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The audience at "The Ed" was comprised largely of Stephen Colbert's family members and CBS executives. The guy had to be at least a little rattled, though to his credit he handled it about as well as I could imagine anyone handling it.

Colbert's the master of the desk piece. The monologue skill is going to be hardest for him, as he has virtually zero stand-up experience, and that's all a monologue is - stand-up. The interviews weren't bad; they were, however, over-produced. I think he'd be better suited going the Craig Ferguson route and just chucking the pre-interview questions and riffing with his guests for 7 minutes.

Jon Batiste and his band are the weak element, but they aren't bad. While Paul Shaffer came into "Late Night" already as a well-known guy within the music industry, Batiste is a 28 year old guy with little pedigree aside from attending Julliard. If he composed that theme song though, it should've been a sign that maybe he wasn't the right pick for the gig.

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It is nearly impossible to judge a guy based on his very first show, even if he's been hosting another kind of show for the last ~10 years. That Colbert did so well last night is a great sign. This is going to be a fun show.

Conan's tonight show took a while to get its legs under it, and Fallon wasn't just unwatchable his first few months, he was rage-inducing. I remember one bit they did that was a "Miami Ink" parody using hairless cats that was so unfunny the audience stopped courtesy laughing after 20 seconds and it was just straight silence from there, which at that point became weird, terrible performance art. I bet it lasted 3 minutes, but it felt like it went on for 15. Anyways, Fallon still isn't great, his interviews are awful, and he relies a lot on crutches and props, but he's found his zone where stuff works (musical impressions, being silly with normally uptight celebrities). Early on it, though, it felt like that show was doomed for an early grave. Now he's on the damn Tonight Show.

You know who I like - James Corden. I've caught maybe 5 of his shows, including last night and I think he does a nice job.

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Anyways, Fallon still isn't great, his interviews are awful, and he relies a lot on crutches and props, but he's found his zone where stuff works (musical impressions, being silly with normally uptight celebrities). Early on it, though, it felt like that show was doomed for an early grave. Now he's on the damn Tonight Show.

Fallon has figured out how to make the show his own, however - putting celebrities in self-deprecating situations where they appear humanized and terribly informal. It's charming in it's own way, but terribly pandering and he himself is incapable as an interviewer to be more than a giggler.

I kind of like Jimmy Kimmel, personally. I feel like he's a bit under appreciated as a host, since he's buried on ABC, and he himself is such an enormous Letterman fan that he aired a re-run on Dave's last show, encouraging ABC viewers to watch CBS out of respect for Letterman.

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Being 'buried' at ABC isn't his problem. As bizarre as this sounds, I think he suffers from the "title curse:" every major network that has launched a late night program with the host's name as the central element to the name ("The Joey Bishop Show," "Thicke of the Night," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "The Dick Cavett Show," etc.) has failed. Every major network launching an hour-long late night program without the host's name as the central element ("The Tonight Show, starring/with...", "Late Night with...", "Later with...", "Last Call with...", "The Late Show with...", etc.) has succeeded as a franchise.

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Jon Batiste and his band are the weak element, but they aren't bad. While Paul Shaffer came into "Late Night" already as a well-known guy within the music industry, Batiste is a 28 year old guy with little pedigree aside from attending Julliard. If he composed that theme song though, it should've been a sign that maybe he wasn't the right pick for the gig.

Yeah, I'm fearful about that aspect. His mugging for the camera so much was not a good sign.

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Two shows in and it seems like a mix of the Colbert repert and Conan (but with more political edge).

One thing i am disappointed is it seems to be going to the three guest format from Letterman's usual two. That means less comedy segments. i don't know about anyone else, but i usually just turn these shows off when it gets to the guest segments.

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Colbert can be interesting. But politically, he needs to keep it down the middle or ratings will kill him...he's not on cable anymore. Trump & Hillary will likely even each other out. But he needs to be a non-partisan offender to really succeed. Which is why Leno succeeded...love him or hate him.

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Another rough night for Colbert. Successful in the segment department, this time a bit more understated with fun stuff like the Furry Hat laws and the Deep Thoughts thing, but the interviews were a downright embarrassment. Guy has no ability at all to conduct a proper interview.

  • He still has a problem with not letting his guests speak. I know that a lot of hosts have historically interjected frequently with guests, but it's getting to the point where Scarlett had to tell him "stop it!" He was going on and on and not letting her get a word in. I could sense her frustration with him through the screen.
  • He's kind of an assbag. He immediately gave Scarlett a lot of crap for living in Paris, because what's wrong with New York? Started down a good road with her fashion, which she clearly wanted to discuss (I imagine she's got some sort of passion for it, based on her reaction), but then he sort of defused it to the point to where she forgot what she was talking about and all they had was "hand hat" and awkward commercial break.
  • He or his staff is not doing good research on their guests. I know Scarlett doesn't have any projects at the moment that she's there to promote, but why not ask? What are you working on? What keeps your free time occupied? What are your interests? What are your personal or professional goals? Etc. And he totally blew the Musk interview. The guy is a wealth of interesting information and yet not only did they get it wrong that he was the CEO of that company, but he took the bait on the "it's not a barge, it's a boat" thing (which from Musk must occur frequently) and that led to an awkward moment; one of many.
  • What was the point of the footage of the failed landing besides making Musk look like a fool? He ran the tape of this explosion but then had no decent follow up questions. Musk, who is nowhere near as eloquent or charismatic as Colbert, seemed to keep his head about him and answer seriously to a great many things while dodging most of Colbert's idiotic musings.

