CBS Announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show.
Leslie Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corp. said, “Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television. David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night”
Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, said, “Stephen is a multi-talented and respected host, writer, producer, satirist and comedian who blazes a trail of thought-provoking conversation, humor and innovation with everything he touches. He is a presence on every stage, with interests and notable accomplishments across a wide spectrum of entertainment, politics, publishing and music. We welcome Stephen to CBS with great pride and excitement, and look forward to introducing him to our network television viewers in late night”
The news has been overwhelmingly positive among fellow late night hosts and fans of The Colbert Report, which Colbert will continue to host until the end of his contract in eight months.
“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” said Colbert. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”
Colbert also took to Twitter when the news hit, but stayed true to his well-known comedic persona.
Not long after the news was announced, fans began to question what Colbert would be like as the host of The Late Show considering Colbert currently plays a conservative satirical character using his comedic genius to reveal and shine a light on the outlandish political world we live in.
Mashable even devoted a post to answering this question in their, “11 times we’ve seen the real Stephen Colbert”.
While fans jumped at the opportunity to learn more about Colbert, conservative media took a different approach. Rush Limbaugh, a well-known conservative radio host, was less than thrilled with CBS and their decision to make Colbert the next host of The Late Show.
Limbaugh told his listeners that with Colbert in the Late Show seat, comedy will no longer be “a covert assault on traditional American values, conservative. Now it’s just going to be wide out in the open.”
He continued, “What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny and a redefinition of what is comedy, and there’s blowing up the 11:30 format under the guise that the world’s changing.”
“It’s media planting a flag here. Maybe even media’s last stand. It’s a declaration,” he said. “There’s no unity in this hire. They’ve hired a partisan, so-called comedian, to run a comedy show”
Limbaugh isn’t the only conservative to speak out on this matter. Mashable lists a series of tweets from other conservative bloggers and radio hosts which imply that Colbert pushes a liberal agenda and is a “character actor,” who is not worthy of hosting The Late Show.
What do you think? Should CBS have picked someone less controversial? Will this decision affect their viewership and overall public relations, or is it just bias from the far right? Late night shows are enjoyed by all viewers, liberal and conservative, but should networks try harder to be more selective and remain neutral on political matters?