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CBS (ended 2015)


Wow. I wouldn't exactly describe CBS as a network that likes to take risks, but today it made a big gamble, and a smart one, too. Stephen Colbert, who currently lampoons conservatives as host of The Colbert Report, will take over as host of Late Show when David Letterman retires in 2015. That was fast! But maybe not that surprising, as Colbert was an early favorite for the position and was rumored to be CBS's top choice for the gig.

Let's get the specifics out of the way: The deal is a five-year contract and is effective as soon as Letterman signs off (which is still nebulously scheduled for sometime "in 2015"). The location of the new version of Late Show is still to-be-determined; Letterman hosts it from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, and Colbert's current show also films in the Big Apple, so I'd assume it isn't moving. And with all the historical significance of the Ed Sullivan Theater, a move would surprise me. However, Los Angeles has been lobbying hard for the Late Show to move West because Jimmy Fallon moved The Tonight Show to New York. Producers for Colbert's Late Show are also to-be-determined. 

Personally, I love this decision because Colbert is one of the sharpest people on television, but I do have a few reservations. What will the new show be like? How will Colbert do when he's not playing a character? Can Colbert conduct the type of late-night interview that anchors the genre when he's not satirizing? 

As far as Colbert's current gig on The Colbert Report is concerned, his contract with Comedy Central expires at the end of this year, and the network has released a statement that implies the The Colbert Report will call it a show at the end of 2014: 

Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades. We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best.

Well, what do you think? 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/20/2015

Season 22 : Episode 05.20.15

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He rose to national fame from the Whitehouse Press Corps annual dinner speach. (watch on youtube, it's great) skewering the softball reporting of G.W. Bush's administration, as well as Bush himself. If you're let into the corps, you got first shot on all Presidential news from the white house. But Bush had a habbit of only letting in reporters who didn't ask hard questions about questionable actions of the administration. "Hard" questions was a very low bar for Bush. A real journalist would refuse to go soft on Bush and would work outside the press corp to report/reveal the truth. Colbert was saying that they basicaly sold out journalistic integrity to get on the press corps gravy train. Won't he be doing the same thing at cbs?
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I will miss The Colbert Repor =\
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I like Colbert the character. It remains to be seen what Colbert the person is like. Then again, Johnny Carson was a character (that wasn't the real JC), so Colbert will just have to create another character. Good for him.

Cute cut of Colbert's head on Louie's body. Only Colbert isn't saying what Louie did.
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I'm happy for Steven Colbert but will miss The Colbert Report.

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This is pretty funny because just a few short weeks ago Suey Park got bashed for leading a campaign to #CancelColbert, and now he's going to do it himself. Hah.
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Good point. Publicity stunt?
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Nah, just timing (and higher pay and profile). His own career ambitions did what Park couldn't.
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I'm from Denmark, so I'm not really into American late show politics and I have a question. Why would Stephen want to switch to the Late Show?
From where I'm sitting, it seems like the Colbert Report is very succesful
while the Late Show is kind of going out of style (and for an entirely different audience)?
He does his satirical character so well and it's so popular that I have a hard time understanding why he'd want to step down from the perfect gig to do something like the Late Show.
Does he get more money? Does he (somehow??) get more viewers? Does he just want to try something different?
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M-O-N-E-Y.