He's a poor host to his guests, and if I were him I would focus less on the pre-interview shenanigans that will make YouTube and more on the guests that are the meat and potatoes of that aspect of the industry. Can't lie, I'm embarrassed for him.

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I think he's still a bit nervous. Probably should by next week ditch the election bits, esp as go-to gags they've been leaning on. He needs to realize this is a much wider audience than his the political centric show he left. Hell, he even joked as much about millions more ppl watching.

With all due respect, I think it'll take until the next major pop cultural incident before he truly finds his wheels. Right now seems to be trial & error... what he needs is a good old fashioned water cooler topic everyone can laugh at.

I am looking forward to his Biden 1-1, that could be interesting considering how sombre Joe's been lately. I'd hope Stephen doesn't try to overthink that interview & just let the conversation flow.

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I've got to admit, I fell asleep in the break between the second and third acts, so I didn't see the interviews. I'll probably catch them on DVR just to critique, but with any of these shows it's going to take at least a month for it to find its footing.

I do notice however that Stephen Colbert is using the stage space MUCH better than David Letterman ever did. He's used the second tier in both episodes, and I suspect that's going to be a regular thing.

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Love that desk & backdrop.

I really don't like the neon logo on the desk. I find the logo itself to be very uninspiring; and the neon doesn't look good next to the wood of the desk.

The set is OK, if a bit cramped. (Whereas Fallon's set is gorgeous.)

Can you agree that Jimmy Fallon is a lisping facile man-baby who isn't good at a single thing other than "hey remember ___?" and "celebrities are so great, let's play games!"?

Fallon is super-talented. He can sing, dance, rap, and do impressions. He's quick-witted, and able to ad lib at length. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture. He looks great on camera (especially now that he has begun wearing suits that fit, rather than those super-tight ones). He bonds instantly with his guests. There's plenty to like about him.

Of course, it's true that he's sometimes too obsequious. And he is far from a great interviewer, treating too many guests in the awed, over-reverential way Letterman treated Robert De Niro. Still, he's wonderful.

That said, my favourite host in the post-Letterman era is Conan O'Brien. He makes me laugh consistently, and he has a great deal of charm. He occasionally throws in a silly gag worthy of Letterman. For me, he is wearing Dave's crown.

Getting back to Colbert: He's thoughtful and poised. But I think the main flaw of his show that I have seen so far is the lack of a sidekick, the lack of someone to bounce things off of the way Conan does with Andy Richter and Dave did with Paul Shaffer. With no sidekick and no announcer (Colbert announces himself, reprising the gag that Craig Kilborn used to do), the show is a bit unbalanced. Also, that bandleader John Batiste is a bit too exhuberant for my taste. Stop jumping around, man!

I am also disappointed that Colbert's band doesn't play guests on with established songs, the way Paul Shaffer's band did and The Roots do. Conan's band doesn't do that for economic reasons -- so that TBS doesn't have to buy rights to hit songs. But clearly the decision not to do that (and not to play recognisable pop songs in and out of commercial breaks) is an artistic decision.

A final note: I sort of expected the Ed Sullivan Theatre to be re-named the David Letterman Theatre. Maybe they didn't want to do that right at the transistion, so as not to distract from Colbert. But I still have a feeling that that will happen eventually.

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His 1-1 with Biden was memorable.

I'm gonna stop posting in here cuz it's way too soon any more... maybe couple times a month if it's active.

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His 1-1 with Biden was memorable.

I'm gonna stop posting in here cuz it's way too soon any more... maybe couple times a month if it's active.

That was a great interview because Stephen let him talk and had some really touching questions to evoke interesting answers from a terribly interesting man. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Love that desk & backdrop.

I really don't like the neon logo on the desk. I find the logo itself to be very uninspiring; and the neon doesn't look good next to the wood of the desk.

The set is OK, if a bit cramped. (Whereas Fallon's set is gorgeous.)

Can you agree that Jimmy Fallon is a lisping facile man-baby who isn't good at a single thing other than "hey remember ___?" and "celebrities are so great, let's play games!"?

Fallon is super-talented. He can sing, dance, rap, and do impressions. He's quick-witted, and able to ad lib at length. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture. He looks great on camera (especially now that he has begun wearing suits that fit, rather than those super-tight ones). He bonds instantly with his guests. There's plenty to like about him.

Of course, it's true that he's sometimes too obsequious. And he is far from a great interviewer, treating too many guests in the awed, over-reverential way Letterman treated Robert De Niro. Still, he's wonderful.

