Stephen Colbert Is Your New David Letterman


So there’ll be no need to #CancelColbert after all.

When we first heard that Colbert was among those in consideration for Letterman’s role, we didn’t think it would work. But then he’s come a long way since “Even Stevphen“, hasn’t he? Also: love Neil Patrick Harris, but all those awards shows would be lonely if he took over.

Now will Colbert be as gracious to guests as Letterman was?

Here’s a tip for those booking clients from one of his rare “serious” interviews from a 2012 issue of Playboy (which we never read for the pictures):

“[The ‘Stephen Colbert’ character] is willfully ignorant of what you know and care about. Honestly disabuse him of his ignorance and we’ll have a good time. All they have to do, as my guest producer Emily Lazar says, is talk to him as though he’s a harmless drunk at the next bar stool.”

Ah, OK. But will he tone the satire down? Based on his first statement, we’d say the answer is “probably not”:

‘I never dreamed that I would follow in [Letterman’s] footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead…Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

We would ask “who will be the new Colbert?”, but the answer is obvious: no one. The Report will be missed, and there will be blood if CBS pulls a Conan.

Now get ready to teach your clients how to play along with a joke.

You know, like this guy:

UPDATE: Here’s a clip of an out-of-character Colbert explaining how the whole thing works to then-presidential candidate John Kerry in 2007.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.