There is sure to be a healthy dose of Potomac as well as Hudson in the new Late Show from Stephen Colbert, who brings the political edge that helped make his show a hit on Comedy Central.
Colbert, the only late night host who has, in a past life, created his own Super PAC or used a late-night entertainment show to profile congressional districts and their local congressfolk, will be taking over the Letterman slot with an early guest lineup that includes political candidates Jeb Bush and Bernie Sanders and "will he/won't he" candidate (or not) Vice President Joe Biden.
Colbert famously hosted the White House Correspondents' Association dinner (in 2006) with some jokes about then President George W. Bush that sent some Bush staffers to the exits.
Late night TV has been giving political types a forum since at least Jack Paar's Tonight Show was playing host to a handsome young senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy.
Colbert has already shown an appearance on his show won't be an easy chair for political types.
After learning that Jeb Bush was holding a "VIP" fund-raising raffle among supporters for a ticket to Bush's appearance on the opening episode Tuesday, Colbert took to the Web to point out nobody had asked him whether it was OK to raise money from his show and launched his own contest, also for an appearance on the show plus the ability to submit one "non-obscene" question that Colbert agreed to ask on the show. (Paar also let his audience ask a question of Kennedy, but there appeared to be no contest involved only a concern about “fellow travelers.”)
Colbert suggested one good question might be: "Don't you wish you'd consulted Stephen before launching your contest?"
Bush responded by saying he was lowering his contest fee from $3 to $1 and would enter Colbert's $3 contest, the proceeds from which go to the Yellow Ribbon Fund to help wounded veterans.
Colbert’s show hadn’t even started and was already bending powerful politicians to his will like an Uri Geller spoon.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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