren't mad.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:17 AM on April 10, 2014


The double-eraser-ended pencil industry is still reeling from the news.
posted by hellojed at 11:18 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


He's spent nine years doing what is essentially a long-term high wire act with the Colbert character -- a satirical persona that some Conservatives don't even consider satire. That can't have been easy to maintain.

As others have mentioned, I'm glad he'll be dropping it for the new show. But man, we're all going to miss him speaking "truthiness" to power.
posted by zarq at 11:19 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


I'm certain that Comedy Central won't want him breaking character for more than a goodbye segment on the last show

Viacom owns both, and I don't think Comedy Central wins any argument if its in CBS' best interest. I don't think he would break character too often, but I'm placing my bet on at least one Gollum/Smeagol-style discussion of the events.
posted by Gary at 11:19 AM on April 10, 2014


Didn't Wanda Sykes already have a show that got cancelled? And how is John Oliver's show doing? I'd forgotten he'd even gotten a show until suddenly there were a zillion promos while I was waiting for Game of Thrones.

I'd love to see Senior Black Correspondant Larry Wilmore get a show.
posted by TwoStride at 11:20 AM on April 10, 2014


I don't think there ever will be a non-white-male host.

A tear for you, Arsenio.

(Do people really not remember what a force he was, man.)
posted by Cosine at 11:21 AM on April 10, 2014 [15 favorites]


John Oliver's show will start on April 27th.
posted by Pendragon at 11:22 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Daytime hour-format talk show hosts include Rosie O'Donnel, Wayne Brady, and Ellen Degeneres, who currently is so successful at her show she makes more money than David Letterman.
Daytime doesn't have nearly the cultural power of the late-night shows, because the audience is limited to people who are home during the day. Of course women are allowed to host daytime shows: the audience is (overwhelmingly) disproportionately female. But late-night is not limited to a particular demographic or niche. It's seen as universal: the late-night talk shows are one of the few things on TV that are targeted at literally everyone. They influence the national conversation on all sorts of things in ways that few other parts of pop culture do. And the network late-night talk shows are (and I think have always been) hosted by white men. It's true that Arsenio Hall has a syndicated show, but that's not quite the same thing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:22 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


A lot of names that are being mentioned just wouldn't work. To be a late night host requires that you are extremely LIKEABLE. This is why Colbert will be great. And why Ellen would too. And it is also why Jimmy Fallon works. And Leno did. Its not like Leno is funny. They all seem like nice people to spend time with.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:22 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Didn't Wanda Sykes already have a show that got cancelled?

Yes.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 11:24 AM on April 10, 2014


What about Chevy Chase?
posted by philip-random at 11:24 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ironmouth: "She's lost her edge since she went to daytime. "

Her humor was never particularly edgy. And her daytime show is actually pretty entertaining.
posted by zarq at 11:25 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ellen DeGeneres was rumored as one possibility for the slot.

She's lost her edge since she went to daytime. One of the funniest ever when she was just doing stand up. But now . . . making sure the advertisers aren't mad.


Not to derail, but while I understand your point and agree from a purely comedy-critical perspective, after all the shit she took in the 90s, I am just fine with Ellen's life being one where she has a sweet gig that works to her strengths where she sells shit, exposes middle America to a happy wonderful lesbian daily, only works around 34 weeks a year, makes $65 million dollars and has a beautiful wife and home.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:26 AM on April 10, 2014 [112 favorites]


Chevy was good for a date or two, back in the day, but to be in your bedroom every night? Not so much.
posted by valkane at 11:26 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm glad John Oliver is only doing a weekly show, if he went daily, he couldn't do the Bugle Podcast anymore.
posted by Pendragon at 11:26 AM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


Ironmouth: "She's lost her edge since she went to daytime. One of the funniest ever when she was just doing stand up. But now . . . making sure the advertisers aren't mad."

Ellen has always been squeaky clean. She has one of the most carefully-guarded public personas in comedy.

Seriously. Go try to find footage of her cussing or telling an off-color joke. It just doesn't exist.
posted by schmod at 11:26 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Oh, well I guess that explains why I haven't heard much about John Oliver's show yet! Whoops.

Another pressing question: will Colbert uphold Letterman's tradition of a freezing cold studio?
posted by TwoStride at 11:26 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Seriously. Go try to find footage of her cussing or telling an off-color joke. It just doesn't exist.

And yet (because of it?), rumours of her bad behaviour abound.
posted by Cosine at 11:27 AM on April 10, 2014


*having nightmares about Chevy Chase's horrendous talk show*
posted by Melismata at 11:27 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


schmod: "Go try to find footage of her cussing or telling an off-color joke. It just doesn't exist."

Exactly. The most you'll probably find is her using the word "hell" in this joke:

"My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's 97 now, and we don't know where the hell she is."
posted by zarq at 11:27 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Dislike. I mean, I'm sure he's a great guy, but I don't think he's funny, and there was no excuse for not picking a woman, or a person of color, or both.

Which might make him a good fit, because at least half the time of the time Letterman worked by being the awkward and unfunny MC for the invited or invented crazy. Although I kinda lost interest in him in the wake of the blackmail scandal.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:28 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


*having nightmares about Chevy Chase's horrendous talk show*

Yeah, no.
posted by jquinby at 11:29 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Of course women are allowed to host daytime shows: the audience is (overwhelmingly) disproportionately female.

Jesus, Ellen DeGeneres must have a net worth in the hundreds of millions. I'm glad The Man leaves her those table scraps.
posted by leopard at 11:29 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


I like him fine, but yet another older, white guy in a suit.

Enough already, I want Wanda Sykes, and I want her NOW!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


(Do people really not remember what a force he was, man.)

You know Arsenio has a show? And Prince was on it? And Tracy Morgan talking about his days as a crack dealer?

I got this from another site: Colbert's first guest should be Conan.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


Wait, do we know for sure that the Report is ending?
posted by KathrynT at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or RuPaul. As stated before.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


If they couldn't get Alec Baldwin, then I guess this Colbert guy will do...
posted by Naberius at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014


CBS discusses their reasoning here. Short version: no one else was seriously considered. Evidently Letterman was part of the decision.
posted by gsteff at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can remember watching David Letterman when he was on in the daytime.
posted by valkane at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


While I appreciate the idea that you have to work your way up if you want to reach the top, practically speaking, women aren't given that opportunity. Or, at least, where they are given opportunity is not considered to actually prepare them for the job.

Never mind that both Oprah and Ellen have been wildly successful in the daytime format. As had The View. And Aisha Tyler is superb.

No, there's a white guy who has played a satiric character on a comedy channel for a half decade. He's the one. No other experience is equal.

I don't buy it. It is what it is, and what it is is sexism, for one thing. I'm sure Colbert will do very well. I'm sure there are women who would have as well. And people of color.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:31 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


Colbert's first guest should be Conan.

Colbert's first guest should be Bill O'Relly.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:31 AM on April 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


"My grandmother started walking five miles a day...

I love that joke. I remember her telling it a million years ago. I know nothing of her now, but she was a killer back when.
posted by Trochanter at 11:31 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I got this from another site: Colbert's first guest should be Conan.

I know they meant "O'Brien" but, sigh, a boy can dream.

On the other hand, if anyone can get Gandalf as a guest, it's Colbert.
posted by griphus at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ellen probably didn't want it. What person of color has been a proven known quantity as Colbert?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2014


I can remember watching David Letterman when he was on in the daytime.

I remember that too - it was a freaking disaster. The audience was so confused they didn't know what to do. Daytime and late night aren't even different worlds, they're alternate universes with completely different fundamental physical constants.
posted by Naberius at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


You know Arsenio has a show?

I didn't say he doesn't have a show, I said he was a force.
posted by Cosine at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2014


What about Chevy Chase?

This is the darkest timeline.
posted by hellojed at 11:33 AM on April 10, 2014 [51 favorites]


CBS discusses their reasoning here. Short version: no one else was seriously considered. Evidently Letterman was part of the decision.

Well, seeing as Letterman's show apparently stopped taking women seriously as comics a while ago, this is no surprise.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:34 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


hellojed, I can think of worse. Dennis Miller.
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:34 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


I can remember watching David Letterman when he was on in the daytime.

There was a record turntable with plastic men spinning around on the record. They narrated it as if it were a track and field event.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:35 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


If they couldn't get Alec Baldwin, then I guess this Colbert guy will do...

Could any one show be large enough for both Alec Baldwin and his ego?
posted by Area Man at 11:35 AM on April 10, 2014


ursus_comiter, I honestly couldn't think of anyone worse than Chevy Chase until your comment. Aaagh
posted by Melismata at 11:36 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see Senior Black Correspondant Larry Wilmore get a show.

Maybe it is the restrictive format of his appearances on TDS, but I find he is absolutely the most one-note regular. I include here Lewis Black and the long-departed Frank DeCaro, both of whom are or were an endless stream of unforeseeable surprises compared with Wilmore; every appearance I have seen has been the eight or nine repeats of the same joke with the tiniest of variations.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:37 AM on April 10, 2014


I can think of worse. Dennis Miller.

The house band is led by Ted Nuget
posted by hellojed at 11:37 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Baldwin is a better guest than a host.
posted by valkane at 11:38 AM on April 10, 2014


As for what CC should put on at 11:30: Have Jessica Williams develop a super-conservative character a la Ann Coulter.
posted by jbickers at 11:38 AM on April 10, 2014 [18 favorites]


The calls for more women on late-night, instead of daytime, are... I mean, are we really now calling for women to be given the lower-paying job?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:39 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


As for what CC should put on at 11:30: Have Jessica Williams develop a super-conservative character a la Ann Coulter.

