Friday, April 11, 2014

Stephen Colbert taking over the Late Show

I don't know what to think about Stephen Colbert moving to the Late Show on CBS. On the one hand, I'll really, really miss The Colbert Report (and no, he won't be doing his new show in character, apparently).

On the other hand, life is change. If you don't move, you die. Besides, right-wingers really hate it:
On Tuesday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (more than anyone the inspiration for "Stephen Colbert") tore into Colbert, branding him "one of the biggest mouthpieces for the progressive movement, ... playing exclusively to other believers."

And, just hours after Colbert was named the new "Late Show" host, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh was growling that "CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America."

"No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values (and) conservatives," he went on. "Now it's just wide out in the open."

That may be a premature assessment. O'Reilly may place Colbert in the ranks of "ideological fanatics." But ideology has never been at home on major late-night talk shows, which traditionally shoot for reassurance and diversion. What do such constraints mean for Colbert, and for viewers who dote on what he does as "Stephen Colbert"?

Yes, that last line is worrisome. But let's hope that Rush Limbaugh is right, for the first time in his life, and that Colbert won't pay the slightest attention to such "constraints."

Besides, if CBS has any sense at all, will they really want to ruin what has made Stephen Colbert an internet sensation? Hopefully, this is their attempt to move into the 21st Century, instead of clinging desperately to the 20th.

If nothing else, I hope that Colbert at least continues to take potshots at Fox 'News,' like this:

Heh, heh. Sometimes, I have to wonder if Bill O'Reilly is just putting on an act, himself. Still fighting the Vietnam War? Could he be any more out of touch? Or is his right-wing persona just as much an act as Stephen Colbert's?

The funny thing is that I regularly hear right-wingers parrot his remarks online. Still, even for O'Reilly, contradicting himself in his very next sentence is pretty bizarre, don't you think? O'Reilly favors laws which combat institutional bias, but doesn't think the government should be involved? Say what?

Anyway, I hope this kind of thing doesn't go away. But we've only got another eight months of The Colbert Report, with Stephen Colbert taking over the Late Show sometime in 2015. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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