|Thanks to Tom McAuliffe for this awesome graphic|
Stephen Colbert will take over as host of The Late Show in 2015 replacing the long-running David Letterman. I will miss Dave, but honestly, I haven’t really watched him much in recent years. I have really enjoyed The Colbert Report and look forward to him taking over. I would like to have seen Conan have another shot at replacing Letterman, but his network ship has probably already sailed.
A few random thoughts and predictions of mine (none of this is for sure, just what I think will happen):
1. Colbert will not keep his ultra-conservative persona for The Late Show. I think we’ll see him continue his very dry and satirical approach to comedy. I assume a few bits will translate over (like “The Word” or “Tip of the Hat…”). I also think he’ll keep his narcissism.
2. The Late Show will stay in the Ed Sullivan Theater (EST). CBS owns this building. It is historic and I would guess there’s no need to dump it and set up shop elsewhere. The Colbert Report already records in NYC. There might be some appeal to move the show to LA, but I just don’t see that happening.
3. Dates for Letterman’s departure have not been finalized, but I would guess he’ll wrap up in May of 2015 with Colbert taking over in the Fall to give them time to overhaul the theater. Or, Colbert sets up shop in a temporary studio for the summer and then moves to the EST once it’s complete.
4. Colbert will stick pretty close to the typical format of a late night talk show. There’ll be a band (as unlikely as it would be, Ben Folds comes to mind as an idea for this gig), monologue, comedy segments, he’ll sit behind a desk, and there’ll be guests. I can’t see him bringing in a sidekick though.
5. Not only will Letterman have a year to say farewell to his television audience, but The Colbert Report shutting down also means it gets a year to say farewell. I fully expect a lot of great shows from each of them over the next year or so as they wind it down.
6. When all is said and done, Colbert will not be the ratings leader in that time slot. He’ll have his audience, but his humor is too dry and he himself is not generally endearing enough to have the mass appeal he’ll need to win. But, I think he’ll do well enough to have a good run.