Stephen Colbert has new ‘Late Show’ staffers in the form of some NFL legends

11 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Colbert draws 6.6m audience in ‘Late Show’ debut.

Colbert, opening his second programme on Wednesday night, said that a combination of an overstuffed show that needed to be edited and a technical glitch temporarily prevented producers from sending the finished product to the network. “At 11.20 — and this actually happened — no one in the building could give me a guarantee that the show was going to be on the air,” he said. NEW YORK – Stephen Colbert drew an audience of 6.6 million people in his long-awaited debut as host of “The Late Show” on CBS but he largely failed to bowl over TV critics with any major changes to the late-night talk show format. “The Late Show” was, as expected, the most-watched late-night TV program on Tuesday, attracting more than double the 2.9 million audience for rival Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight” show on Comcast Corp’s NBC, Nielsen data showed on Wednesday.Long before Stephen Colbert kicked off his highly touted debut on CBS this week, Broadway shows were jockeying to be the first to perform on the new “Late Show.” Colbert, a graduate of Northwestern University’s drama department, has put out the word that he wants Broadway to be part of his New York-based program.

The show airs at 11.35pm EDT. “As I felt the oxygen begin to drain from my brain and all of my organs shutting down, I thought if we actually made it to air, this will be a pretty good story,” he said. My wife and I, huge Colbert fans, were so underwhelmed that we turned to each other in resignation toward the end and sighed, “Oh, well,” or words to that effect. Still, professional critics everywhere were offering generally enthusiastic raves, so if that was fair … Colbert’s brilliant “The Colbert Report,” which aired at 10:30 p.m. James Poniewozik at the New York Times called the first show “overstuffed and messy.” But he added; “This show may not completely know what it is yet, but it knows exactly who its host is: a smart, curious, playful entertainer who’s delighted to be there.” Robert Bianco said in USA Today Colbert “seemed a bit over-caffeinated.

Monday through Thursday on the Comedy Central network, was among the shows that exposed the predictability and pretensions of standard post-prime time fare and offered something better, slyer, funnier, more relevant. Actress Scarlett Johansson was Colbert’s guest, the second straight night he featured a celebrity who also played a prominent role in predecessor David Letterman’s final run of shows. I expected that he’d dispense with the opening stand-up monologue when he took over the 10:35 p.m. weeknight slot on CBS formerly occupied by David Letterman. Appearances on the late-night shows are valued not because they sell tons of tickets — they don’t — but because they “raise awareness,” says a press agent. “It lodges the title in the minds of tourists, and it can help if you’re planning a national tour.” Fallon, who moved “The Tonight Show” to New York from Los Angeles, is a big Broadway booster. This standard element, filled with middlebrow topical japes, steered the national conversation generations ago when Johnny Carson ruled late night and viewers had only a handful of channels to choose from.

At the Washington Post however, Amber Phillips said two things were clear from Colbert’s debut: “1) Colbert plans to be a major player at the nexus of pop culture and the 2016 presidential election, and 2) he’s going to take politics and its players seriously.” Colbert is best when seated at his desk, where he began his previous show, going a little deeper into the news of the day than “Hey, did you hear the story about …?” And I expected he’d begin there. The studio audience may enjoy the energy of live instrumentals, particularly during commercial breaks, but recorded intro music would be fine for those of us at home and allow more airtime for the featured entertainment. He did give a long plug one night to a revival of “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” when it played LA, but it had no effect on the anemic box office.

But for his opening night he chose George Clooney, 54, an overexposed Hollywood idol, and John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, 62, the blandest of the Republican presidential hopefuls. A hip comic, an edgy actor or compelling activist would have been a signal that Colbert intends to elevate the banal late-night discourse to which we have either become accustomed or, in my case, that we have studiously avoided.

I expected his pre-taped comedy would have better production values than one of those thrown-together skits you see during the last half-hour of “Saturday Night Live,” given that he had nearly nine months to prepare.

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