I stayed up way past my normal bedtime last night to catch Stephen Colbert’s debut as a late night talk show host. It has been many, many years, decades even, since I watched TV for any length of time and it reminded me once again of how much I positively hate watching TV.
The show began at 11:35 pm last night and I turned on the set at 11:20 and got the tail end of the local news. It was maddening. A sports announcer spoke at breakneck speed about various games and there were a bunch of commercials and inane banter between the two anchors, sports guy, and the weather guy before Colbert’s show began.
The show itself was high energy and incorporated some elements of his former show but I must say that I find the whole talk show format unappealing. It is clear that he is going to have more topical political humor than his competitors, which is a good thing but that seems to be the main distinguishing feature of this from other talk shows. His guests last night consisted of George Clooney and Jeb Bush and for future shows he has scheduled Stephen Breyer, Bernie Sanders, and Ban Ki-moon, the kinds of people who are usually absent from such shows.
Colbert’s show also had a lot of commercial breaks which were annoying. I understand that the business model for free TV depends on commercials but for me the price is too high. There are far too many long and irritating commercials to make me want to endure it again. When I watch online clips, there is usually one 15 or 30 second ad before a clip and I find that an acceptable trade-off. I will likely only watch clips of this show online too.
You can see the first episode in full here.