Money. The be-all and end-all of EVERYthing in America.
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I would estimate he will get 3 to 5 times as much money. We're talking about 1 of the "big 3" (abc, nbc, cbs) broadcasts for super expensive ad money in the commercials. Comedy central is a basic cable chanel. Almost an amateur network. I'm sure Jon Stewart and Colbert are their highest paid celebs but that would be small next to The Late Show pay.
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Alright, I didn't realize that there was such a huge difference in size between the networks. I do understand why some people consider it a sell-out, though.
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He rose to national fame from the Whitehouse Press Corps annual dinner speach. (watch on youtube, it's great) skewering the softball reporting of G.W. Bush's administration, as well as Bush himself. If you're let into the corps, you got first shot on all Presidential news from the white house. But Bush had a habbit of only letting in reporters who didn't ask hard questions about questionable actions of the administration. "Hard" questions was a very low bar for Bush. A real journalist would refuse to go soft on Bush and would work outside the press corp to report/reveal the truth. Colbert was saying that they basicaly sold out journalistic integrity to get on the press corps gravy train. Won't he be doing the same thing at cbs?
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The thing that makes a good host is that they are talented and likable but never overshadow the guest. Carson, Leno, Letterman, Fallon are funny people but not center stage funny. They only do the monologue at the start. After that, they turn it off and just become easy guys to talk to. 90% of Colbert is watching Colbert! I don't say that he can't turn it off; he's immensely talented, but I don't think he'll like it. We know all these guys lean to the left, which I love, but Colbert's positively an activist for these causes. The other four I mentioned tend to keep it on the lowdown after the joks are over. Colbert testified before congress about farm workers, shamed O'Reilly and FOX every chance he got, and basically launched his career away from the Daily Show by a blistering (and spot on perfect) keynote speach at the Whitehouse Press Corps annual dinner, skewering the softball reporting of G.W. Bush's administration, as well as Bush himself. How could he turn that off?
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Agreed. On the Colbert Report he doesn't even let his guests speak a lot of the time, and I love it haha.
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Good points. It will be interesting to see his first show.
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epic win!
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There's no way he won't be great at this. He can do interviews, and he's a hilarious comic with sketch/improv experience. A very good choice to compete with the currently dominant Fallon.
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Im not a big fan of interview style, variety, comedy show stuff which is what it all is. But SC is so cool, just like DAVE was in his early days but then, well, Dave kinda morphed!
remains to be seen how it will go, but whatever SC touches turns to gold! Better than anyone else considered for this, thats for sure!
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Colbert is my favorite late night show host, so I'm happy he's getting a full hour show, but at the same time, he'll surely have to change his style a bit for the Late Show, so I'm not sure I feel.
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I really hope that he doesn't have the same fate as Craig Kilborn, who tried to bring his "Daily Show" shtick to Late Night and it didn't really work. Though with Colbert, it will either be a hit, or it will be like Conan where he moves back to cable.
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not CK? Come on!!!


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The first time Colbert is forced to interview a Kardashian or a Real Housewife, I'm going on a killing spree.
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are u kidding, that is the type of interviewer those types of people deserve!!!! make fun of them till it drives them crazy!!!
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I dont think people like that would want a Colbert style interview and would chose Tonicht show instead. Either Colber changes his M.O., which his fans wouldn't like or he stays in character and loses potential guests. Either way, I predict this will not last 1 year.
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Another interesting point. Will Colbert turn into a late night ass kissing lackey, or will he skewer his guests and they will all stay away and lose CBS money.

My bet is on the former.
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Point well made, Rick. I should have said I will embark upon my spree if Colbert is "forced to pander to" one of those oxygen thieves.
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Now THAT'S the kind of reality show I could watch.
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I can't see this being anywhere near as good as The Colbert Report, just because I will miss the satirizing Colbert who will inevitably water down his material for the new position, and ditch his "faux-Conservative" persona.
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I'm sure he'll do great, but I can't believe they announced so early. IDK, It seems kind of disrespectful to Dave, somehow.
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Poor Dave, crying all the way to the bank.
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How so? Colbert is funny with out driving CBS's censors nuts. I like Craig's comedy and he'd have to change too much and stop being funny.
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I'm not sure what you're saying. I think Colbert will do fine. I didn't mention Craig at all.
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I was hoping they would get a new guy to do it, bring some fresh blood to late night,but no, they're playing it safe again. That's one of the things wrong with film and television today, that's why we're getting all of these spin-off and reboots and all that garbage, they have guaranteed audiences right off the bat. People need to start taking risks again, have an original thought for once. They already replaced Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon, someone that already had their own talk show, I was hoping they wouldn't make the same mistake here but I guess that was too much to hope for.
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I am sorry but I feel it's a sell out all the way.Steven colbert was the number one political satirist in the country by far ahead of both Bill Maher and Jon Stewart. Now, at this critical times for the country, a major corporation comes along and gives a juicy contract on a non-political show that totally stymies his real forte. Big money has now silenced a major voice for good. I think he should reconsider and stay exactly where he is. If there is a petition, I will sign it in a jiffy.
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Ugh, I hope it's not just about the money for him.
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What other motivation except some pride to fellow Ed Sullivan maybe.But does this warrant him ending The Colbert Report? I don't think so.
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I do wonder who will produce, will Dave's company stay on? Or will it be the same as The Colbert Report?
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10/10 would watch
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No thanks, I will stick with Jimmy Fallon.
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Fascinating choice! He looks like he has the confidence to just go and own it. I hope he does.
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So conflicted about this.

Obviously it's a great move for CBS. Colbert's profile has never been higher and he's a genuinely funny comedian. This is the best they could possibly do.