YES, Comedy Central, get on it, STAT !
posted by Pendragon at 11:39 AM on April 10, 2014


*having nightmares about Chevy Chase's horrendous talk show*

This is the only "two chair" piece with a celebrity guest that I can ever remember him doing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq-gYOrU8bA
posted by wenestvedt at 11:41 AM on April 10, 2014


The house band is led by Ted Nuget

For sidekick may I suggest The Colonel of Truth?
posted by Cosine at 11:41 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The calls for more women on late-night, instead of daytime, are... I mean, are we really now calling for women to be given the lower-paying job?

More women all times of day, more women visible in higher profile slots.
posted by troika at 11:42 AM on April 10, 2014 [19 favorites]


I don't remember Jimmy Fallon got any flack for being a white straight male when he transitioned to the Tonight Show. I guess #CancelColbert may have attached a "racist and sexist" label around Colbert himself.
posted by FJT at 11:42 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Once Colbert Report wraps, they should give Craig Kilborn his old Daily Show back, keeping Jon Stewarts Daily Show as the lead-in. Unprecedented in the history of the medium.
posted by dr_dank at 11:43 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


What person of color has been a proven known quantity as Colbert?

This is sarcasm, right? The "we don't have X types of employees in Y position because we can't find any qualified X's" stopped being a viable argument 40 - 50 years ago. There are probably a lot of things behind Colbert as the choice (I doubt anyone else was considered and that the selection was made before Letterman announced his retirement) but incidental racism probably isn't at the top of the list. CBS is fairly whitewashed across the board. It's pretty much their brand right now.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:43 AM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


The calls for more women on late-night, instead of daytime, are... I mean, are we really now calling for women to be given the lower-paying job?

The President of the United States only makes $400K a year. There are other considerations than salary.
posted by Etrigan at 11:44 AM on April 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


Fallon should drop by Colbert's new show the first week and pay him one hundred dollars.
posted by drezdn at 11:45 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


As for what CC should put on at 11:30: Have Jessica Williams develop a super-conservative character a la Ann Coulter.

Samanatha Bee does a Nancy Grace takeoff.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:45 AM on April 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


attached a "racist and sexist" label around Colbert himself

the sexism doesn't apply to colbert himself, it's about how much women or PoC are ever really in the running for this specific type of position.
posted by twist my arm at 11:45 AM on April 10, 2014


You know, it just dawned on me, but I don't even watch any of this stuff late at night. I watch it all on The internet, whenever I want.

And I'm also wondering if the new pecking order will be netflix show> cable show > network show. Or if it even matters.
posted by valkane at 11:45 AM on April 10, 2014


I am in total agreement with increasing diversity and maybe giving some women or POC a chance to take Colbert's place, but damn if I don't want Comedy Central to just extend The Daily Show to be an hour long show! So many of his interviews run long and I just don't have the free time to watch the part 2's online, even though I really want to see them!
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:49 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


MattyTalks ‏@mattytalks 2h
Show hosted by old white dude where the majority of viewers are old white people chooses new host in same demographic. Internet is shocked

posted by josher71 at 11:50 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Colbert dropped out of character at his RSA 2014 keynote and was very funny and engaging. After all, he had a career before he started working with Jon Stewart, it just wasn't political satire (he said he avoided it completely until then). There's no reason to believe he can't succeed as himself most of the time provided audience expectations allow it.
posted by tommasz at 11:50 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


how much women or PoC are ever really in the running for this specific type of position.

But as I said, I don't believe anyone minded about Fallon being a straight white male. Though we don't have a scenario where Leno retired after Letterman and Fallon was chosen to use as comparison.
posted by FJT at 11:50 AM on April 10, 2014


FJT: "I don't remember Jimmy Fallon got any flack for being a white straight male when he transitioned to the Tonight Show. I guess #CancelColbert may have attached a "racist and sexist" label around Colbert himself."

I think it's also just because it's so close in timing. Like, you just picked a white man, can we branch out a little?
posted by coupdefoudre at 11:51 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is sarcasm, right? The "we don't have X types of employees in Y position because we can't find any qualified X's" stopped being a viable argument 40 - 50 years ago.

I never said there wasn't a qualified woman or person of color for the job. Please don't put words in my mouth
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:53 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Show hosted by old white dude where the majority of viewers are old white people chooses new host in same demographic. Internet is shocked

Oh, ugh. No one is "shocked" or "enraged" or "hysterical." People are weary and disappointed is all.
posted by Etrigan at 11:54 AM on April 10, 2014 [18 favorites]


As an insomniac and frequent watcher of Comedy central's 11:00 to 12:30 time slot, I'll miss Colbert. It may get me to bed earlier, because it would seem odd to move @midnight into the 11:30 time slot and little else belongs between it and the TDS. It will be a hard job to fill that time slot.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:54 AM on April 10, 2014


What about Chevy Chase?

This is the darkest timeline.


The Chevy Chase Show Enters Twentieth Blockbuster Season In Alternate Universe

posted by Iridic at 11:54 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Show hosted by old white dude where the majority of viewers are old white people chooses new host in same demographic. Internet is shocked

Eh, kind of a shitty line of thinking. Like, maybe there's a potential to tap into a broader audience. Even from a purely business perspective it's certainly worth considering. Also, "the majority of voters are old white people" was used in 2008 to say that Obama should never have been considered for president, etc.
posted by naju at 11:55 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Daytime doesn't have nearly the cultural power of the late-night shows, because the audience is limited to people who are home during the day. Of course women are allowed to host daytime shows: the audience is (overwhelmingly) disproportionately female. But late-night is not limited to a particular demographic or niche. It's seen as universal: the late-night talk shows are one of the few things on TV that are targeted at literally everyone. They influence the national conversation on all sorts of things in ways that few other parts of pop culture do. And the network late-night talk shows are (and I think have always been) hosted by white men. It's true that Arsenio Hall has a syndicated show, but that's not quite the same thing.

Ellen Degeneres doesn't have the cultural power of Letterman? Pretty sure only one of them got invited back to host the Oscars and is the star voice of multiple Disney films. She doesn't influence the national conversation? What product endorsement deals does Letterman have, again? Is the David Letterman line showing up this fall at JC Penny?

You know, the implication that despite having more cultural impact, more brand awareness, and more financial success than David Letterman with her current show, because Ellen DeGeneres isn't (your words here) "allowed" to host Late Night is a travesty is starting to sound, umm, really fucking demeaning. Please don't dismiss what she's done, and what she's able to do, as who she is, for the television and entertainment industry overall because of the damned time slot.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:57 AM on April 10, 2014 [80 favorites]


I am SO GLAD that Colbert is dropping the character. Eight years and over 1300 episodes is WAY WAY TOO LONG for a single character. And a 30 minute show is too much at once. It should have never been more than a 5 minute weekly segment on the Daily Show.

All the people who actually want MORE of the Colbert Report are horrible gluttons.
posted by mullacc at 12:00 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


I do think that 'late night' is pointless.

The original Tonight Show was something to cap off the television day, to watch on the portable in the bedroom. If that. (My parents were readers.)

It was some advertising as opposed to NO advertising. It didn't need to be good, or ground breaking or much of anything.

The TV and content landscape has changed. I watch @midnight at dinner time on the DVR. I watch Craigyferg in the evenings, but only if there's nothing better on.

We are thisclose to straight up downloading only the content we want, and nothing we don't. How many of these chat shows do you think people will watch if they actually had to press a few buttons to do so? How many will survive totally a la carte programming choices?

I'm thinking none.

My prediction is that these guys will have random funny bits on You Tube for download, and the whole Hollywood daisy chain of promotion will be shuffled along to specific media outlets for it. (Extra, Hollywood Tonight, TMZ)

Convergence is a thing, and I would MUCH rather pay for exactly the shows I watch, and let the rest of it go by the wayside.

After all, in our house the 7:00 PM to 7:45 time slot is dominated by Black Adder at the moment.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:00 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


mullacc: All the people who actually want MORE of the Colbert Report are horrible gluttons.

Fuck that -- he still owes us 347 more parts of Better Know a District.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:02 PM on April 10, 2014 [63 favorites]


mullacc: " All the people who actually want MORE of the Colbert Report are horrible gluttons."

Drown it in salt, and don't skimp on the bacon bits.
posted by wcfields at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Eh, kind of a shitty line of thinking. Like, maybe there's a potential to tap into a broader audience. Even from a purely business perspective it's certainly worth considering. Also, "the majority of voters are old white people" was used in 2008 to say that Obama should never have been considered for president, etc.

"____ should now be a different gender and/or race because reasons" is also a shitty line of thinking. The decision was not made regarding race, gender or anything else. All the "rumored choices" were clickbait. There was never a contest. There was one person.

There wasn't a conscious decision to replace Letterman with another white man. CBS didn't want "a white man." They wanted Stephen Colbert. They appear to have only wanted Stephen Colbert. They wanted Stephen Colbert because he is Stephen Colbert. And they got Stephen Colbert.

