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Colbert Comes (Back) To Late Night47:48
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Stephen Colbert’s big first week as host of "The Late Show." Will this zany subversive change mainstream TV?

Stephen Colbert, right, talks with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush during the premiere episode of "The Late Show," Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. Bush and actor George Clooney were the guests for Colbert's debut. (AP)
Stephen Colbert, right, talks with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush during the premiere episode of "The Late Show," Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. Bush and actor George Clooney were the guests for Colbert's debut. (AP)

For months, everybody wanted to know what Stephen Colbert would take to the airwaves when the lightning-quick, often surreal comedian stepped into the late night shoes of David Letterman. He bailed out of "The Colbert Report," grew a beard, tweeted cryptically, rebuilt the Ed Sullivan Theater set in New York – and this week hit the stage of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Sang the Star Spangled Banner. Interviewed a bunch of stars and players. Kept it big and bounteous – and a little of everything, strange and straight. This hour On Point,  Stephen Colbert and the way now for late-night TV.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

James Poniewozik, television critic for the New York Times. (@poniewozik)

Alyssa Rosenberg, pop culture critic for the Washington Post. (@AlyssaRosenberg)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: On ‘Late Show’ Premiere, Stephen Colbert Tries to Bring Big Back to Late Night — "Stephen Colbert was not given to effusions of humility when he played a blowhard pundit on his Comedy Central series. But he opened his first night as host of 'The Late Show' with one. 'I am not replacing David Letterman,' he insisted. It’s true. Mr. Colbert’s challenge is not to replace Mr. Letterman. It’s to replace Stephen Colbert."

Washington Post: How Stephen Colbert’s interview style will change on ‘The Late Show’ -- "Ridiculousness was one of the defining characteristics of the conservative blowhard Stephen Colbert played for 10 years and 1,447 episodes on 'The Colbert Report,' his fake-news television show on Comedy Central. By design, the fake Stephen Colbert said ludicrous and highly viral things. And this outrageous style served a particular purpose in Colbert’s interviews, where his feigned ignorance gave his guests space to explain their arguments, and his wild stances gave them material to push back against."

New Yorker: The Colbert Rapport — "I want to believe—to imagine a version of this show that might be just as cerebral and decent and innovative and daring as the imaginary version of Stephen Colbert that has been built up in my head over the years. (What is it with these middle-aged male comics being received by our culture as philosopher-gurus? It’s no good for anyone.)"

This program aired on September 11, 2015.

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