But...I'm no where near ready to say goodbye to the Report. I've only been watching it religiously for a couple of years and its getting better and better. As funny as he'll be on CBS, missing the political component will make it less important and ulimately less interesting. And is it really that much of a step up? Sure the ratings will be a little better but generic late night talk shows are quickly becoming culturally irrelevant.

I think he should absolutely stay in character, not because he needs it to be funny, but because the character is far too awesome to vanish from the face of the earth. He can continue to satire the egos of TV personalities, albeit in an apolitical way. People love to feed his character's megalomania, it will allow for a more engaged audience participation than the compelled fake laughing at unfunny jokes you get on these shows at the moment. And I really hope he stays aggressive in his interviews, even many of Stewart's interviews are weak because he just sucks up. Colbert alone keeps interviews unpredicable and awesome.
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Sadly from what I've read, he will be losing the character.. So I'm guessing he will become yet another late night talk show host I don't watch.
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Absolutely agree with the interviews, Stewart really puts me off sometimes when he's obviously kissing arse...
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No. How can we live without The Colber Report?... I guess we can, but it will be a sad, sad existence.
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I was lobbying for Price Peterson. :-(
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I'm sure Price was in the top two, only barely losing to Colbert.
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I like to believe Price wrote the phrase "masturbating in front of a Minotaur" once too often. That and he insisted this guy be his co-host:

http://img2.tvtome.com/i/u/c78dbc1edd584253c2324878734b987e.jpg
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Goes to show what the common stances are on this that the poll at the end of the article is about whether Colbert is the right man for the job. If anything, I think the job is not up to the calibre of the man and the move to mass-marketed late night is a step back.

That said, it makes sense for the Report to be a finite thing, as opposed to the Daily Show. Colbert does satire and parody, and he's been consistently in character for many years now. Moving on to star as himself for a change is an obvious career move.
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Love Colbert. Hate moving him to a major network
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It'll be sad to lose The Colbert Report, but this is definitely a good move bhy CBS. I wouldn't be surprised to see Comedy Central plug in John Oliver (or maybe Samatha Bee?) into the 11:30 time slot. Or anybody else Jon Stewart has hidden up his sleeve.

I hope Colbert still keeps his unique form of biting satire (The "Word" segment, Better Know a District, every interview he does) if only because it's hard to imagine him without it. But how much would he have to shakeup the Late Show format to fit his voice? Will he do his monologue like Dave? Will he still constantly yell at Jimmy and release balloons from the ceiling whenever he is right? And who on Earth will lead the house band?!?
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John Oliver isn't up their sleeve. He already has his own show, on HBO.
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I don't personally mind him, I don't watch the Comedy Central talk shows because they're too political and I hate politics... so this is a weird choice for me. but I'm ok with it, just means I won't have to bother trying to watch the show on a regular basis like if it had been somebody I liked.
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I don't watch The Late Show because I....sleep...But I LOVE the Colbert Report! so I'm SUPER excited even though I'm sure that'll wear off by 2015
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Yay! He's one of the few guys who'd get me to watch another late night talk show after being a one man guy -- Ferguson!!!! -- for the last few years. Looks like CBS has me locked up for those two hours.

That said, I'm also interested to see how poorly he might actually do. He's been the Colbert-character for so long, it almost seems like he has to do that to be successful among the masses. But he seems to be really smart and talented, so I figure he can do without the persona.
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Colbert is sooooooo talented outside his conservative persona. Listen to this interview for a sampling of his intellect, conversational ability and musical talent:
http://www.npr.org/2012/10/24/163547250/stephen-colberts-most-meaningful-musical-moments

I think CBS is looking for someone who can match the 'what will people watch the next day on youtube' ability that Fallon currently has. If anyone can do that, its Colbert. The only time I watched Fallon in the past was when Colbert was on doing a musical number.
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I'm guessing that a significant portion of Letterman's 'everywo/man' audience will turn off in their droves - pun intended.
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I love Colbert and can't believe CBS picked him. He is just so modern and not really part of what CBS normally does with their prime time programming. I'm glad it's not Craig because I love him, but I don't think his antics would work so well earlier in the night. His show is perfect the way it is. Colbert visited my school last year and was extremely funny out of character so I have faith that he will do well.
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Thank goodness he can retire his character on Colbert. I love it, but I'm glad he can actually retire it and move on as well.
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He's a smart, intelligent, and down-to-earth conversationalist. I think he'll do good as an interviewer and comedic relief.
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Since it had to have Craig's blessing, he has mine. Craig keeping up the basement with Geoff and Secretariat.
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nice pick
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Groundbreaking.
There's a sea of funny ladies out there who would be great for late night.
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I'm conflicted, because there are obviously lots of women who would be great in late night. But if one of them had been given this job there would have been lots of talk of it only being because they were a woman and that CBS were only trying to make a statement.
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Yeah, the most important thing to consider is the host's plumbing. Right.
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Are they drowning?
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Love me some Colbert
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I am not sure what to think. If somehow he continues the character that he has created for the the Colbert Report and interviews guest as that. I think that would be genius and he would crush Fallon. If not, if he does the show as himself I think it will be interesting. Very few of his fans including myself have ever seen him interview out of character. The only time that I think I have seen it is when he has interviewed Peter Jackson and a couple of others. But if he does it as himself, he is going to have to reintroduce himself to everyone. I think he will be a success, the man is a comedic and probably actual genius. I am sure he will have a lot of success.

