Last week’s Republican National Convention was a goldmine of sorts for the late-night comedy set (and understandably so, given…you know…everything). Several shows, like “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” went live on one or all of the nights of the convention to offer the most up-to-the-minute skewering of the speeches and happenings in Cleveland. The consistently brilliant “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” did two episodes last week as well as additional online content to cover the whole event. Even the Weekend Update guys from “Saturday Night Live” stepped away from their summer-long vacation to offer a special Update segment that wasn’t even on a Saturday! While all of these late-night funny people provided their own enjoyable coverage of the RNC and all of its mildly horrifying wonders, there was one late-night personality that shone a little brighter than the rest. That person is Stephen Colbert.
Like “The Daily Show” and “Late Night,” Colbert’s “The Late Show” went live throughout the week to catch every moment of the RNC as it was happening, and did so with fantastic results. From the much-needed return of Jon Stewart and “The Colbert Report’s” “The Word” to a spot-on impression of Melania Trump by the amazing Laura Benanti, Colbert’s RNC coverage provided equal amounts of fun and thoughtfulness, a perfect palate cleanser to the gloom and doom that prevailed at the actual event.
These moments of greatness couldn’t have come at a better time for Colbert, with recent hurtful questions about whether or not James Corden, who follows Colbert each night with “The Late Late Show,” could potentially take over “The Late Show,” which unfortunately hasn’t been kicking much butt in the ratings, becoming a hot topic. Colbert has had a somewhat rough road to travel since becoming host of “The Late Show,” something that I think is a little ridiculous.
When Colbert took over “The Late Show” in fall of 2015, there seemed to be an immense amount of expectation and pressure placed on him to be an immediate hit and a true competitor with Jimmy Fallon‘s “Tonight Show” juggernaut. He hasn’t exactly achieved either of those goals and as a result people seem to be consistently trying to predict his downfall, which I think is hugely unfair. Colbert brings a much different energy to the late night talk show format than Fallon, or even Corden. Those two rely on clips with viral potential, pushing celebrities to smash eggs on their heads or sing along with their own hits in a car in the hopes that people will watch and share with their friends, family and followers. Much of the time it works but there are plenty of people out there, myself included, who are often looking for something a little more serious with their humor, something that’s a bit more grounded in reality. That’s exactly the kind of content that people like Colbert (and Seth Meyers) provide. It’s not better or worse; it’s just different. And different is necessary.
So stop being difficult with Colbert, people! Be cool (don’t be all, like, uncool) and check out his (again, live) coverage of this week’s Democratic National Convention. If his RNC stuff was any indication, his DNC stuff will be excellent as well.
What do you think of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”? Did you enjoy his RNC coverage? Wish Colbert would bring back Chrisitanne Aman-purr? Me too, dear reader. Me too. Share all of your thoughts in monologue form in the comments. But before you do that, let me impart on you this final, very important thought: