Mar 31, 2020
A Children’s Treasury Of Reactions To CBS Declaring Stephen Colbert Pope Of Late Night
It looks like almost everyone on Twitter is congratulating Stephen Colbert on his being chosen to take over David Letterman’s Late Show, except for a few people who are surprised-not-surprised that the job went to a middle-aged white guy, and a few conservatives who are now going to boycott The Late Show because they had somehow forgotten to boycott it a few years ago when everyone in the Wingnuttosphere deliberately twisted a joke Letterman made. But for the most part people are happy, although some have a sad because it also means that the “Stephen Colbert” character will be leaving Comedy Central. Then again, that is just a character played by Stephen Colbert, so it’s possible that someone else could take over the role. How about Dick Sargent?
Let’s lead off with Mr. Colbert’s own statement, which is as gracious as you’d expect:
“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead. … Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”
Seriously, we have a hard time believing that anyone who isn’t Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like Stephen Colbert the guy; if you’ve ever listened to any of Terry Gross’s Fresh Air interviews, he just seems like he’s about the most ridiculously likeable person you could ever meet. If you haven’t listened to any of those, give ’em a listen — Gross’s show is one of the few venues where Colbert regularly breaks character, as in this 2005 interview, shortly after the debut of The Colbert Report.
Want more out-of-character Colbert? Take a look at this piece by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, where Colbert briefly drops the character to prep John Kerry for a 2007 appearance on the show:
“You know that I’m in character?”
“OK, then I’m an idiot.”
Yesterday, before the official announcement, Jon Stewart told Vulture that he thought Colbert would be “amazing” for the Late Show job, and said that it would give him the chance to really show off what he can do:
“He is a uniquely talented individual,” Stewart said. “He’s wonderful in Colbert Report, but he’s got gears he hasn’t even shown people yet. He would be remarkable.”
Jimmy Fallon sent a tweet offering support to his new competitor (and honestly, there’s another guy who I don’t think has a mean bone in his body; it’s kind of scary how decent he seems), but suggests a minor change to help him fit into the time slot:
And of course, there were a few negative nellies, like Albert Merrick at feculent crudweasel Ben Shapiro’s RevoltingTruthiness, who suggested that Colbert lied about the tweet that launched the #CancelColbert nontroversy. Colbert had explained that the account was (mis)managed by Comedy Central, but Merrick has a smoking gun, he does:
Recently, a tweet about Asians sent from Colbert’s verified twitter account [Emphasis added — Dok Z] caused the hashtag #cancelcolbert to trend because of its offensive nature:
I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.—
Colbert said he was not responsible for the tweet, not aware of the identity of its author.
Jim Hoft, the Stupidest Man on the Internet, also griped about the effrontery of Colbert’s 2010 “Rally to Restore Sanity,” which “mock[ed] the Tea Party” — apparently something that must not be done. And in true Gateway Pundit style, Hoft even got that bit wrong — Jon Stewart proposed the “Rally to Restore Sanity,” while Colbert responded by calling for a “March to Keep Fear Alive.” Yes, yes, the combined event was the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear,” and the whole thing was a spoof of Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore America. Also, Hoft repeats the claim that Colbert “offended Asian-Americans with a racist tweet.” And then Hoft went back to posting stories about how Muslims are all murderous fanatics.
And finally, Rush Limbaugh got in on the act, proclaiming that in choosing Colbert for the Late Night job, “CBS Has Just Declared War on the Heartland of America”:
“No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives––now it’s just going to be wide out in the open. What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny and a redefinition of what is comedy.”
We thought that Rush Limbaugh had already taken care of “redefining what is comedy” back in 1988 when he explained that
“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.”
OK, so maybe some people genuinely don’t like Stephen Colbert. We don’t think we’d want to invite them to lunch anyway.
Let’s close with the suggestion we liked best, from Jezebel editor Erin Gloria Ryan:
That would actually be rather sweet, we think.