Friday, April 11, 2014
I'm certainly not an entertainment writer, unless you consider political blathering theater. Yet, I've heard and seen myriad Colbert Reports segments since he started nearly nine years ago.
Let's pretend experiential observation equals insight and justifies commentary.
In the day since CBS announced Stephen Colbert as David Letterman's replacement on The Late Show, I was alternately not at all surprised then very surprised by the prophecies of doom.
I won't bother you with linking to the winger loonies taking this trivial announcement as an evil omen worthy of addition into the Book of Revelation. The usual buffoons like Limbaugh spoke of leftwing conspiracies and a future of propaganda, like, like, well, I guess an apt analogy would be Bill O'Reilly and other Fox lying heads.
The surprises came when I read in several left-leaning sites and papers that S.C. from SC wasn't ready, couldn't handle it, and would definitely fail.
Many of the jeremiads came with such dire predictions. These bozos are sitting in corners squeezing their honkers. I apologize for including one link, from Wired where Peter Rubin writes, "this is not going to go well." Likewise, numerous blowhards conclude that because Colbert will do his stint as himself and not the O'Reilly parody mirror on this current show, he'll confuse us stupid Americans. Others claim that Kimmel and Fallon, the jumping Jimmies, have divvied up the youth viewers and Letterman's oldsters won't watch a lefty.
I am sure you have seen as well as I that BS commentators bluster immediately and then never, ever correct and apologize. They'll have to whistle loudly and look far away to avoid this one.
I'll write it here and be willing to take my lumps if I'm wrong. Colbert will do a great job, far surpassing the million nightly viewers he's gotten on basic cable, and will get his share of viewers across a wider spectrum of ages than Letterman.
Colbert is surely ready, more than ready, to leave his caricature of a winger behind. He is a terrific actor, comic, singer, dancer and more. The bigger virtues are that he is at once smarter than other late-night hosts and more clever, as in quick witted, than they.
He'll be several steps ahead of those on left, right and the incestuous entertainment industry media. They apparently can't imagine how he'll be able to amuse without terrifying pre-bed audiences with thought-provoking dialog with guests. They seem to envision every monologue as a political tirade.
Sorry guys and gals, Colbert is smarter than you. Just watch, listen and learn. We should be damned sure by the time Letterman steps down and Colbert steps up that he'll funny, very funny, very original and not at all repetitive.
I further predict as he gets his audiences comfortable, he'll turn Socratic. Look for his guest interviews to use that ancient maieutic method that upset the Athenian fogies down at the agora. Better than Jon Stewart and certainly more than the predictable other late-night hosts, Colbert and elicit the key ideas behind guests books, campaigns and lives. Count on his being the midwife for such oh-ho moments several times a week. That will be worth staying awake for.