So, what exactly is CBS buying by hiring Stephen Colbert?

His old persona is presumably the property of Comedy Central and it’s not really suitable for late-night television anyway (too political). Assuming that Colbert has any other settings or styles, any variant from them will get panned by people who actually want to know that the old persona is on the Late Show*. What is left for Stephen Colbert to bring to the table?

I ask out of only mild interest: I don’t watch television. Not out of snobbery; my wife doesn’t want to shell out the money for cable, and I don’t care enough to push back on it.

Moe Lane

*Although they wouldn’t watch it, which is the basic problem right there.

14 thoughts on “So, what exactly is CBS buying by hiring Stephen Colbert?”

  1. Tickets to cocktail parties hosted by their leftist friends. This isn’t about ratings, it’s about perception among the the elites of the beltway circuit.

    1. Indeed, this seems more like making a pick that wouldn’t cause waves, than making a *good* pick.
      p.s. – the good but slightly risky pick would, arguably, have been Craig Ferguson. He’s got cred, an audience, and – like pre-CBS Letterman – Ferguson isn’t afraid to follow his own instincts.
      p.p.s. – “late night TV” is, as Gator implied (but did not state) is increasingly irrelevant.

  2. I guess they’re expecting the name ‘Stephen Colbert’ to bring something of an audience. And I’d imagine they’ve done some kind of workup with him to see how he’d perform in a Letterman-type environment.

    That said, if I’m watching late-night TV it’s YouTube clips of old Bathurst 500s or something like that, thank you Google Chromecast.

  3. I don’t really watch late night, except Red Eye if I happen to be up at that hour. So I don’t care really.
    However this just seems like an uninspired pick to me. They could have picked anyone, yet they went with Letterman 2. I’ve seen a couple of episodes of Colbert’s show and it’s not funny, at all. It’s often mean spirited at times.
    I give him a year before he’s canned.

    1. I’d say Leno was good, but he’s now gone unless someone else picks him up.

      I’ll agree with you that Red Eye is about the only decent late night comedy anymore.

      Moe, Colbert tries to mock Conservatives continously, he tries to portray us as racist bigots (among other things). He’s simply obnoxious.

  4. I guess we’ll see. Perhaps he’ll do something different with the show or highlight some other talent he has not displayed. (ala Jimmy Fallon’s love of music) I don’t expect much, but I am ready to be surprised. At the very least, the Colbert Report will finally be laid to rest. It was stale and played out.

    1. CBS is typically a local broadcaster, it is one of the few networks that one doesn’t necessarily have to have cable to get.

      1. *We cut the cable and no longer watch broadcast TV. We occasionally stream from Amazon, but not often.

  5. I’ve never found Colbert funny, but I’ve had it in for him ever since he used his show to get a space station module named after him — and, incidentally, get the previously winning name “Serenity” kicked out of the running.

    I think this is a perfect solution, if it pans out as predicted: his old show and schtick folds up, and anything new that he does will be unpopular. It’s actually BETTER than being cancelled.

    Although I, too, feel that Ferguson should be handed the mantle of Late Night, as he’s fookin’ hilarious.

    1. Rumor has it that CBS will have to pay Craig a few million for not picking him. Good for him. I doubt if he minds at all.

    2. Look at it this way–in the end, they named something that gets stepped on daily and doesn’t go anywhere after him.

  6. Let’s see…
    Colbert isn’t funny. He isn’t interesting. He isn’t engaging. He’s too self-centered to do a good interview.
    But he’s a political hack. Which evidently counts for a lot.

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