8 months ago
Stephen Colbert’s staff has been on their toes for months now, instantly changing entire shows and sets in response to breaking news headlines. According to Variety, this has helped ratings and viewership surge.
However, it has also left Colbert feeling “hung over from the news,” writes Variety. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop. Late Show with Stephen Colbert now has the biggest total audience, putting CBS in a position in late night that it hasn’t seen in decades, Variety reports.
Rick Ludwin, the executive who supervised NBC’s late-night programs and their hosts for years, told Variety that Colbert has “found his voice.”
And what is he going to do with this new-found power? Colbert is heading to host the Emmy’s on Sept. 17.
Colbert understands that the Emmy’s stage is a very different platform than his show, and that he will be walking a tight line between humor and politics, Variety writes. But he is prepared for that tightrope.
Variety writes that no other late-night host has ever launched such an aggressive campaign against a current president as Colbert has against Trump. He has repeatedly made his feelings about the president incredibly clear, more so than any other late-night host. Jimmy Fallon said something after the violence in Charlottesville and Jimmy Kimmel had made remarks and jokes about Trump, but Colbert faces the president head on every single night. He told Variety that when he is speaking about Trump, he is speaking “from the heart.”
However, the comedy host understands that his mockery will not change Trump, and that more needs to be done. “The democratic process — that’s it. The democratic process will stop this guy. It’s the only way. That’s it,” he said to Variety.
Colbert has changed his show in more ways than just paying attention the news. His newfound success is allowing him to have more “thoughtful” discussions on stage, and he hopes his viewers will embrace discussions with people that he personally finds “energizing,” Variety writes. His hopeful guest list includes Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, George Saunders, Jake Tapper, John Dickerson, and Al Franken.
Colbert is also creating a 10-episode animated series on Showtime about the cartoon version of President Trump that appears on Late Show, along with other members of the Trump family.
But as much as Colbert hates Trump, will his show lose popularity when Trump leaves the White House? Colbert doesn’t see it that way.
“If it’s not him, it may temper interest in late night, but I don’t see it ending,” he told Variety. “But what I know is that no matter what, we will never stop keeping the doors of the show open until the last minute, because now we know what the show is about.”