The reason the new host of The Late Show isn't a woman isn't because of a disinterest in making a woman the host of The Late Show; it's because Stephen Colbert doesn't have a vagina.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:05 PM on April 10, 2014 [32 favorites]


I grok the argument about there being yet another white male late night talk show host.

On the other hand, the idea that Ellen is anything less than wildly successful is totally nuts. I'm also not seeing how daytime TV is any less inherently worthwhile than late night TV. Her timeslot is no more "limited" than that of Letterman. She already has higher ratings than Letterman.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:06 PM on April 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


Fuck that -- he still owes us 347 more parts of Better Know a District.

You mean he only did 88 in 8 years? He would need to be on the air for another 32 years to finish!

Do you want to watch the same gimmick over and over again for 40 YEARS?! You people are sheep. You probably like the Family Guy too.
posted by mullacc at 12:08 PM on April 10, 2014


There wasn't a conscious decision to replace Letterman with another white man. CBS didn't want "a white man." They wanted Stephen Colbert. They appear to have only wanted Stephen Colbert. They wanted Stephen Colbert because he is Stephen Colbert. And they got Stephen Colbert.

So they didn't want "a white man", they wanted Stephen Colbert. A white man. Got it.


The reason the new host of The Late Show isn't a woman isn't because of a disinterest in making a woman the host of The Late Show; it's because Stephen Colbert doesn't have a vagina.

/gasps and rips up latest slash fiction efforts in a huff
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:08 PM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


You know, the implication that despite having more cultural impact, more brand awareness, and more financial success than David Letterman with her current show, because Ellen DeGeneres isn't (your words here) "allowed" to host Late Night is a travesty is starting to sound, umm, really fucking demeaning. Please don't dismiss what she's done, and what she's able to do, as who she is, for the television and entertainment industry overall because of the damned time slot.
Wow. That is really gross. The fact that six people have favorited it is even grosser.

I pointed out that every host of a late-night talk show is a white man. Someone suggested that this was not a problem, because there are women who host daytime talk shows. I pointed out that daytime has always been considered "women's TV," so that doesn't detract from the point that women are completely absent from late night, which has always been considered universal TV.

I believe that women should be visible everywhere and all the time, not just at special times that are set aside for women. I believe that women are capable of speaking to universal audiences. If saying that is demeaning to me and other women, so be it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:10 PM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


You mean he only did 88 in 8 years? He would need to be on the air for another 32 years to finish!

Well, a goodly proportion of those districts change reps every two years, but yeah, the futility of the project is like 40% of why the conceit is funny.
posted by Think_Long at 12:10 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ugh. I really hope the persona gets flushed. It's not funny. Wasn't funny at the rally to restore sanity, either. I've never understood why being a carbon copy of right wing nut jobs (who don't get that it's a joke) is funny, much less necessary. We don't need more of them.

I really dug Letterman in the 80's, when they had the slo mo smashing machine, stupid pet tricks, people making jewelry from pigeon shit & the top ten lists were funnier.

/curmudgeon
posted by yoga at 12:10 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's possible to think both "I wish we had a women/poc/gay in the slot" and "Colbert is an excellent choice."

I'm happy that we're getting a smart, witty, left-of-center host who's not afraid of being smart in public. That's a rare trait on tv these days.
posted by kanewai at 12:10 PM on April 10, 2014 [48 favorites]


"____ should now be a different gender and/or race because reasons" is also a shitty line of thinking.

Dismissing "people who are not straight white men would like to see themselves represented in a position that is historically 100 percent straight white male" as "reasons" is pretty shitty too.
posted by Etrigan at 12:12 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


mullacc: You mean he only did 88 in 8 years? He would need to be on the air for another 32 years to finish! Do you want to watch the same gimmick over and over again for 40 YEARS?

I'll include a hamburger warning next time, just for you.

(And it's actually 87 -- he expelled CA-50 from the BKAD map after Duke Cunningham resigned.)
posted by tonycpsu at 12:13 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]




I really dug Letterman in the 80's, when they had the slo mo smashing machine, stupid pet tricks, people making jewelry from pigeon shit & the top ten lists were funnier.

Nobody here actually watches Letterman. If all the people who love Letterman (including me) actually watched the show on a semi-regular basis, his ratings would be like 10x what they are.

Leno on the other hand had more viewers than fans. Letterman probably has 10 fans for every 1 viewer. Leno's ratio was more like 1 fan for every 3 viewers.
posted by mullacc at 12:15 PM on April 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


Didn't we exhaust the woman/POC/non-straight options and reasoning in the 'Letterman Retires' thread? Why have the exact same arguments here?
They chose Colbert. It's hardly a travesty that they did so; he's very talented and will likely do well.
posted by rocket88 at 12:15 PM on April 10, 2014


I'm happy that we're getting a smart, witty, left-of-center host who's not afraid of being smart in public. That's a rare trait on tv these days.


Yeah, it's may be a cold comfort to those who would like to see more diversity but the fact that the selection is driving people like Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge crazy is certainly a comfort.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:16 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


And you know, I don't actually think that having an endorsement deal with JC Penny is cultural power. It's certainly not the kind of cultural power as making the jokes about the presidential debates that get repeated on the news and shared the next day at the watercooler. I don't think that appearing in makeup ads has the same kind of influence. I guess that makes me a misogynist or something.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:16 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Forget the 'Straight White Male' issue... the last time a Openly Republican Person had a late night talk show was when Rush Limbaugh himself had a syndicated show for about 13 weeks (no WONDER he's so bitter).
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:17 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I pointed out that every host of a late-night talk show is a white man.

Which is, in fact, wrong.

Someone suggested that this was not a problem, because there are women who host daytime talk shows.

That this was said to imply that your (not even accurate) statement "wasn't a problem" is also, in fact, wrong.

I pointed out that daytime has always been considered "women's TV," so that doesn't detract from the point that women are completely absent from late night, which has always been considered universal TV.

Which you then do not back with context in any way. In turn, I pointed out that the female host of a daytime talk is more successful and culturally relevant than the male host of a late night show by numerous metrics.

I believe that women should be visible everywhere and all the time, not just at special times that are set aside for women. I believe that women are capable of speaking to universal audiences. If saying that is demeaning to me and other women, so be it.

No, I'm saying that it's demeaning to imply that Ellen DeGeneres does not speak to a universal audience. If you think that DeGeneres only reaches the "women's TV" portion of American culture by nature of her career centered around an arbitrary straw-ghetto of program scheduling, I invite you to provide evidence of that, because I pointed on in my last comment speaks to the contrary in numerous ways.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:20 PM on April 10, 2014 [13 favorites]


Ellen has done more for equality than nearly everyone else ever. She also gets ratings and makes people a ton of money. If she wasn't considered for late night, then yes that is a travesty. However, I suspect she doesn't want it, and also doesn't want the pay cut.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:22 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


And you know, I don't actually think that having an endorsement deal with JC Penny is cultural power. It's certainly not the kind of cultural power as making the jokes about the presidential debates that get repeated on the news and shared the next day at the watercooler. I don't think that appearing in makeup ads has the same kind of influence. I guess that makes me a misogynist or something.

You're either implying here that Ellen DeGeneres has done nothing else of significance in the realm of shaping cultural and political discourse through her career, or that I suggested as such, which means you're basically either pretending to be stupid or saying that I am for the sole purpose of Winning at Internet Argument™. When you're ready to stop doing that, we can continue the discussion.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:24 PM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]




I believe that women should be visible everywhere and all the time, not just at special times that are set aside for women.

Does this even matter anymore though? The Internet pits DeGenres, Colbert, and every other TV and YouTube personality in a global 24-hour arena. People can choose to watch Ellen late night and Colbert during breakfast now.
posted by FJT at 12:26 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The best idea I've heard for a Colbert Report replacement comes from my wife: a half hour version of this.
posted by wyndham at 12:27 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't even know if he'd want to do it, but now I wish someone would give Scott Thompson a talk show.
posted by RobotHero at 12:30 PM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


There wasn't a conscious decision to replace Letterman with another white man. CBS didn't want "a white man." They wanted Stephen Colbert. They appear to have only wanted Stephen Colbert. They wanted Stephen Colbert because he is Stephen Colbert. And they got Stephen Colbert.

I completely agree with this. The racism at CBS is way above the selection of Letterman's replacement. It's a niche they apparently have chosen to stay nestled in for the most part. Colbert has the added bonus of probably bringing a significant portion of his established audience with him.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:32 PM on April 10, 2014


In the days of Carson it was routine to have a big name author on. I just saw the clip of Truman Capote. Not so much any more, but maybe Colbert could be the one to change that. It was sort of disappointing to see Dr. Tyson relegated to Late Night with Seth Myers recently instead of the Tonight Show.
posted by Flexagon at 12:34 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't even know if he'd want to do it, but now I wish someone would give Scott Thompson a talk show.

Absolutely not. That would be an awful, awful idea. I can't explain how bad of an idea I think this is.

[Cut to Hannibal spinoff spec script laying on Frankenstein-esque lab equipment]
posted by griphus at 12:36 PM on April 10, 2014


The calls for more women on late-night, instead of daytime, are... I mean, are we really now calling for women to be given the lower-paying job?

The President of the United States only makes $400K a year. There are other considerations than salary.


True, true. Late night hosts are *also* less watched, less influential, less prized by advertisers, and less likely to get other high-profile gigs.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:39 PM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


And you know, I don't actually think that having an endorsement deal with JC Penny is cultural power. It's certainly not the kind of cultural power as making the jokes about the presidential debates that get repeated on the news and shared the next day at the watercooler. I don't think that appearing in makeup ads has the same kind of influence. I guess that makes me a misogynist or something.