However, I am going to miss the Colbert Report and I have to wonder who on Jon's team is going to take that place, if they can.
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I already know now that I will like the Late Show with Stephen Colbert less than I like The Colbert Report. it will be very difficult to watch Stephen do interviews out of the "Colbert character". Kind of like watching Jim Carrey do a dramatic role. I constantly expect him to pull a face, and it really distracts me from the drama.

But I guess I understand the choice of Colbert from a business perspective. CBS needs a fresh take on the late night talk show, and Colbert is a sharp guy. I wonder who will take over The Colbert Report time slot? I wouldn't mind seeing Samantha Bee from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Colbert's chair. John Oliver is probably tied up at HBO so he is out of the race.
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Maybe he could stay in character for interviews. They wouldn't be political but they could still be aggressive. That's my preference.
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Rosie O'Donnell should have been asked to do it.
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Hell no
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He'll need to work on his interviewing technique a lot. He was terrible at that when he occasionally subbed for Jon on TDS, but that was admittedly a long time ago. On TCR, though, he often speaks more than the guest. You don't want a host to monopolize an interview the way he often does. Sometimes I find myself shouting at the screen, "Shut up already and let the guest talk!"

All in all, good for him. I'm glad he's getting a chance to step up to the truly major leagues but I will miss his persona on TCR, which he won't be able to take over to CBS.

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I'll take talking over the guests if the alternative is stale, sucking up using carefully scripted jokes.
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I had the same thought when he does interviews and doesn't let the guests speak. Then again, I notice Craig Ferguson often does the same, which drives me crazy.
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This concerns me greatly. If Colbert is going to be hosting the show in character, then yes, it could be a gamble...but that would mean The Late Show is no longer an actual talk show.

If Colbert isn't going to stay in character...then...well...I won't say, "What's the point?" because he's clearly a very intelligent person, but it seems like his talents would be wasted.
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Looks like #CancelCobert worked. Good Job.
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Maybe whatsername was hired by Colbert to create attention for the Report so that CBS would only be thinking of him when deciding. Stranger things have happened.
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NOOOO!!!!
RIP Colbert Report :( :( :(
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Is happysad a word?
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It is now.
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Colbert is not a big gamble in this slot. As I mentioned in last week's article about who should replace Letterman, Colbert is a very good choice but that my concern was he'd grow bored with the limited format of the show. He's an excellent, creative entertainer and writer, but he's also naturally curious and can be engaged very easily by his guests - occasionally he'll fall out of character during interviews.

I suspect he'll keep the character around for a weekly or even nightly bit, or maybe drop by in-character on The Daily Show, but largely will be himself on this new show. The tone will most likely be fun, the guy was a natural talent when he wasn't this character on The Daily Show, and a bit more cerebral than the way Dave plays it.

Colbert doesn't seem the type to be happy in Hollywood, but Conan made it so maybe it could work there too.

I'm voting "not sure" only because I think it could end up being watered down by the network. Will this show be produced by Letterman's "Worldwide Pants"? If not, then it's a little more shaky. If so, then it's gold.
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I think Colbert is the perfect choice....smart, quick witted, extremely talented
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It sucks so much that the Colbert Report is ending. It is the only "talk show" I watch consistently. Ugh. The only way this is good news is if he brings his current writers with him and he stays in character.
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so , Stephen Colbert followed by Craig Ferguson? great line-up CBS..

now I'll just keep dreaming about the return of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, the show that was replaced by The Colbert Report
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What's not to like?
Colbert - goood
Ferguson - gooood

http://31.media.tumblr.com/YfSOiqBBzngqfv5pYaFzQ9zwo1_500.jpg
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