Colbert to play himself in ‘Late Present’ debut; will he nonetheless be cherished?
(Reuters) – – Stephen Colbert has already declared his intention to drop the well-worn persona of the cluelessly pompous conservative pundit he invented for cable tv when he debuts this week as host of the CBS “Late Present.”
What stays to be seen is how an unfiltered Colbert will play as he makes the transition from a 30-minute Comedy Central present 4 nights every week to an hour-long slot 5 nights every week on a significant broadcast community renovating the home that David Letterman constructed.
“When he does not have the disguise of being a fictional character, is the factor he does going to be likeable?” questioned Robert Thompson, founding director of Syracuse College’s Bleier Heart for Tv and Fashionable Tradition.
By his personal account, Colbert seems ahead to interacting with visitors as himself, reasonably than as by the alter ego he popularized on “The Every day Present with Jon Stewart” and its spinoff, “The Colbert Report.”
“I am trying ahead to being sincerely inquisitive about what they need to say with out having to translate it by an fool’s mouth,” he informed a gathering of TV critics final month.
Past that, Colbert stated, he simply prays that Republican presidential contender Donald Trump stays within the race.
Colbert’s diploma of success will finally determine whether or not he ushers in a rankings realignment of the late-night TV scene – both by overtaking his NBC counterpart Jimmy Fallon and the decades-long dominance of “The Tonight Present,” or falling to No. three behind ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Stay!”
Steering the “Late Present” franchise to No. 1 within the Nielsen rankings is not going to be simple.
Colbert, 51, is definitely youthful than Letterman, his CBS predecessor, who was 68 when he retired in Could. Colbert’s eight million-plus Twitter following dwarfs Letterman’s and the median age of his “Colbert Report” viewers was far under that of “Late Present.”
However Fallon, 40, already has expanded the rankings of his predecessor, Jay Leno, each in general viewers and among the many key demographic of younger adults, whereas establishing a sturdy following of his personal on Twitter and YouTube.
Critics additionally query whether or not the actual Colbert will show as amusing because the selfish, ultra-patriotic political commentator he inhabited for thus lengthy, or whether or not viewers will discover his private model of humor to be too snarky.
“He may get away with that when he was on the ‘Colbert Report’ as a result of he was doing a parody of (Fox Information Channel pundit) Invoice O’Reilly,” Thompson stated.
Driving a buildup of media hype, together with covers of GQ journal and Time, the “Late Present” is sure to take pleasure in a “Colbert bump” when he premieres on the helm on Tuesday, with Hollywood star George Clooney, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and rapper Kendrick Lamar as his first visitors.
Little extra is understood in regards to the format of Colbert’s new present, aside from the choice of Louisiana-bred musician Jon Batiste as bandleader and a restoration of the present’s Manhattan venue, the Ed Sullivan Theater. Aside from that, Colbert stated he has taken Letterman’s recommendation and repositioned the host’s desk on stage.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Enhancing by Jill Serjeant and Invoice Trott)