It's also possible that, if Ellen DeGeneres or someone else who is either not White or not male were hired for the job, their remarks might not attain that same "repeated on the news, shared the next day at the watercooler" status. That may not redound to people's speech simply by virtue of their hosting the show, I'm guessing.

Or in other words, if the problem is the amount of cultural power that a non-White, non-male person has, understood as the degree to which other people want to promote their work, then it's hard to avoid the fact that cultural power isn't decided entirely by something like whether or not someone gets to host a specific tv show. For one thing, that seems like a tautological argument, and second, if there's a large contingent of White males who are durably disinclined to promote the work of or get enthusiastic about a talk show host who doesn't look and talk much like they do, it's sort of unclear how any non-White males could ever get cultural power, and yet it seems clear many people like that do. Unless, again, we're defining cultural power in terms of someone's ability to change the intersubjective dispositions of large numbers of people, which seems like a peculiar standard.
posted by clockzero at 12:40 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Colbert Report should be reincarnated as a Sunday morning news panel show. It would freshen up the formula, bring in more voices, and maybe be more consequential for not being on every night.

But CBS probably wouldn't stand for it. I wonder how much control Colbert gave them over what does in the realm of satire......
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:48 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Do you want to watch the same gimmick over and over again for 40 YEARS?!

Tonight's Top Ten List, Top Ten Gimmicks I Would Watch Over and Over again for 40 Years!
posted by Cosine at 12:49 PM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


You're either implying here that Ellen DeGeneres has done nothing else of significance in the realm of shaping cultural and political discourse through her career, or that I suggested as such, which means you're basically either pretending to be stupid or saying that I am for the sole purpose of Winning at Internet Argument™. When you're ready to stop doing that, we can continue the discussion.
I'm saying that the fact that there are influential women on daytime TV does not somehow invalidate the criticism that there are no women on late-night TV. I am saying that it is not sexist to women or insulting to Ellen DeGeneres to point out that there are no women on late-night TV or to believe that it matters that there are no women on late-night TV. Saying that you want women to be visible in one particular culturally-significant field does not insult women who are visible in other, very-different culturally-significant fields.
It's also possible that, if Ellen DeGeneres or someone else who is either not White or not male were hired for the job, their remarks might not attain that same "repeated on the news, shared the next day at the watercooler" status.
You could be right, but it doesn't look like we're going to get a chance to find out any time soon.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:55 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Maybe I'm just blind to this stuff, but I don't see how Colbert isn't a riskier pick than Ellen.

As others in the thread have pointed out, Ellen's brand of humor has always been inoffensive. Maybe she'd get a little edgier for late night, but what she does, both as a comedian and a talk-show host, seems to slot into a mainstream late-night show much, much more easily than what Colbert does. If CBS picked Ellen, they'd get lots of praise for picking the first woman and lesbian (and, yeah, probably some guff from the far right about picking a lesbian, and some silly pieces about how women can't be funny, but it would mostly be praise) and a show that, in all likelihood, doesn't really depart too much from what we expect of late-night talk shows.

Colbert? I don't know. He might not do anything that new, or risky. But he also might. In terms of the potential for the actual show itself to change, Ellen would have been a much more conservative pick than Colbert, regardless of her gender or sexual orientation.
posted by breakin' the law at 12:57 PM on April 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


Would CBS have been willing to pay Ellen enough? Would Ellen have been willing to take a $45 million pay cut and only get the $20 million that has been paid to Letterman? I can see not considering Ellen for that reason alone.
posted by Area Man at 12:59 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Do we know that Ellen was ever a possibility? I assume she has a contract for her own show, and I have no idea whether she would even want the job.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:00 PM on April 10, 2014


Maybe I'm just blind to this stuff, but I don't see how Colbert isn't a riskier pick than Ellen.

Agreed. Do really have any idea who Colbert really is?
posted by mazola at 1:01 PM on April 10, 2014


there are no women on late-night TV

You guys are gonna seriously hurt Chelsea Handler's feelings if you keep saying that.

(And yes, I know E is not CBS, but still.)
posted by jbickers at 1:01 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I could see Aisha Tyler in a heartbeat. Ellen DeGeneres is wrong for about a million obvious reasons, so if this conversation needs to happen, I don't understand why it's focusing on her.
posted by spaltavian at 1:01 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Do we know that Ellen was ever a possibility? I assume she has a contract for her own show, and I have no idea whether she would even want the job.

I was just using Ellen as an example because she's come up a lot in the discussion. I was more pointing out that Colbert is, I think, a pretty risky pick for this job; and probably considerably riskier than any number of women/people of color (who may be equally qualified, mind you, but whose styles fit more easily with what we expect from network TV late-night talk shows).
posted by breakin' the law at 1:04 PM on April 10, 2014


If we're still playing pin the contract on the ovaries, Tina Fey.

Either for later night or to replace Colbert doing news satire.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:05 PM on April 10, 2014


Tonight Show: White male replaces white male
Late Night: White male replaces white male
Late Show: While male replaces white male

But, hey...congrats Colbert.
posted by republican at 1:05 PM on April 10, 2014


I should probably add that I am coming at this from the perspective of someone who has never enjoyed the late-night network talk show as a format. Even if the host can be funny, I find the interviews grating and dull. But if Colbert could shake up the guest list a little, I might actually be persuaded to tune in.
posted by breakin' the law at 1:07 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why the hell would Ellen even consider a gig which gives her a smaller audience and a huge pay cut?
posted by Justinian at 1:08 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ellen Degeneres doesn't have the cultural power of Letterman?

They're different kinds of cultural power in different niches. The argument you're making is like saying, "a woman is the CEO of Avon which is very significant, so what does it matter if the CEO of a car company is another white male?"

Though I am looking forward to seeing Colbert on the Late Show.
posted by deanc at 1:11 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm just blind to this stuff, but I don't see how Colbert isn't a riskier pick than Ellen.

Well, he has been doing late night comedy for them for the last 17 years.
posted by atbash at 1:11 PM on April 10, 2014


I'm hoping that since The Late Show doesn't have the generations of weight as an institution that The Tonight Show has, that means Colbert can be a bit freer to make it his own thing. I'm really curious as to what the expectations are behind the scenes. Is Letterman still producing via Worldwide Pants? If so, and if he's as responsible for picking Colbert as it sounds like he is, that could mean good things for Colbert's creative freedom. I mean, you don't pick someone like that just to go through the motions.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:11 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


For no good reason at all, I am now imagining a late night talk show hosted by Angela Merkel. She begins every episode with no idea how she got to the studio, or why she even has a talk show at all. But, she reads her cue cards and soldiers on. By the end of the show, she seems comfortable in her role as a talk show host. Just before the end credits, however, she meekly pleads for help, as the camera pulls away and the lights fade on the stage. Then the next episode starts with the same exact confusion and amnesia, and the next, and the next, and the next, and so on.

The weirdest part is that Angela Merkel remains to be the Chancellor of Germany. Once in a very blue moon, she sees herself on television, and nobody can explain how this is possible.

And as soon as the television is off, she forgets ever having seen herself.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:13 PM on April 10, 2014 [56 favorites]


For no good reason at all, I am now imagining a late night talk show hosted by Angela Merkel.

I loved her "Bush cam" bit. Although I hear he bit an audience member.
posted by yoink at 1:17 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


All I know is that I'm sorry The Tomorrow Show is gone, and Tom Snyder is gone too.
posted by Billiken at 1:18 PM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Is Letterman still producing via Worldwide Pants? If so, and if he's as responsible for picking Colbert as it sounds like he is, that could mean good things for Colbert's creative freedom.

FWIW, it sounds like Letterman was simply asked to give his blessing once the decision had been made. It's almost certainly a reaction to the drama of the Carson succession, in which NBC chose Leno (wisely, it turned out) over Carson's preferences. It sounds like everyone wanted to nip any news stories like that in the bud, and so asked Dave for his blessing, and then loudly proclaimed that they'd received it.

The involvement of Worldwide Pants is an interesting question. Late night TV was more lucrative when Letterman originally negotiated his terms, and he was in an even stronger position than Colbert is now. Letting the talent own their own shows is definitely not how networks like to do things, so I'd guess that Letterman's arrangement was a unique situation and Colbert's show will be owned by CBS.
posted by gsteff at 1:20 PM on April 10, 2014


Q (popularity) scores for the late night hosts from The Wrap. More on Q.
posted by zarq at 1:22 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Letterman has the same (low) Q score as Carson Daly? Wow.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:26 PM on April 10, 2014


Yeah, he's never been considered all that charismatic or exciting.
posted by zarq at 1:28 PM on April 10, 2014


From those Q scores, I have no idea who Andy Cohen even is, and I generally consider myself fairly pop culture savvy.
posted by yasaman at 1:29 PM on April 10, 2014


Letterman has the same (low) Q score as Carson Daly? Wow.

There's a lot of people over 50 who never liked him and a lot of people under 30 who don't remember him being the only person doing that shtick.
posted by Etrigan at 1:30 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, and for comparison, here's a similar chart for the US network morning show hosts.

