The Late Show with Stephen Colbert : Colbert live from Conventions

Colbert live from Conventions

Re: Colbert live from Conventions

The show is in trouble, so they have to do something, but I'm not sure this is it. A live show will result in less scripted dialog, and more of Stephen being Stephen- and Stephen being Stephen is the root of the problem.

Also, I believe that, beyond the failing ratings, one of the reasons Licht was brought on board was because Stephen couldn't keep up with all the work. When Stephen isn't stressed, he's definitely a bit looser/funnier. A live late night show portends additional stress, imo.

So, while it's good to see them trying something different, something a bit ambitious, I don't see this ending well.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions

I don't think that Colbert is the problem.

To me, the problem is that the show is a marketing tool for CBS and the major film companies.

As I said in another thread here -- the problem is the guests Colbert is (obviously) forced to entertain on the show.

It's a late-night People Magazine.

Fans of The Colbert Report are a completely different demographic from the people who enjoy watching interview after interview with the cast members of the latest movie releases and CBS lineup.

Colbert no longer has an interesting range of guests. No more Bill O'Reilly, no more Doris Kearns Goodwin. No more congressmen, senators, mayors, scientists, or writers. No more "nobodies" with an interesting story to tell.

Just this endless "Let's talk about your new movie. How did it feel to play a dog?"

Re: Colbert live from Conventions


To me, the problem is that the show is a marketing tool for CBS and the major film companies.

As I said in another thread here -- the problem is the guests Colbert is (obviously) forced to entertain on the show.


First of all, Fallon shills for NBC, Kimmel for ABC and Conan for TBS, and they all manage to maintain respectable ratings. The fact that Late Show viewers have been and continue to change the channel relates to far more than just shilling.

Secondly, from September to April, Stephen, for the first time in his life, WAS the boss. He called the shots. Those weren't the guests that CBS was forcing him to book, those were the guests that he wanted to book. Sure, there were rumors floating around for a while that Fallon was telling celebrities that if they did other late night shows, he'd ban them from his, but I think those were just rumors, and, even if they were true, I don't think the A-List guests Fallon was fighting to maintain a monopoly on were a barrier to Stephen having interesting people. Stephen chose, for the most part, uninteresting people all on his own.

I know that it might be hard to get your head around, (it was difficult for me) but the Colbert Report wasn't Stephen. It was a show written and produced by other people, and only begrudgingly performed by Stephen, who, from his comments since, resented a great deal of his time there. As fans, we saw the report as a role of the lifetime, but, for Stephen, it was a prison. The first 7 months of the Late Show, until the reins were taken away, THAT's the television that Stephen wanted to do, that's who Stephen wanted to be. That's who Stephen is.

.. and that's the problem.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions


begrudgingly performed by Stephen, who, from his comments since, resented a great deal of his time there.
whoa what did he say?

Re: Colbert live from Conventions


what did he say?


Hillary Clinton: I really hated that (Colbert Report) guy.
Stephen: I hated him too.

He's said other things as well. I can't recall the specifics, but he's apologized for the Report Character to more than one guest. He's also made references to being happy about being able to be himself.

Think about it. Stephen may consider himself a liberal, but, watching the Late Show, it's easy to see that he's very middle of the road. It only makes sense that the arch liberalness of the report would have rubbed him the wrong way.

He had a LOT of people fooled into thinking he was an arch liberal reveling in tearing blowhard conservatives a new one, but, in reality, he was a middle of the road liberal who was uncomfortable with the aggressively liberal, mean spirited nature of the report character.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions

I think in that Hillary exchange they're talking on a more basic level, about Colbert as the crazy Republican, not looking behind the Report's parody. Their comments confirm the preconceived pigeonholes of Hillary + "real" Stephen as liberal vs fake Stephen the conservative.

They're basically both doing the same thing, they use the "liberal" label and its brand for PR when they're really just sucking up to power and money.

Of course the Report was too aggressively liberal for him, but I think he's enough of a professionally spineless opportunist to not hold any grudges against it. He's just happy to be part of that special group of successful people now, celebrating his love for empty suits and stupid glasses. He's a beautiful person with nothing to say.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions


I think in that Hillary exchange they're talking on a more basic level, about Colbert as the crazy Republican, not looking behind the Report's parody. Their comments confirm the preconceived pigeonholes of Hillary + "real" Stephen as liberal vs fake Stephen the conservative.


This statement makes my head hurt ;)

The aggressively liberal agenda of the report was, imo, an open book, and only those people that were living under rocks and/or interviewed very early on weren't part of the loop. Hillary may have a ditzy moment here and there, but she knew/knows the true nature of the report. When she talked about hating 'that guy,' she wasn't talking about the crazy republican, she was talking about the ultra liberal. And Colbert agreed.

Now, Colbert never said "I resented that character," and he never will, so whatever characterization I present is going to be an interpretation. If you don't see it that way, I understand, but I think, with every passing moment, his off the cuff comments (and glaringly middle of the road politics) seem to point in that direction.

And I'm not painting a picture of Colbert lying awake at night cursing Jon Stewart for forcing him to play a character he despised. I'm just saying that the commonly perceived fan image of Colbert having the time of his life while at the report misses the mark. Nor, for that matter, did he wake up sometime in the ninth year and say, "you know what? I've had a great time here, but I'm ready for something else." The impetus to leave had, imo, been present for quite some time. As much as the success thrilled him, since day one of the report, imo, politically speaking, Colbert's been a reluctant iconoclast.

I think Stephen truly believed that the harsh politics of the report were cutting into his fanbase, and, once he was able to temper the politics, the whole world would adore him. "YAY! Thank GOD I can stop being a dick!" has pretty much been his mantra any time the report has come up. Little did he know that being a dick to people that deserved it was the foundation of his support.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions


First of all, Fallon shills for NBC, Kimmel for ABC and Conan for TBS, and they all manage to maintain respectable ratings. The fact that Late Show viewers have been and continue to change the channel relates to far more than just shilling.


Comparing Stephen to Fallon and Kimmel (and Corden BTW) is not fair because those shows hardly do any original writing. It's mostly YouTube videos, celebrity games / singing, social media, pranks and other stupid *beep* which is supposed to go viral.

Stephen and Conan's shows are the only ones who try to come up with any original content. You can see that Late Show succumbs to the celebrity games and general "stupid *beep* mania more and more, they are probably getting desperate because of ratings.

So it's not really an argument here that "Fallon and Kimmel do well in ratings" because the assumption is that Stephen's show aspires to be "something more" so it needs to find a different path to ratings. Whether such a path exists, that's another question... I would say no, it does not, at least not in the traditional network television setup - even if Stephen gets more interesting guests, better interviews, better jokes, this is not going to be enough to reach wider audience simply because people always are more interested in "easy" entertainment.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions


You can see that Late Show succumbs to the celebrity games and general "stupid *beep* mania more and more, they are probably getting desperate because of ratings.

I'm fairly certain that cartoon Trump isn't helping. What this show needs is better guests.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions

Yeah, the Cartoon Trump and God skits are both voiced by Brian Stack who previously worked ~15 years with Conan. You can tell that this material would fit perfectly on Conan's show but is incompatible with Stephen to the point of awkwardness. Stephen is just too serious.

Re: Colbert live from Conventions

"First of all, Fallon shills for NBC, Kimmel for ABC and Conan for TBS, and they all manage to maintain respectable ratings."

From what I've seen, Colbert has the second best ratings of the bunch. So how are Conan and Kimmel "maintaining respectable ratings," while all of Colbert's viewers are changing the channel?

Re: Colbert live from Conventions

You are correct.

From Hollywood Reporter:

"Colbert is averaging 2.9 million viewers (827,000 in the 18-to-49 demographic), well behind Fallon (3.7 million viewers and 1.3 million in the demo) but still comfortably ahead of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2.4 million total viewers and 709,000 in the demo). JAmes Corden is pulling in 1.26 million viewers with 414,000 in the demo, behind Late Night With Seth Meyers with 1.56 million total viewers and 585,000 in the demo."
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