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.