On preview, yasaman, he's the host of "Watch What Happens" (Usually billed as "Watch What Happens, Live".) It's the show that airs after all the Real Housewives shows.
posted by zarq at 1:31 PM on April 10, 2014


As much as I loved Letterman when I was younger he is my last choice in that time slot these days talk show wise.
posted by josher71 at 1:32 PM on April 10, 2014


Which non-white and/or non-men are doing shows in a similar format to late shows, whether on TV or online, and which do you all recommend watching?
posted by michaelh at 1:32 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


As mentioned earlier, Rush Limbaugh's upset:

Limbaugh: Colbert Hire Is Declaration Of 'War On The Heartland Of America'

"No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values. Now it's just wide out in the open."

It hasn't even started yet and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert has provided me with some hearty laughs.

On preview: I don't like to judge people's pop culture peccadilloes, so apologies to Bravo fans, but not knowing who Andy Cohen is definitely the winning move

(says someone who knew who Andy Cohen was)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:34 PM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's probably because I'm a white guy, but I'm not bothered that they didn't pick a non-white non-guy. I think they picked the best person for the job, and I think that should be the only criteria.

I'm all for diversity of race/gender/upbringing/political affiliation among people you see on TV, but the names that popped up in the non-white guy pool didn't fit the format for me. I don't like Wanda Sykes, I think Fey and Poehler aren't right for a talk show, and I think Ellen has too good of a thing going on daytime TV.

Andy Cohen would be a nice choice. Still a white guy, but he breaks the mold in a big way. Amy Schumer is funny, but I haven't seen enough of her to make a guess on whether she'd be a good host.

As was said much further up the thread, I think it's most likely that the format will die out before the line of middle aged white dudes runs out. And that's probably a good thing. I'd rather see a diversity of hosts doing a diversity of formats of shows than cramming someone into the late night talk show format when they don't fit it.
posted by moviehawk at 1:37 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Which non-white and/or non-men are doing shows in a similar format to late shows, whether on TV or online, and which do you all recommend watching?
I can't tell if that's a serious question or a snarky gotcha.

A lot of people have mentioned Aisha Tyler, who is one of the hosts of the CBS daytime show The Talk and has a weekly interview podcast. She's probably the most viable choice for taking over a 12:30 spot, although I don't think it will happen.

A less-realistic name that has come up is Julie Klausner, another comedian with a big-name podcast. She seems way too quirky for 11:30 on a network, though.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:43 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Arbitrary, I haven't seen The Talk or heard her podcast, but I don't like how Aisha Tyler hosts the new Whose Line? But that may be the fault of the way the CW cuts the show and the fact that, after Clive and Drew, nobody can stack up.
posted by moviehawk at 1:46 PM on April 10, 2014


How are podcasts even remotely like hosting a live-to-tape Late Night snow?
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 1:46 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if that's a serious question or a snarky gotcha.

C'mon, it doesn't hurt to be a little charitable.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:46 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ellen has done more for equality than nearly everyone else ever.

Is this really true? I hear it stated as common knowledge all the time, yet I've never had any idea what people are talking about. I'm not saying it isn't true—just that I don't know what these accomplishments that I hear praised so highly actually are.

Is it just that's she's a highly successful and visible out-of-the-closet lesbian?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:57 PM on April 10, 2014


How are podcasts even remotely like hosting a live-to-tape Late Night snow?

Depends on the podcast, but they would prove an ability to interview guests, make jokes, and fill air time. IIRC, some of the original television hosts came from radio. Some of the best podcasters have television experience, or have proven themselves more than capable of hosting television shows later.
posted by drezdn at 2:08 PM on April 10, 2014


Twenty years ago it would have been unthinkable for an out LGBT person to be the most popular entertainer on TV. Now assigning credit for societal progress is tricky, but giving Ellen even a little bit of credit for her success leaves her with a lot of credit, because she's been so damned successful.

The argument here that Ellen is just this bland milquetoast performer catering to the Peggy Bundys of the world while apppearing in makeup ads, and that she isn't "allowed" to take a late-night gig, or that all forms of cultural power pale next to the power of making snarky comments about highly predictable Presidential elections, is completely insane.
posted by leopard at 2:09 PM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


Is it just that's she's a highly successful and visible out-of-the-closet lesbian?

In the same sense that Jackie Robinson was just a highly successful and visible black man, sure.
posted by Justinian at 2:15 PM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


The argument here that Ellen is just this bland milquetoast performer catering to the Peggy Bundys of the world while apppearing in makeup ads, and that she isn't "allowed" to take a late-night gig, or that all forms of cultural power pale next to the power of making snarky comments about highly predictable Presidential elections, is completely insane.
I never made that argument. Other people are pretending that I made that argument in order to defend the fact that all the network late-night hosts are white men.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:20 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


His first guest should be Dan Snyder.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:25 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone is free to read the comments above. Anyway, Ellen came out in 1997 and her sitcom was cancelled a year later. But her success was really pretty preordained; I mean, it's not like anyone ever finds something as milquetoast as homosexuality offensive. And it's not like a political party would ever use homosexuality as a moral issue to get out the vote, not in an era where powerful white men dominate the water cooler conversation wiith their clever late-night jokes.
posted by leopard at 2:25 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Every guest rolls a D&D character ahead of time and they have to do the interview between random encounters.
posted by ckape at 2:29 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Looking forward to the late night shuffling. Joel McHale replacing Stewart for McHale's Daily.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:31 PM on April 10, 2014


That's great, leopard! What exactly does that have to do with the fact that every network late-night host is a straight white guy?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:31 PM on April 10, 2014


Anyway, Ellen came out in 1997 and her sitcom was cancelled a year later.

Not to derail, but the common narrative is that her show was cancelled because she came out. But, in my memory, it was cancelled because it became a one-joke show ABOUT having come out, it got seriously unfunny, and even gay and lesbian friends of mine tuned out. So it lost the requisite level of viewership to stay on the air.

OK back to Stephen.
posted by Danf at 2:32 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


If Stephen Colbert is just a character that Stephen Colbert plays, then surely The Colbert Report can hire someone else to step into the role. Maybe they could even do a cool regeneration sequence to ease the transition.
posted by baf at 2:32 PM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Maybe I'm just blind to this stuff, but I don't see how Colbert isn't a riskier pick than Ellen.

I'm not a gambler, but I think the thing is...the safer the bet the smaller the payout. Ellen would cost tens and tens of millions of dollars more than Colbert. The goal is to find the sweet spot where you can make a smart bet on a somewhat risky proposition. Colbert is not enough of a sure thing that he can demand a titanic salary but he has shown enough that it is reasonable enough to expect him to succeed with the right help from the experts at CBS.

The late night format is kind of like reality TV in that it works because of a low investment for a lot of viewers compared to other sorts of shows. You have one star to pay, some writers, a band, and your standard technical folks. No special effects, no cast of dozens, you aren't creating a bunch of different sets or filming on location a bunch, etc. You get the rest of your star power from people willing to come on the show for free. Paying your host an over huge salary might very well break the business model when you are talking a salary the size someone like Ellen would demand.

CBS is the most popular network in America. They know how to get ratings. A lot of it is lowest common denominator but a lot of it is also really good. If you like strong female protagonists and you aren't watching "The Good Wife", you should start.

None of that excuses the institutional failure to diversify late night of course, I just think Ellen not being the right fit for the job right now is a poor example. I'd much rather pressure Comedy Central to diversify right now and start filling out the minor leagues so there are less excuses going forward. I absolutely adore the Nancy Grace/Sam Bee Jessica Williams/Ann Coulter ideas posted above. I would watch that every night. Not sure Sam Bee could handle a network show but I think Jessica Williams could once she has some experience hosting.

I'm glad he will be dropping the personna too.

Yeah, I'm so sick of how the character was obsessed with Tolkein. I mean the first time it was okay but it got old really quick. And the devout Catholic routine? *groan*


/:P yes i know
posted by Drinky Die at 2:35 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


On the last episode of The Colbert Report, during the final interview, a cgi eagle flies out of Colbert's chest into his until-now-normal final guest, which leaves them with the O'Reilly personality and the show and Colbert left confused as to why he's here and who all these people are before he's grabbed by television execs and whisked away to the Ed Sullivan Theater in an unmarked van.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


If Stephen Colbert is just a character that Stephen Colbert plays, then surely The Colbert Report can hire someone else to step into the role.

You're joking right? I can't think of another person who could possibly walk the tightrope he has walked, as well as him. I am still STUNNED that he pulled it off.

I can remember after the first episode of TCR telling my wife, yeah that was great, but no one can keep that up for long. I am wrong so much more than right.
posted by Cosine at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


institutional failure to diversify late night

Well, we could wait a little bit, and maybe they can find someone more diverse to replace Seth Myers, cuz I ain't feeling him, you know?
posted by valkane at 2:40 PM on April 10, 2014


A lot of it is lowest common denominator but a lot of it is also really good. If you like strong female protagonists and you aren't watching "The Good Wife", you should start.

I think TGW is far and away one of the two best shows on network television... but what other show on CBS isn't absolutely wretched? I've heard Person of Interest isn't awful like most of CBS' output but... really good?
posted by Justinian at 2:41 PM on April 10, 2014


I am more than a little confused about who is arguing what with regard to Ellen and/or the lack of non-white or non-male late night talk network show hosts (I say network because Arsenio is syndicated).

Isn't Arsenio the obvious candidate who was overlooked? He is a veteran talk show host, a pioneer in the genre, and his show runs on some CBS stations and is distributed by CBS. (At least, I think that's what the Wikipedia page said.)
posted by Area Man at 2:41 PM on April 10, 2014


Black, white, various gender, homo sapiens, fooey they just totally missed the best bet ever:

Space Ghost

would'a taken the show where no man can even imagine.
posted by sammyo at 2:44 PM on April 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


I think TGW is far and away one of the two best shows on network television... but what other show on CBS isn't absolutely wretched? I've heard Person of Interest isn't awful like most of CBS' output but... really good?

Ehh, that's a thorny debate for a lot of different shows. I think it's feel free to disagree territory.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:44 PM on April 10, 2014


I heard he's dropping his character
posted by Bwithh at 1:32 PM on April 10 [1 favorite −] [!]


I can't be the only person who got that joke
posted by grog at 2:45 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


It seems like a lot of people really have forgotten because of his long stint on Colbert the range of stuff he can do. I don't mean people here necessarily, but more all over. I feel conflicted about this announcement because I really do enjoy the Report, and am concerned he'd become bland/watered down.

There's a chance the bigger show will force him to water things down, but... At the same time his current show isn't THAT far off in terms of format, and rather than being a straight jacket has been something that's proven very surprisingly flexible. The Report's certainly had one-note ongoing segments that I tired off, misfires, and all that stuff. But at the same time the show can and would frequently go on these very odd (and usually quite funny) flights of fancy. Interviews that become extended dance routines.

Speaking of dance routines: If I was a CBS exec, that goofy Daft Punk dance video would be EXACTLY the kind of thing I'd want him to do on his new show, and that's just the most recent really, really big example I can think of. Those sorts of things weren't THAT rare on The Report and I almost want to go spelunking through the clip archives to kind of make my case for the fact that he's done a lot more with what seems like a restrictive character premise than you'd think possible.
posted by sparkletone at 2:46 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Area Man: "Isn't Arsenio the obvious candidate who was overlooked?"

Craig Ferguson. But he's going to get a nice payout thanks to this announcement.
posted by zarq at 2:47 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe something like The Rooney Rule would work here? It's somewhat of a mockery at times when teams are obviously feigning interest in minority candidates, but I also feel like it has placed some real pressure on teams to pay attention to diversity in leadership positions. I guess the problem is there is no "Commissioner of TV" to force the issue.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:49 PM on April 10, 2014


Sparkletone:

Absolutely, and I think that's key. Fallon brings a LOT of talent: he can sing, dance, write music, and do sketch.

Colbert has a fine voice, can dance, and is a wicked interviewer. And does great remotes/voiceovers.

Gone are the days when you could just sit behind the desk.

(I still miss Larry Sanders, though)
posted by valkane at 2:50 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Isn't Arsenio the obvious candidate who was overlooked? He is a veteran talk show host,

The "veteran" part of that is probably part of the problem there; Hall is closer to Letterman's age than to Colbert's, and I think the studios are desperate to bring in some younger viewers without wanting to completely alienate the by now very old and grey audience that Letterman has. Ellen, too, by the way, is about 7 years older than Colbert and, I would imagine, has less cachet in the "demo" than Colbert.

Obviously they'd like for whoever they put in the job to become something of an institution. You want to put off the "aren't they really getting a little old for this gig" questions for at least a decade.
posted by yoink at 2:50 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


FINALLY! Something I can have a political opinion about that will have no conceivable effect on the world at large or even my own life! It's just like voting for the president, except that nobody asked me to vote and instead of the presidency we're talking about a late-night tv show that probably nobody here watches anyway!

There are some 'facts' in this AVClub roundup and a couple of links, about things people were wondering about upthread, fwiw.

my picks from the proffered options- Wanda Sykes would be great and I also like the Merkel scenario. Also, kids like Marvel, so how about the Hulk? At least he's not white!
posted by hap_hazard at 2:51 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


So who does Colbert bring to counter The Roots? I know it has to be a question on his mind.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:51 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Musical director, Tal Wilkenfeld.

You're welcome, Stephen.
posted by petebest at 2:51 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd hate for Reggie Watts to be too busy for anything else, but damn, Reggie Watts would be the best ever bandleader.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:53 PM on April 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


Colbert's band front-man?

Elvis Costello, natch.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:57 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


As a woman and person of color I find the bandleader speculation more interesting than the "white male again" conversation.

I don't have a suggestion though.
posted by sweetkid at 2:59 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I miss Carsenio.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 3:02 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Joan Rivers had a late-night talk show on Fox for seven or eight months in 1986-7, and had a famous falling-out with Johnny Carson over it.
posted by Small Dollar at 3:07 PM on April 10, 2014


It's a shame this conversation has turned to Affirmative Action in Late Night, since I think if anyone can recapture the golden age of late night it's Colbert. If you think it's about lobbing softballs to stars as they plug their new movie you clearly don't remember the white hot talent of Johnny Carson (an admitted white male) whose interviewing talent could make anyone interesting and hilarious. Colbert can, I think, match this talent and for the first time in a long long time I am genuinely interested in watching late night, not for the novelty of a different gender/race/sexual preference/what have you, but for the raw talent he promises to the art form.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:19 PM on April 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


I think Seth Myers will fail so I think we'll be having this conversation again very soon.
posted by josher71 at 3:21 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


As others in the thread have pointed out, Ellen's brand of humor has always been inoffensive.

That's debatable.
posted by juiceCake at 3:22 PM on April 10, 2014


I think Seth Myers will fail so I think we'll be having this conversation again very soon.

They'll have someone in place before we hear anything but rumors of Meyers being on the way out.
posted by Etrigan at 3:24 PM on April 10, 2014


A lot of people have mentioned Aisha Tyler, who is one of the hosts of the CBS daytime show The Talk and has a weekly interview podcast.

She also hosted Talk Soup back in 2001-2002. I think it only had a small studio audience but it was close enough to the opening monologue all those late night hosts do.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:00 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have to say, much as I can appreciate all of the calls to give more slots to hosts from underrepresented demographics, I am so, so glad that Chelsea Handler didn't get the gig.
posted by TwoStride at 4:07 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh come on you guys, Colbert already HAS a bandleader ready to go.
posted by chrominance at 4:27 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Good for Stephen, good for Craig, good for Dave. I like 'em all, and I have no problems with any of this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:36 PM on April 10, 2014


Just to derail for a moment: yes, Dennis Miller had a talk show in the early 90s, but no the bandleader was not Ted Nugent and it really wasn't that bad. He was still fairly liberal back then (he didn't go all conservative and unfunny until the 2000s). His bandleader was the great, though underrated, Andy Summers, formerly of the Police. End of derail.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:57 PM on April 10, 2014


I was hoping for Nardwuar the Human Serviette.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:00 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Just to derail for a moment: yes, Dennis Miller had a talk show in the early 90s, but no the bandleader was not Ted Nugent and it really wasn't that bad. He was still fairly liberal back then (he didn't go all conservative and unfunny until the 2000s). His bandleader was the great, though underrated, Andy Summers, formerly of the Police. End of derail.

Roxxxannnneeeee....why does your gender preclude you from consideration for late night?
posted by Drinky Die at 5:02 PM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


You forget: She doesn't have to sell her body to the night.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:04 PM on April 10, 2014 [13 favorites]


Black, white, various gender, homo sapiens, fooey they just totally missed the best bet ever:

Space Ghost


Space Ghost will be the regenerated Stephen Colbert.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:08 PM on April 10, 2014


What's wrong with Wanda Sykes?

Point maybe missed.
posted by davebush at 5:17 PM on April 10, 2014


Here's how The Colbert Report should end. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin are the guests. During the interview they hear a commotion. Colbert and guests head into the basement where they are chased onto a long underground bridge (their only escape) by a giant monster. Colbert yells "You shall not pass" at the monster and attacks it while Astin and Wood escape. Last we see of Colbert, he is hurling towards a fiery doom along with the monster.

Then Late Night opens with Colbert clad in white flying in on an eagle.
posted by drezdn at 5:23 PM on April 10, 2014 [41 favorites]


Colbert easily has the quickest wit of anyone on TV even manifested through his persona. He's incredibly adept. I hate to see the Colbert Report go but I am looking forward to this new incarnation.
posted by vapidave at 5:27 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


LizBoBiz: but damn if I don't want Comedy Central to just extend The Daily Show to be an hour long show!

I had the same thought earlier tonight. The "watch us the rest of this awkwardly-edited interview on the web" thing is just terrible, and they must be leaving at least 10-15 minutes of "here's the stupid shit Fox News said today" on the cutting room floor. They'll likely have some folks left behind from the Colbert team that they could subsume into the TDS staff -- why not just make it an hour and use it to launch some more correspondents into orbit the way they've done with Colbert, Carrell, Corddry, Riggle, etc.?
posted by tonycpsu at 5:38 PM on April 10, 2014


My dream late night Comedy Central lineup would be The Daily Show followed by something by Chris Morris in Brass Eye/The Day Today mode.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:52 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


The person on the other end of the Colbert Twitter controversy is a psychopath and skilful self-promoter. On the other hand, we need more people like Colbert who bases his comedy on values of decency and humanity.

I grew up with Letterman, watched him most nights as a high school student and undergrad in the late 80's and early 90's, but his cynicism and misogyny got old, really old, 25 years ago.

