From “#CancelColbert” to conquering late night television

Max Miranda, A&E Editor

It was just under a month ago that the public had pleaded for an end to The Colbert Report.

Via social media, a handful of strongly opinionated viewers ran a Twitter rampage against an out of context racist comment said by Stephen Colbert himself. Colbert’s statement quickly sparked a controversy that urged protestors of the Colbert Report to start up the trending hashtag: “#CancelColbert.”

The hashtag became a nationwide trend within 24 hours of Colbert’s original tweet.

In response, Colbert dedicated nearly half of his show on March 31 to address the tweet, clarifying that it was simply satire

Colbert’s protestors will be granted their wish next year as Stephen Colbert will soon step down from The Colbert Report. However, Colbert is solely departing from his show to step up and fill the large shoes of David Letterman.

After announcing his retirement earlier in the month, Letterman announced that he was passing the baton on to the “always entertaining” Stephen Colbert.

The decision for CBS seemed to be between Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson, a man who has been toiling in the 12:30 slot after Letterman for around a decade.

Although they ultimately chose Colbert for his (mostly) positive influence on social media, Craig Ferguson still stands to net an eight to twelve million dollar profit.

Due to a clause in his contract that states that the network owes him at least eight million if someone else is signed as Letterman’s replacement.

In order to announce Colbert as his replacement, Letterman had Colbert as a guest on his show on April 22.

The segment seemed to indicate that Stephen Colbert will be entering the 11:30 slot without his conservative, antagonistic persona with which (most) audiences have fallen in love.

However, Colbert has survived before without his infamous persona. This effort has been demonstrated by his visits to Google’s headquarters, The Tonight Show, and Congress (although Colbert’s visit was only semi-serious).

Yet, longtime fans of Stephen Colbert will tell you that they are not looking forward to the switch, fearing that Late Show will melt down Colbert’s absurd and bold sense of humor.

Conversely, others believe that Colbert out of character will give him the proper opportunity to shine.

Regardless, Colbert is a savvy comedian who has been locked in his character since the show debuted in 2005 and has performed as his character even prior on The Daily Show with John Stewart.

Stephen Colbert has certainly come a long way from his job as a correspondent on The Daily Show. Since his first glimpse of fame, Colbert’s accolades have grown to include a multitude of Emmys, a Peabody Award, and the coining of Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year in 2006 (“truthiness”).

No matter how the premiere of the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert goes, all eyes will certainly be on him when he takes Letterman’s chair.