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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Colbert crowned new king of Late Night, hilarity ensues

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth,” Stephen Colbert said, regarding his replacement of David Letterman on the Late Show.

After 32 years of being a late-night television host, Letterman has decided to retire next year.

One week after his announcement, CBS chose Colbert as his successor.

As the longest running host of late-night television, Letterman will be missed.

“I always found him serious and interesting,” said David Hammond, chair and professor of theatre studies. “I hope he writes books or something, and I think he will probably do specials. I don’t think he is going to disappear.”

While it is sad to see Letterman go, an edgier, more dynamic host like Stephen Colbert is a great new face for CBS.

Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS, has requested Colbert to leave his fictional character on Comedy Central and to be himself for his new gig.

“I think people are going to be very surprised when he goes to the show because he’s not going to do it as his character,” Hammond said.

David Pferdekamper ‘12 wrote his senior thesis on the overlap of politics and pop culture. Since he used The Colbert Report as an example, he had a lot to say about Colbert as Letterman’s replacement.

“I don’t think he’ll have the same influence that he has now,” Pferdekamper said in an email interview.

“His satire has allowed him to make noticeable, and sometimes measurable, impacts in the world of politics.”

Now, that may change.

Some Colbert Report fans are skeptical of his ability to leave his character behind and still be intriguing to watch.

Sarah Estow, assistant professor of psychology, thinks that Colbert will be much less interesting on the Late Show.

“He’ll be fine at it, but it seems like asking a race car driver to take on the job of a school bus driver,” Estow said in an email interview. “The skill set isn’t nearly as varied as the one he needs to be successful now.”

While this may be true, Colbert is an experienced comedian and actor and therefore will be able to successfully engage his audience in any gig.

But without his conservative character, Colbert will have to change his techniques in order to be successful on the new Late Show.

“I think Colbert will be a good host, but I’m wondering how much of his satirical edge he’ll have to sacrifice to appeal to a wider audience,” said Pferdekamper.

Owing to his talent, Colbert should be able to successfully adapt to his new audience. His true fans will follow him to the Late Show, and Letterman’s fans will hopefully keep watching the show.

“I think CBS hopes to get a much larger audience by bringing in Colbert,” sophomore and political science major Tim Cleasby said. “I’ve heard that people are saying Colbert will bring a younger audience to his new show, so it may be a really good decision.”

Additionally, this switch is a great career choice for Colbert.

Not revealing any numbers regarding Colbert’s new income, “Colbert will be very happy,” Moonves said to CBS News.

With a new host, the Late Show will change. But how?

“I’m hoping it will take more chances,” Pferdekamper said. “Letterman is kind of a goofy comedian, while Colbert is much more sarcastic and witty. His writing is always sharp, so this could be a good opportunity for one of the main late night shows to become a bit edgier.”

Regardless of any criticism one may have about the new Late Show host, people should acknowledge Colbert’s talent and feel confident in his abilities.

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