As the singing cavalcade of stars silenced and Stephen Colbert flew off into the sunset with Alex Trebek, Santa Claus and unicorn Abraham Lincoln, “The Colbert Report” ended with a bang, the way it deserved to. Somehow, along the way, Colbert became one of the leading political voices of the millennial nation and was pretty funny doing it.
Along with Jon Stewart, Colbert force-fed plenty of oblivious college students, including me, the news.
Behind the discernable façade of a narcissistic right-wing pundit, Colbert miraculously found a way to connect with an audience that, on the whole, didn’t really care about what he was saying. It was only through characters, schticks and finger-wagging that we found out what he had to say was important. I remember watching the speech by Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent Dinner and realizing I was going to have to read the news if I wanted to laugh at these jokes.
Perhaps the best political lesson I’ve ever received was Colbert’s creation of a Super-PAC. It’s astounding that he was able to make something so insipid fascinating. It’s as if it were a magic trick.
From his in-depth interviews with political figures that were hard-hitting and oftentimes sidesplitting, to his segments such as “The Wørd” and his book “I Am America (And So Can You!)” Colbert utilized his fictitious personality to the fullest extent and lasted for 1,447 episodes.
Something of its ilk may be replicated but never fully recaptured.
Eventually, even if the audience couldn’t see it, Colbert became bored with the same one-dimensional character that he had excelled with for so long.
And, looking back now, I’m glad Colbert decided to try something new, even if I was distraught at the time of the decision.
Colbert has proven through other media such as his writing for “Saturday Night Live” or his dark-comedy “Strangers with Candy” that there is still so much we have yet to see. He is, to put it simply, a comedic genius.
The late night game has gotten stale. Jimmy Fallon has cornered the viral videos block, where celebrities try their best to act like real people. Jimmy Kimmel has his pranks and stars reading tweets. I think Conan O’Brien is still on TBS, but there are too many “The Big Bang Theory” reruns for me to sift through. And then there’s Colbert. As every other host fills his respective lane, Colbert is a virtual unknown. Will he be able to resume his political punditry? Is his comedy going to be too weird for the mild-mannered CBS, which prides itself on its banality? Will his calling card be his lengthy interviews or perhaps something we haven’t even scratched the surface of?
Colbert is new to this.
He’s never been here before.
Vaulting right into the prime late night spot without jumping through the normal hoops is atypical.
Honestly, no one has any clue what the hell’s going to happen.
I can’t wait.
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