Johnny Carson, and for that matter, his predecessor, Jack Paar, set the tone and style for late night interview shows.
Their humor was low-key, cool and ironic. Talk show hosts since then, from Jay Leno to Letterman have been, more or less, cut from the same cloth. Colbert’s competition, Jimmy Fallon, the new “Tonight Show” host, also has the same cool-kid style.
Colbert, in contrast, essentially brought his zany “Comedy Central” humor to the “Late Show,” without the faux political edge. He’s still the loud, brassy guy from the “Colbert Report.”
He’s closer to Conan O’Brien’s smart alecky style without the urbane sophistication of his humor.
One thing is certain, he’s a sharp departure from Letterman’s brand of ironic humor. It remains to be seen if he’ll keep most of Dave’s fans. Or, if his politically attuned “Comedy Central” fans will follow him.
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