Will The Brilliant Satire Of Stephen Colbert Work On Late Night Network Television

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I just want to start by saying that I love Steve Colbert and his brand of satire that is the essence of his award winning show on Comedy Central – but is mainstream America ready for him on late night network television?

The host of “The Colbert Report” just signed a five-year contract to succeed David Letterman in the 11:30 PM time slot on CBS.

“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”

He added, “I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

 Colbert, who’s depiction of a Bill O’Reilly type, ultra conservative, self-absorbed news man, is expected to be paid around $10 million to $12 million a year for the show, which is likely to stay at the CBS-owned Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan, sources have said.

But what Colbert has been wildly successful at is “schtick,” so are A-list guests who are out pushing their new movies, books, records or TV shows going to be able to handle Colbert’s tricky line of questioning? He bounces so quick in and out of character that even the most astute guests sometimes seem befuddled as they sit across from him.

I love the guy but I’m not sure if that form of satirist humor can work for a stodgy old network like CBS.

For more on the story, check out {NewYorkTimes]


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Scott St. John

About Scott St. John

I have worked in the media for over 30 years as a Producer,director, cameraman,photographer and in publicity. I have worked for the four major television networks and for over 20 different cable networks. From American Idol to the Today Show to HBO Documentaries to the Academy Awards, I have been fortunate to work at the highest professional level in television. As a photographer, my work has been published or seen online in magazines such as Maxim, Stuff, Us weekly, InTouch,Gotham, Shock, OK magazine and more. My work has taken me to the four corners of the world from Africa to South America to Europe to Japan. It's been a great run and I am happy to be on board with the News Burner team.

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