Colbert takes over late nightLOS ANGELES - A new kind of Stephen Colbert will be coming to late-night network television as he succeeds CBS’s “Late Show” host David Letterman next year, capping the generational shift in late-night TV’s landscape across U.S. networks eager to attract younger viewers and online followings.
Colbert, 49, who made his mark satirizing political conservatives on his Comedy Central weeknight cable show “The Colbert Report,” said on Thursday he would drop his known persona of a dim-witted, big-egoed conservative pundit.
“I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me. I’m looking forward to it,” Colbert said in a statement.
There is a measure of risk in abandoning a ground-breaking formula for the comedian whose Emmy-winning show has attracted a strong audience among young viewers, a coveted group that CBS is surely eyeing with its choice of Colbert.
“A lot of his audience has never seen him as himself,” said TV analyst David Bianculli. “He’ll bring a lot of that sensibility to it, but it will be a different tone.”