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Stephen Colbert impresses on his Late Show debut

Stephen Colbert impresses on his Late Show debut

Stephen Colbert took over as host of The Late Show on Tuesday night, and he hit the ground running.

The new look titles look incredible:

The newly-renovated Ed Sullivan Theater looks stunning inside with the original roof restored to its former glory, complete with digital projections of – amongst other things – Stephen Colbert’s face:

Although the new digital backdrops behind the desk and to the side are incredible I do miss the old New York skyline and models from the Letterman era. I do like the idea of having the desk on the left hand side of the stage though, but the guest seating may have worked better to the right of the desk as they have to walk past the desk to sit down at the moment.

After a “cold open” segment featuring several famous faces, including Jon Stewart who is an Executive Producer on the programme, Stephen got down to thanking David Letterman for everything he did in late night. It was a classy speech:

CBS boss Les Moonves was in the audience with his hands on The Mentalist button should they decide to take Colbert off the air quickly (a joke relating to CBS airing reruns of The Mentalist since Dave stepped down).

Stephen took over the Donald Trump jabs from where Dave left off with a rather lengthy segment featuring clips of Trump saying odd/dumb things interspersed with Colbert eating Oreos:

There were a few “odd” moments in the opening episode, including the introduction to Stephen’s cursed amulet forcing him to do product placement wherever possible.

A nice addition to the set though was the area set aside for his treasured possessions (including the aforementioned amulet). These included a pennant from the famous Martin Luther King rally and his Captain America shield from The Colbert Report.

The celebrity guests on the opening show were George Clooney and Presidential candidate (and brother of the former President) Jeb Bush.

Both interviews were enjoyable but Clooney’s felt a little forced – probably not helped by the fact he had nothing to promote so they had to make up a fake film to promote:

The interview with Jeb Bush was better and Stephen seemed like his old self (perhaps due to mostly interviewing politicians on The Colbert Report):

From the other shows in the opening week the standout interview looks to be his sit-down with Vice President Joe Biden. This interview was so deep and so personal, and Colbert handled it like a pro.

Overall, all very enjoyable but – of course – I miss Dave. Over time I’m sure all of the little bugs will be ironed out and the show will become more polished. It will take a little time for the show to grow and for Stephen to grow into the show and settle in.

Jon Stewart leaves The Daily Show after 16 years

Jon Stewart leaves The Daily Show after 16 years

Jon Stewart bowed out of The Daily Show this week – his final show aired on Thursday (6th August).

Stewart has been the host of The Daily Show since 1999 where he replaced Craig Kilborn. His successor is South African comedian Trevor Noah who begins his tenure on Monday 28th September.

When Jon took over the programme from Kilborn he made it his own and developed the show into something totally different to what Kilborn was offering before him. The Daily Show has become a staple part of the US political landscape over the years and has played key roles in delivering & analysing news despite it being a satirical show. One of its major triumphs was its coverage of President Obama’s election and Jon Stewart’s emotional return back in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.

The final episode on Thursday included the roster of past and present Daily Show correspondents and also a pre-recorded segment of messages from people Jon has been critical of over the years:

Another pre-recorded segment was the brilliantly-shot behind-the-scenes video of The Daily Show offices. Jon describes this as the most beautiful place he’s ever worked. This reminded me a bit of the behind-the-scenes segment on the Late Show when it was ending.

Upcoming host of the Late Show on CBS and former The Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert paid tribute to Stewart and Jon got a bit teary-eyed:

One of the most memorable moments from the final episodes was Jon’s incredible speech reminding people to be wary of “bullshit” that is all around us:

Other nice additions to the finale were the inclusion of former host Craig Kilborn in a recorded piece (a very brief appearance) and new host Trevor Noah measuring up the desk (and Jon).

The finale closed out with Jon’s very own “Moment Of Zen” – a mini-concert by the one and only Bruce Springsteen.

Comedy Central have kindly removed their US-only viewing restrictions for their full episode streaming for Jon’s final show so you can watch that in the UK right now. Click here.

Guests featured throughout the final week were Amy Schumer, Denis Leary and Louis CK – all friends of the show.

David Letterman draws in the viewers for final Late Show

David Letterman draws in the viewers for final Late Show

Late Show With David Letterman finale13.76 million people in the US watched the Late Show With David Letterman finale on Wednesday night, according to Nielsen’s reports.

This is the largest audience for the Late Show since the 25th February 1994 when the show enjoyed a Winter Olympics lead-in on CBS, and the finale was the 4th most-watched Late Show in history.

Unusually the Late Show also beat all primetime shows in the ratings for that evening as well, which is no mean feat.

The finale also helped James Corden’s ratings on The Late Late Show that evening – he earned 4.01 million viewers which is the highest audience on his show and the highest number of viewers for any host of The Late Late Show.

The New York Times – “David Letterman Finale Draws Almost 14 Million Viewers…”
Business Insider – “David Letterman’s farewell episode nabs biggest audience…”

Conan O’Brien and James Corden pay tribute to David Letterman

Conan O’Brien and James Corden pay tribute to David Letterman

We previously reported on the heartfelt tributes by Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon to David Letterman on their respective shows before the Late Show finale aired.

Since then more tributes have emerged from other late night hosts.

Conan O’Brien:

Conan said thanks to Dave on his show and urged people to switch over to Letterman’s last show at 11.35pm during his 11pm programme on Wednesday night:

It’s not too often you see someone wanting to give away their viewers to a rival talk show on a rival network is it? It just shows the respect Conan has for Dave.

James Corden:

Late night newcomer James Corden paid tribute to David Letterman on his show The Late Late Show which aired directly after the finale.

He started off the programme with a cold open outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York with Sting and Corden sitting on stools across the street singing Every Breath You Take:

He then had a heartfelt tribute to Dave in his monologue saying how we turned to the Late Show quite recently when he was in New York in the Broadway show One Man Two Guvnors as he saw Dave as his TV pal when he was in his hotel room alone every night:

The tributes to Dave ran right the way through the entire episode with guests Halle Berry and Jeffrey Dean Morgan discussing Dave and the Late Show, including a clip of an early Halle Berry appearance being shown:

James even “brought back” the Top Ten list:

How could you sign off a Letterman tribute show? Dropping watermelons off the roof of course: