White smoke could be seen rising from CBS Headquarters today. CBS will not be going through the same drama which we saw at NBC when Johnny Carson and Jay Leno left The Tonight Show (twice in the case of Leno). There was no consideration of forcing Letterman out before he was ready. One week after David Letterman announced his planned retirement on his own schedule, CBS has announced that Stephen Colbert will be replacing him. While I think Craig Ferguson does an excellent job following Letterman’s show, it was not expected that Ferguson would receive the 11:35 time slot. I do like Ferguson’s show but, if he leaves CBS, it would not be as significant as David Letterman and later Conan O’Brien leaving NBC. I hope Ferguson does remain where he is, providing a choice between his show and Seth Meyers at 12:35.
Stephen Colbert has already said that (as would be expected) he is not going to do the show in character as on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central show. It has been an excellent run, but I am also confident Colbert can do a fine job hosting as “himself.” I do hope that from time to time Colbert, instead of stupid pet tricks, goes back into his stupid conservative character for a skit.
I suspect that Colbert will tone down politics to some degree with the move to a late night network talk show. His liberal credentials are well known after pointing out that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Or maybe not. A study at Ohio State in 2009 found that many conservatives took him seriously and didn’t realize he was mocking them.
Here is a selection of one liners from Stephen Colbert when in character, many of which have been featured here as a Quote of the Day:
“Our president has gotten so desperate that he appeared on this website Funny or Die. By the way, ‘funny or die’ is also the ultimatum you got from Obamacare’s death panels.” –Stephen Colbert
“No one has signed up for Obamacare, give or take 4.2 million people.” — Stephen Colbert
“You know what, folks? I miss George W. Bush. That man knew how to sell a war. Obama has hard evidence of weapons of mass destruction and he can’t even get England to go along with it. Meanwhile, President Bush got an international coalition with nothing more than Colin Powell’s reputation and half a test tube of crystal light.” –Stephen Colbert
“Conservatives like me know that in a budget crisis, everything nonessential has to go — whether it’s food for kids who aren’t mine or some other stuff for people I don’t know.” –Stephen Colbert
“It seems like every single day, President Obama finds a new way to waste our tax dollars. I mean, two daughters? Seems a little redundant.” –Stephen Colbert
“Where did we go wrong? The Republicans had everything going for them – a terrible economy, an unpopular incumbent, and a positive message for the American voter: ‘less than half of you are parasites.’” –Stephen Colbert
“Folks, I’m no fan of ‘Sesame Street.’ They expose our children to dangerous liberal ideas like befriending the homeless, two men sleeping in the same bedroom and counting.” –Stephen Colbert
“This is America. We must defend the principles symbolized by Lady Liberty – unless she’s on the pill, in which case, she is a giant green tramp.” –Stephen Colbert
One of Stephen Colbert’s finest moments outside of his show was at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2006. Here is the video of his tribute to George Bush, with full text under the fold: