The day after CBS’s bombshell announcement that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman on Late Show, when things calmed down a bit and reason returned to her throne, industry pundits began to contemplate the deeper meaning of the shift in the late-night landscape. Practically speaking, it means Comedy Central is now one late-night show short — and CBS may be as well, if Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, or the network, decides to call it a day now that Craig’s for sure not getting the 11:35 PM timeslot. We’ve all been brought up to speed on the clause in Craig’s contract that landed him a pot of cash if the network settled elsewhere on its Letterman replacement. But Ferguson was quick to tweet his congratulations to Colbert the morning the news broke. That night, Ferguson opened his show with another shout out to Colbert, after which he teased viewers with cracks about resigning — but only for the length of a commercial break.
Comedy Central’s Late-Night: From Minor Leagues To Major Player & Innovator With Deep Bench Of Talent Competitors Vie For
For years in the 1990s, Comedy Central was considered nothing more than an incubator for late-night talent. Its first notable weeknight late-night show, Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher, originated there and ran for three years — from 1993-96 — before ABC snatched it to get into the late-night talk-show game. Maher’s successor at ABC, Jimmy Kimmel, also is a Comedy Central discovery, having gotten his start as host on the network’s Win Ben Stein Money and then The Man Show. Before Politically Incorrect left Comedy Central, it helped launch The Daily Show, which premiered behind PI at 11:30 PM before moving to the tentpole 11 PM slot. Back then, the Daily Show had Craig Kilborn as a host. In 1998, he was poached by CBS as a host of the Late Late Show. Sixteen years later, CBS once again is reaching out to Comedy Central’s Daily Show franchise to replenish its late-night ranks, this time drafting the former Daily Show regular and current host of spinoff The Colbert Report to succeed David Letterman on the Late Show.
A lot has changed over those 16 years. Since Jon Stewart replaced Kilborn at the helm of The Daily Show in January 1999, the show has risen to become a late-night leader. It became a top late-night choice for younger viewers and, with the addition of spinoff The Colbert Report in 2005 to form a 11 PM-midnight block, Comedy Central evolved from a late-night poaching ground to a force to be reckoned with. The two shows became pop culture phenomenons and strengthened their hold on the younger crowds by embracing the Internet and social media before most of their late-night competitors. They have enjoyed buzz as well as critical acclaim, with their Emmy dominance nothing short of staggering. The Daily Show won the best variety series category for a record 10 consecutive times before its streak was ended last year by The Colbert Report to give Comedy Central 11 consecutive victories. (It’s worth mentioning that it was the man Colbert is replacing, David Letterman, who ruled the top variety category before Comedy Central’s dynamic duo kicked off their dominant run with five consecutive trophies.) In the variety series writing category, The Daily Show and Colbert Report have won 10 of the past 11 years.
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “Folks — I’m still here. The dark forces trying to silence my message of core conservative principles mixed with youth-friendly product placement have been thwarted!” Stephen Colbert raved Monday night, in re the motherlode The Colbert Report hit when a Twitter campaign to cancel the show erupted last week after the network tweeted a line out of context from one of his comedy bits. He devoted his entire telecast to his rebuttal, at the end of which he and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone blew up @ColbertReport — the network’s official Twitter account for the program, from which had come the offending tweet. (The page no longer exists on Twitter.) “The Interweb tried to swallow me whole. But I am proud to say that I got lodged in its throat and it hacked me back up, like a hastily chewed chicken wing,” Colbert told fans who’d tuned in, we’re guessing in large numbers, to see how he would respond to the kerfuffle. (See the video below.)
Tonight’s episode opened with crew members carrying boxes out of the studio, The Colbert Report set shutting down its lights, a pink rose wilting and dying, Iron Eyes Cody shedding a tear in that ’70s Keep America Beautiful anti-litter PSA. Cut to Colbert, dressed in Washington Redskins sweats and cap, waking on a couch next to BD Wong. Wong told him he’d had a nightmare. Colbert wondered why he’s still dreaming he’s on a couch next to BD Wong. “You fell asleep watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Wong explained. “Wednesdays at 9, 8 Central, on NBC,” Colbert responded.