I have a soft spot for Letterman, but Colbert is a step in the right direction.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:01 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh dear, conservatives aren't taking this well at all. (TW: blackface. No, seriously.)
posted by tonycpsu at 6:03 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


(If you do click through to that, please finish what you're drinking before you get to the part where he equates Jon Stewart with Greg Gutfeld.)
posted by tonycpsu at 6:10 PM on April 10, 2014


The sheer gall it takes to equate being made fun of as a conservative with blackface sort of makes this guy's entire argument invalid. I mean, dude, you're gonna argue that Colbert's character doesn't represent "real conservatives" and then pull that shit? How far from self-awareness are you?
posted by wabbittwax at 6:13 PM on April 10, 2014


It's sort of amazing that anyone managed to parody people like that dude. Unless the "conservativeface" thing was parody? It's hard to tell sometimes.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:13 PM on April 10, 2014


kmz: "What's wrong with Wanda Sykes?"

I believe that's the she's using to pitch her new 'make angry jokes about current events' show: What's Wrong, with Wanda Sykes.
posted by pwnguin at 6:14 PM on April 10, 2014


Do we even need another late night talk show?

The late night talk show format is over-saturated. Kimmel, Conan, Fallon are all good and competent hosts, in their own rights, but they all do essentially the same thing: interview whoever has a movie/book/album released this week. It's a pretty boring format, and I don't watch it much.

I can see how Colbert would jump on this opportunity…he's probably bored with the Report, after all these years, but for my time, I would rather see him on the Report.

Personally, even though I hate her, I would like to see Chelsea Handler do a late night show…that would be different...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 6:15 PM on April 10, 2014


For me, late night TV died, with the Larry Sanders Show...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's right! I'd forgotten about all the years when Joan Rivers was the regular replacement for Carson. Geez, that was right when late night talk shows seemed to me the height of sophistication (like age 10 or so), so you'd think I'd remember.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:21 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The sheer gall it takes to equate being made fun of as a conservative with blackface sort of makes this guy's entire argument invalid.
But that's basically conservatism's entire gig: "We're the victims."
posted by Flunkie at 6:21 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


but his cynicism and misogyny got old, really old, 25 years ago.

Agreed. But he got a fixed heart and liver over a decade ago and damned if he hasn't taken to it. It's been fun to watch him figure out how to still be Dave while not drinking.

Enjoy every sandwich, Dave!
posted by petebest at 6:28 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


If he's going to bring back non-Colbert Colbert bits I really hope Waiters who are Nauseated by Food makes the cut.
posted by creade at 6:58 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's how The Colbert Report should end. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin are the guests.

Stephen is doing his pre-show warm-up, running around the studio shouting, "Woooo!! Woooo!! when suddenly his slips and falls, only this time instead of breaking his wrist, he hits his head on one of the desks' serifs.

      ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴
      ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴
      ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴   ︴

Stephen wakes up screaming, says "You won't believe the dream I just had! I was a right-wing pundit in this crazy little cable tv show; Nothing made sense; The guests were already in the studio and I made an entrance to interview them; I argued with myself, and my bullet points talked back to me; People cheered and chanted my name no matter what I said; There was a TV in the fireplace, and a little man in a hat on the bookshelf who said, Hey-Oh! and a painting with five 'me's in it -- or maybe six. And -- and -- there was this -- eagle. . . . "

"That settles it! No more Doritos and Bud Lime before you go to bed."

"OK, OK. Well, goodnight, Ellen. . . .



You know, you, uh -- you really should wear more sweaters."
posted by Herodios at 6:59 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'll miss him being in character. I think The Colbert Report has been doing very well comedically for the last few years.

I do worry that something like a network late-night talk show is, in fact, a bit of a step down - after all, it's no longer just about the networks, cable is no longer really a substantial decline in quality and/or ratings, and while I hope he can keep his incisive political satire I'm not sure how much of that will be replaced, especially now he's dropping the character. But the announcement's just been made, so while I could speculate wildly and poorly, like so many others, it might, just might, be best to hold off until we have a better sense of the final product.

I do find it funny how many alternative suggestions based on the 'must be female/POC' axis are people who have strong incentives not to take such a job due to current career successes, or people who have already had a talk show in the past, however. I would think hosting late night anything would be a large downgrade for Tina Fey, for example. It's actually quite easy to find non-'straight white men' hosting talk shows if you go further afield than the old establishment views of what's 'important' in television, but perhaps that's a step too far in trying to get people to think outside the hegemony.
posted by gadge emeritus at 7:03 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'll miss The Colbert Report, but I don't think Stephen would have taken the Late Show job if he didn't have some ideas about what it should be and how to make it interesting. He may not succeed every time, but no one can say he's not quick witted and extremely creative with everything he does. I haven't been much of a late night talk show watcher for a long time, but if anyone can make it fresh again he can. I trust his comedic instincts.
posted by fishmasta at 7:27 PM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


The late night talk show format is over-saturated. Kimmel, Conan, Fallon are all good and competent hosts, in their own rights, but they all do essentially the same thing: interview whoever has a movie/book/album released this week. It's a pretty boring format, and I don't watch it much.

By the cable industry's own admission, roughly half the country still does not have cable access. Even if this statistic includes cord-cutters who are only on Netflix, the likely percentage of those folks just watching last night's Daily Show online is slim. In other words, there's easily a hundred or more million television viewers who only have the networks as a late night choice. I realize that as a commodity it's not exactly the same need as health care or food, but nevertheless I'm happy it's one of the areas where there's still actually competition. So, yes, please. Bring on another talk show.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:49 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wild Card pick: Eric Andre

if you haven't seen his show on Adult Swim you're missing out.
posted by hellojed at 8:55 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope CBS insists that Colbert employ a ban on audience members who gratuitously go "WOO!" on pretty much all talk shows now.

"WOO!"

"WOOOOOOOO!"
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:48 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


hellojed: “Wild Card pick: Eric Andre

if you haven't seen his show on Adult Swim you're missing out.”
Please note that this is not true if you don't care for the Tim & Eric "it's funny because it's awkward" style of comedy. I rarely last past the opening credits of Eric Andre before I flip to the other coast's feed. I will give Andre and Buress this over Tim & Eric though: You get glimpses of brilliance among the stupid on the show.


W. Kamau Bell would make a good fit following The Daily Show, but he has to turn back from following Colin Quinn down "Cut the Skit, Stupid" road. I love Bell's monologues, interviews, man-in-the-street bits and occasional pie contest, but the sketches on Totally Biased were the worst.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:19 AM on April 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I hope CBS insists that Colbert employ a ban on audience members who gratuitously go "WOO!" on pretty much all talk shows now.

The first 60 seconds of the Colbert Report are always teeth-grindingly bad - shut the fuck up with your high-pitched childlike screams, people in your 20s.
posted by modernnomad at 2:18 AM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


As for what CC should put on at 11:30: Have Jessica Williams develop a super-conservative character a la Ann Coulter.

"This is nice time slot. Jessica like this time slot. 97% of people say take time slot, so Jessica take time slot. It's mine now."
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:02 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ooh, Jessica Williams. She is large woman.

Maybe you're onto something.
posted by mneekadon at 4:48 AM on April 11, 2014




I'd rather they not just plug in another person to the "conservative blackface" (/hamburger) model show, but I liked one of Andy Greenwald's ideas:
Perhaps real-life marrieds Samantha Bee and Jason Jones are up for a news-magazine show that mixes the shouting of Crossfire with the sexual tension of … Crossfire?
Or maybe shift Review into more of a current-events show.
posted by Etrigan at 5:21 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Perhaps real-life marrieds Samantha Bee and Jason Jones are up for a

No. Whatever it is, no.

Their presence where they are now demonstrates that the Peter Principle functions in the world of comedy.

Jason Jones in particular, when allowed to speak at all, must never be allowed to deviate from scripts written by smarter, funnier people.
 
posted by Herodios at 6:17 AM on April 11, 2014


By the cable industry's own admission, roughly half the country still does not have cable access. Even if this statistic includes cord-cutters who are only on Netflix, the likely percentage of those folks just watching last night's Daily Show online is slim. In other words, there's easily a hundred or more million television viewers who only have the networks as a late night choice. I realize that as a commodity it's not exactly the same need as health care or food, but nevertheless I'm happy it's one of the areas where there's still actually competition. So, yes, please. Bring on another talk show.
I don't think I'm following this argument. Many people don't have cable and only have a few choices of channels. How is that an argument for all of the channels having the same format at the same time? Wouldn't that argue for more variety on the networks, since some people can't decamp to cable if they don't like the talk-show format?

I realize this is a pipe dream, but I think I would be more likely to watch a non-stupid, non-sensationalistic version of Nightline than any "host talks to celebrities about their latest project" talk-show. I realize that's not likely to happen, because the average age of 11:35 EST Nightline viewers was probably about 102.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:22 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I grew up with Letterman, watched him most nights as a high school student and undergrad in the late 80's and early 90's, but his cynicism and misogyny got old, really old, 25 years ago.

Moving away from both Letterman and Leno strikes me as potentially a step forward on the misogyny front.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:33 AM on April 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


The first 60 seconds of the Colbert Report are always teeth-grindingly bad - shut the fuck up with your high-pitched childlike screams, people in your 20s.

