When I said that it was difficult imagining any show following The Daily Show could escape its shadow, I should have added “unless made by the Daily Show itself.” A Stephen Colbert pundit show is a fantastic followup and such a natural that, in retrospect, Greg Giraldo never had a chance.
One of my favorite traits about Colbert as a performer (besides his ability to make his signoff “Jon” get a laugh almost every time) is that he’s not afraid to look like an asshole. He’ll straight-facedly state any manner of exaggerated moralism even if it includes racial, homophobic or sexual taunts. He’s perfect for a send-up of windbags who perform similar “public services” seriously.
I was wondering what the format would be. With the Daily Show’s high profile, it’d be pretty hard to ambush guests with in-studio conversations with a crazed opinionated host ala Crossballs. Guests who appear will pretty much know what they’re getting into. This doesn’t seem to be a difficulty for the faux newsmagazine pieces of The Daily Show, but with Colbert already starting in character rhetoric (he dismissed an appearance by Stewart on the show calling it “liberal claptrap”), it’ll be interesting to see who will play along. No matter what, he’ll have himself to play with in a segment called “Worthy Opponent” where he will debate himself. (See, already high-larious)
The Daily Show made a promo for The Colbert Report a while back, perhaps when they were just working out the concept. For a taste of what Colbert’s brand of justice might be like, click here. (Real)