Stephen Colbert returns with the Late Show

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Justin Chang

“The Late Show” greeted its new host and successor of David Letterman, Stephen Colbert on Sept. 8. After a ten-month absence following his departure from “The Colbert Report” last December, the prominent political commentator is expected to put behind the right-wing extremist persona in his new show, “The Late Night with Stephen Colbert.”

After Colbert took the rein following Letterman’s retirement, viewers have compared his two shows. In his previous show, “The Colbert Report,” Colbert poked fun at controversies and news in the form of political commentary. His new show, on the other hand, incorporates not only his forte in political humor, but also the light-heartedness that current big names in television, such as “The Tonight show starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” currently encompass.

“In the first episode of ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ Colbert was his usual self,” said Wonjai Lee (10), fan of Colbert. “With refined sarcasm and a dab of [quirk], he humored the audience especially during the interviews with political guests like Jeb Bush.”

Colbert’s guests in his first week ranged from politicians like Governor Jeb Bush and Vice-President Joe Biden to actors such as Scarlett Johansson and George Clooney. In addition, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and novelist Stephen King further added diversity to the show. Unlike Jimmy Kimmel, who mostly features celebrity guests, Colbert worked with influential people from various fields, enabling him to simultaneously provide both information and entertainment.

“Listening to Colbert’s personal beliefs was awkward at first,” said Nuri Choi (10), avid watcher of Colbert’s shows. “It was evident that he was trying to find his identity as the host of ‘The Late Show’ with both his sarcasm and general idiosyncrasy. In addition, his wide range of guests distinguishes his show from all others. I would much rather listen to Joe Biden commenting on Donald Trump and his wall on Colbert’s show rather than listen to Justin Bieber talk about his hairdo in ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ As always, Colbert made me laugh and made me want to watch more.”

With changes being implemented by Colbert and the producers of “The Late Shows,” fans find it necessary for Colbert to redefine himself as a talk show host and stray from his past as a political commentator. Like the games that celebrities play on Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon’s shows, fans stress the importance of having his personal twist to the show.

“I am really curious to see if he will reinvent himself to something new. He’s going to have to spread out his wings and do more, which I think he’s easily capable of doing,” said Paul Roberts, social studies teacher. “But it really depends on what the network wants the show to be, and then obviously who gets hired as because if they hire new writers, the show will change direction. I still like his brand of satire and I like his brand of the way he pokes fun at peoples so I hope that continues in his new show.”