This is by design. During pre-show, the audience is repeatedly told that Colbert requires the audience to be as high energy as possible. It comes across as if Colbert is some sort of construct that feeds off audience decibels.
posted by bodega at 6:44 AM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


The first 60 seconds of the Colbert Report are always teeth-grindingly bad - shut the fuck up with your high-pitched childlike screams, people in your 20s.

This is by design. During pre-show, the audience is repeatedly told that Colbert requires the audience to be as high energy as possible. It comes across as if Colbert is some sort of construct that feeds off audience decibels.


This is not unique to Colbert's show. A few years ago we were visiting New York and got to be in the audience for Letterman (awesome experience, BTW). There was literally a 30-minute briefing period prior to being seated in which three different people repeatedly talked to us about how "Dave feeds off your energy, he needs you to be loud and smiling in order to have a good show." It was over the top and incessant.

Once we got seated, we were somehow lucky enough to be on one of the aisles. High-energy music blasts for another 10 or 15 minutes, while a bunch of staff "fluffers" run around dancing and clapping and egging the audience on. Seated right behind us are two young dudes, and at one point during the first commercial break, they evidently weren't clapping hard enough or smiling wide enough. A producer came down from behind the stage and scolded them. "If you can't be more energetic I will move your ass off of this aisle seat!" Dude started clapping and smiling more.
posted by jbickers at 6:55 AM on April 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


jbickers: This is not unique to television.

This is America!
posted by Zenabi at 7:55 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


For me, late night TV died when I stopped paying for basic and cable services.
posted by mazola at 8:03 AM on April 11, 2014


This is America!

And So Can You!
posted by Trochanter at 8:03 AM on April 11, 2014 [9 favorites]


> I don't remember Jimmy Fallon got any flack for being a white straight male when he transitioned to the Tonight Show

I do. Well, he didn't get any flack for it. He can't help who he is. But I do remember people being disappointed that it was yet another white male host.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:22 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


A brief bit on how television works:

1) The product is eyeballs, more eyeballs = more money
2) Different time and networks have different demographics
3) Placing the optimal host for the time/network maximizes eyeballs

So, if you want a different kind of host, you need to have a different demographic otherwise it makes bad business sense.

That is simply the way it works. Likeability ratings and Q factor are far more important than any other consideration.

Personally, I think Ellen would do great. I like her show. But her core audience demographic is not the late night viewer. I'd probably be happy, but her ratings would likely tank. See #1
posted by Argyle at 8:29 AM on April 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've gotten really tired of Fallon's shtick with musical bits. The majority of them are him just imitating a classic artist and while he's a decent mimic, it's getting tired. With Colbert, the hope is we'll get more things like this.
posted by Ber at 9:53 AM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


what he does is catch the world in the headlights of his justice
posted by philip-random at 10:14 AM on April 11, 2014


...like Styx?
posted by Going To Maine at 11:01 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


1) The product is eyeballs, more eyeballs = more money

Coming to the CW this fall: Eternally Awake with Argus Panoptes.
posted by Iridic at 11:53 AM on April 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


(who is actually a super handsome, taller than average 28 year old playing a high schooler)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:10 PM on April 11, 2014


Did you guys see his show last night after the announcement had been made? He did a very sweet short tribute to Letterman and then ended with a "I don't envy his replacement" line that brought the house down.
posted by jessamyn at 12:34 PM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Jon Stewart opened TDS with a nice little tip o' the hat to Colbert as well, featuring an old bit where the consummate professional lost his shit during a live report.
posted by Etrigan at 12:40 PM on April 11, 2014


Jon Stewart opened TDS with a nice little tip o' the hat to Colbert as well

I have no idea what things might be like behind the scenes, but I've always been struck by how Jon Stewart is always incredibly gracious and encouraging to all of the people who've spun off of TDS and always gives them a really classy (and/or sweetly funny) nod.
posted by TwoStride at 1:29 PM on April 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


...like Styx?

because some stories simply must be told
posted by philip-random at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2014


This is by design. During pre-show, the audience is repeatedly told that Colbert requires the audience to be as high energy as possible.

But this happens on all the hip late night shows. Fallon could talk about how he had some pie earlier, and someone in the crowd will whoop it up. It just feels so artificial, like kids do it in part to hear themselves on the broadcast later. But I'd have to think the people sitting around them would think "Jeez, enough already."
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 4:41 PM on April 11, 2014


I think we're all dancing around the real question here. What's going to happen with AmeriCone Dream? Because that shit is good.
posted by brundlefly at 11:32 PM on April 11, 2014


yes, of course we need another white man hosting a late night show. I do love Stephen Colbert though, his recent twitroversy notwithstanding.

Two stupid statements in one sentence with 14 favs. Wow.
posted by e40 at 12:21 AM on April 12, 2014


Mod note: A couple of comments deleted. Bitterly complaining that people are discussing things in a discussion thread on a discussion site is a nonstarter, but feel free to take your own advice.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:06 AM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about this a lot. It seems to me that the overriding priority for picking your host has to be the ability to bring in viewership. And on that front I don't see how any of the names floated about (or anyone else really) can compete with Colbert.

I haven't caught more than a couple late night shows in a decade. But I'll damn sure be tuning in (ok, DVRing) Colbert's first week or two. And if he's good enough I'll undoubtedly keep recording it. And if I'm going to do that you can bet there are others doing the same thing. Brand new viewership is a huge rarity for network TV these days and picking Colbert delivers exactly that.

Who else could do the same with any sort of numbers?
posted by Justinian at 2:36 AM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


How are podcasts even remotely like hosting a live-to-tape Late Night snow?

Yes, I'm sure Klausner is great but I was more thinking there must be some late-show-format YouTube channels or something that would have fans here. The guests would be lesser-known but all the other opportunities for comedy would be present.
posted by michaelh at 7:59 AM on April 12, 2014


"The marginalization of other voices is now complete."

Wow. Wow. It's great that Asian American / black / other minority voices have gotten not more, but less influential since, say, the days of internment or slavery. The rest of the op-ed is an okay rallying cry for better treatment and general notes about the lack of minority representation, but that opening line is terrible.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:00 AM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


"My voice is completely marginalized," she said in a national magazine column after gaining national attention by misinterpreting the context of a Tweet.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:27 PM on April 12, 2014 [18 favorites]


Not just a national magazine, but Time, which couldn't be more house-organ-for-the-man if it tried.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:15 PM on April 12, 2014


I was more thinking there must be some late-show-format YouTube channels or something that would have fans here

So, this thread is pretty dead at this point, but I saw this and thought, sure, what the hell, I will say something about it.

For a little while, I wrote for a YouTube based "late night" show.

Every time I told someone about it, they would say, "But how can it be an internet late night show? Can't people watch whenever?"

This is probably why the form hasn't really taken off.

A lot of comedy podcasts sort of ape the style of the late night format, with opening monologues, celebrity guest interviews, etc. But it's interesting to me that it's not exactly the same thing. It's also interesting to me that this doesn't seem to be what YouTube users want to see.

It's also worth noting that the internet late night show I worked for really did not work the same way real late night works. Everything was written and shot way in advance, and there was a set number of episodes per season, released weekly. It was much more like a web series or a podcast, and much less like something on the bleeding edge of what's happening right now. Interestingly enough, this actually made it much harder to write, because you'd be coming up with "timely" stuff, but it was stuff that was going to need to be timely in a month.

So I'm not sure that internet late night format/podcast format translates particularly well to mainstream daily/live late night. Not to say that someone like Julie Klausner couldn't be a fantastic late night host, but it's not really the same thing at all.

"Dave feeds off your energy, he needs you to be loud and smiling in order to have a good show."

This is super true and is mostly connected to the fact that late night talk shows are part of the world of live comedy performance. I'm not sure what the result would be if there were no audience, or the audience were completely passive, but the concept of the warmup comic and constant stressing of energy level is universal in pretty much any comedic performance filmed in front of an audience.
posted by Sara C. at 5:21 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


NPR's Morning Edition came out today in favor of several non-male, non-White options to replace Colbert and Chelsea Handler. Aisha Tyler was at the top of the list.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:26 AM on April 21, 2014


Find me a list Aisha Tyler isn't at the top of, and I'll show you a wrong goddamn list.
posted by Etrigan at 10:20 AM on April 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Aisha Tyler would definitely excel with her own show, but my goodness, the hypocrisy of NPR to scold some other part of the media landscape for being insufficiently diverse.

(And yes, I did see that the author of the piece is a black man. And I'm still pretty sure that Comedy Central gives more airtime to minorities.)
posted by riruro at 10:38 AM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]




Colbert Report slot will be filled with "The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore"

Which gets a reaction of "hell yes" and a "fuck yes" in our household.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:56 PM on May 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh, that's awesome!
posted by brundlefly at 4:57 PM on May 9, 2014


Oh wow! Someone should bundle together all of Larry Wilmore's and Jon Stewart's bits from the last however many years and put them out as a DVD. Some of the sharpest commentary on race in America and almost always hilarious to boot. That's great news.
posted by yoink at 5:07 PM on May 9, 2014


Larry Wilmore at the desk is always funny, but my favorite segment of his was Wilmore & Oliver investigate banning the N word.
posted by Gary at 5:13 PM on May 9, 2014


Wow. Wilmore with a very unfortunate Chinese impression at 4:25. I guess he is qualified for Colbert's job. #CancelWilmore

(It's from 1990 in an unfunny stand-up bit. I'll assume he's matured since then)
posted by Gary at 5:26 PM on May 9, 2014


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