That said, my favourite host in the post-Letterman era is Conan O'Brien. He makes me laugh consistently, and he has a great deal of charm. He occasionally throws in a silly gag worthy of Letterman. For me, he is wearing Dave's crown.

Getting back to Colbert: He's thoughtful and poised. But I think the main flaw of his show that I have seen so far is the lack of a sidekick, the lack of someone to bounce things off of the way Conan does with Andy Richter and Dave did with Paul Shaffer. With no sidekick and no announcer (Colbert announces himself, reprising the gag that Craig Kilborn used to do), the show is a bit unbalanced. Also, that bandleader John Batiste is a bit too exhuberant for my taste. Stop jumping around, man!

I am also disappointed that Colbert's band doesn't play guests on with established songs, the way Paul Shaffer's band did and The Roots do. Conan's band doesn't do that for economic reasons -- so that TBS doesn't have to buy rights to hit songs. But clearly the decision not to do that (and not to play recognisable pop songs in and out of commercial breaks) is an artistic decision.

A final note: I sort of expected the Ed Sullivan Theatre to be re-named the David Letterman Theatre. Maybe they didn't want to do that right at the transistion, so as not to distract from Colbert. But I still have a feeling that that will happen eventually.

It would be incredibly disrespectful to drop Ed Sullivan's name from the name of the theater. The man was a pioneer in the business. Maybe something like David Letterman Studio at Ed Sullivan Theater.

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After watching a clip on Youtube, I saw that nothing's been changed at all, from the colors of the sets to the style all his segments and interviews. It's as if the Colbert Report just moved stations from Comedy Central to CBS. So who will be hosting the new Late Show again? :upside:

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every major network that has launched a late night program with the host's name as the central element to the name ("The Joey Bishop Show," "Thicke of the Night," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "The Dick Cavett Show," etc.) has failed.

What? Cavett's show is still regarded as having some of the best interviewing on television. Take it away, Whit Stillman:

Tom Townsend: That it ceased to exist, I’ll grant you, but whether or not it failed cannot be definitively said.

Charlie Black: Well, for me, ceasing to exist is — is failure. I mean, that’s pretty definitive.

Tom Townsend: Well, everyone ceases to exist. Doesn’t mean everyone’s a failure.

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(The site's mobile version doesn't allow quoting. Or else I don't know how to do it.)

Dexter Morgan - I agree that it would be disrespectful to remove Ed Sullivan's name. But I don't rule it out. If a renaming in honour of Letterman happens, then I hope they choose the version which you suggested, "the David Letterman Studio (or 'Stage') at the Ed Sullivan Theatre".

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Love that desk & backdrop.

The set is OK, if a bit cramped. (Whereas Fallon's set is gorgeous.)

I am also disappointed that Colbert's band doesn't play guests on with established songs, the way Paul Shaffer's band did and The Roots do. Conan's band doesn't do that for economic reasons -- so that TBS doesn't have to buy rights to hit songs. But clearly the decision not to do that (and not to play recognisable pop songs in and out of commercial breaks) is an artistic decision.

A final note: I sort of expected the Ed Sullivan Theatre to be re-named the David Letterman Theatre. Maybe they didn't want to do that right at the transistion, so as not to distract from Colbert. But I still have a feeling that that will happen eventually.

First, my apologies, but the quoting system here on the forums really sucks sometimes.

It's funny... my impression is that Fallon has a cramped, spartan look to it (my first thought in seeing it was literally asking myself, "Did they use cardboard for the background?"), while the set at "the Ed" is far more colorful. It's cramped given the overall size of the theatre, but one of David Letterman's complaints about the facility was that he always felt he had too much stage space to work with. Colbert apparently heeded that complaint.2

every major network that has launched a late night program with the host's name as the central element to the name ("The Joey Bishop Show," "Thicke of the Night," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "The Dick Cavett Show," etc.) has failed.

What? Cavett's show is still regarded as having some of the best interviewing on television. Take it away, Whit Stillman:

Tom Townsend: That it ceased to exist, I’ll grant you, but whether or not it failed cannot be definitively said.

Charlie Black: Well, for me, ceasing to exist is — is failure. I mean, that’s pretty definitive.

Tom Townsend: Well, everyone ceases to exist. Doesn’t mean everyone’s a failure.

You're right: Cavett's shows were and are today regarded as outstanding television. But both were ultimately cancelled.

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Yeah, but a couple of them ran for years. Which is a success, even if they didn't run as long as Dick might've wanted.

We're not talking about the Chevy Chase show here.

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Yeah, but a couple of them ran for years. Which is a success, even if they didn't run as long as Dick might've wanted.

We're not talking about the Chevy Chase show here.

Right. Getting cancelled is not indicative of a show having been a failure. Almost everything gets cancelled eventually. Only Carson and Letterman orchestrated their own exits. Not even Leno did that.

Arsenio Hall had two runs. Both were eventually cancelled; but only the second one was a failure. The first one, having run for five or six years, was successful in that it earned a place in the culture. Likewise, Cavett's shows, both on ABC and PBS, are definitely cultural touchstones. It would be outrageous to call them failures.

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