Last week on Sept. 8, 6.5 million viewers tuned in to CBS to see the start of Stephen Colbert’s network late night career. “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” debuted with George Clooney, Jeb Bush and a few jokes that failed to fully land. The show is a simple case of a program trying to reinvent its voice.
The show opened in a way that rang true to the Stephen Colbert from his original Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report.” The show premiered with Colbert singing the national anthem around the country.
As the show progressed, fans saw many more similarities. Although the stage is not the same as the one he used for his first show, the area is decorated in a similar manner, and he had his trademark items, such as his Captain America shield, on display.
The beginning of the show is filled with some moments where you want to laugh and you think you should laugh, but you don’t. There was a small running joke that the president of CBS was watching with his hand on the switch to change the time slot back to reruns of “The Mentalist” if the show didn’t do well. When the switches occurred, there was only slight laugher from the studio audience and many thought, “Okay, let’s move on.” The lack of quick transitions between the two didn’t help, because as viewers wait for something to happen, they see Stephen just grinning.
However, the show is filled with some great moments. Colbert focused on what Donald Trump has been saying at different speeches, press conferences and rallies. He begins with a rally where Trump says he will never eat an Oreo again because of the company closing a plant in the U.S. and opening one in Mexico. Colbert began to equate what Trump was saying with how he eats an Oreo. He then went on to eat an Oreo after every clip, trying to control himself and ultimately just caving and eating more.
In terms of guests, the show could have done better for the first episode. George Clooney is a great choice, an A-list celeb that fans love, yet they brought him in on a time when he’s not really working on anything. On top of that, the two of them don’t know each other. It would have been better if Colbert had brought in someone who he could play off of or someone who was doing something. Jeb Bush has the comedic timing of a sun burned ostrich with strep throat and was not the best choice to use later in the show.
The show has potential, and with Colbert moving forward, hopefully we see some better guests and some stronger jokes. Yet as premieres stand, this one does not stand out or make viewers crazy to watch the next episode.
Rating: 3 out of 5