COLUMN: Social media went all Lord of the Flies today over a Twitter conflagration that erupted when @ColbertReport tweeted out a single line that Stephen Colbert had delivered on Wednesday night’s The Colbert Report mocking Dan Snyder for his latest reaction to the calls to change the racist name of his Washington NFL team. Snyder, in an effort to placate those calling for a name change — including President Obama — recently announced he’s started a foundation to help Native Americans. Proving his critics’ point, he hilariously named it The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.
“I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” @ColbertReport tweeted yesterday. It since has been deleted.
It’s a line from a bit he did on the Wednesday edition of his Comedy Central show which, in turn, was a reference to a 2005 bit on the program in which TV Colbert – the conservative blowhard that the always-in-character Actual Colbert plays on his show – was caught performing a racist Chinese impersonation. To the surprise of the media, as evidenced by its coverage of the fracas, Colbert came under attack at #CancelColbert, with hashtag activist Suey Park leading the charge, which has been a top trending topic on Twitter for two days running:
Around the time Stephen Colbert was suffering Twitter blowback related to promotion of one of his comedy bits mocking Dan Snyder’s latest attempt to placate people angry over his unwillingness to change the name of his Washington team from racial slur “Redskins,” Comedy’s Central‘s The Colbert Report waded into safer territory last night. He mocked ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today for their new-ish social rooms, with a segment “Stephen targets the hip, young toddler demographic.” He got help from the host of CBS’ social-room-free morning show host Charlie Rose.
“In September Today launched its Web connected Orange Room, hosted by NBC Youth Correspondent Carson Daly who is 40 years old – that’s like three teenagers in one,” Colbert said, noting, The Orange Room has been such a hit for NBC that recently Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer unveiled their own new youth zone, Social Square, telling viewers, “it’s young, it’s fun — it’s all about you.”
“Kids, you know something is young hip and fun if a middle-aged woman tells you at 8 am…GMA’s Social Square…has all the same social media apps as the mobile phone in your hand but with the convenience of a stationary room you’re not in,” Colbert said.
The line between satire and ignorance is often thin, and a taken-out-of-context line from The Colbert Report seems to have crossed it today. “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” The Colbert Report‘s verified Twitter account that bears Colbert’s image tweeted today to an instant backlash that spawned the fast-trending #CancelColbert. The line was lifted verbatim from a segment on the Comedy Central show last night about the move by the owner of the Washington Redskins to launch a foundation supporting Native Americans, but without that context, it came across the Twitter universe as an uncalled-for jab at Asians. Amidst the firestorm of negative reaction, the tweet was deleted.
With the controversy far from subsiding, Comedy Central is not officially commenting on the incident but attempted to distance Colbert from the ill-advised remark with two tweets, ”For the record @ColbertReport is not controlled by Stephen Colbert or his show… This is a Comedy Central promotional account, with no oversight from Stephen or his show, that quoted a line out of context.” Colbert tried to make light of the controversy, feigning outrage on his personal Twitter account, @StephenAtHome:
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) March 28, 2014
In a biting segment on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart demonstrates how Don King could be the answer to CNN’s ratings problems. Seems King was a guest on CNN and, when time came to switch gears and begin a report on men getting facial-hair transplants, King refused to go quietly into the night. He continued to talk over the report, winding up his commentary with the chant, “CNN today! CNN today!”
“I never said this before, but I was unable to change the channel from CNN,” Stewart confessed. “These news people are doing their best to do an incredibly stupid segment on beard transplants, but now, because of Don King, he’s making it real, and interesting! Give me more of the King!”
“CNN you have found your voice and it’s Don King’s voice talking over all your other voices,” Stewart advised, and illustrated. Watch here:
UPDATED: Comedy Central’s Nathan Fielder Behind “Dumb Starbucks” Stunt; Health Department Shuts It Down
2ND UPDATE, 5:50 PM: Los Angeles County health officials shut down the Dumb Starbucks operation late Monday afternoon for “operating without a valid public health permit” following company “President” Nathan Fielder’s revealing news conference today. “Employees” …
Ashley Zukerman has been cast as one of the leads in WGN America’s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan. The show, from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV, is set during the clandestine mission …
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central is betting big on actress-comedian Natasha Leggero. The comedian, who garnered a lot of attention with her wild set as a roaster at last year’s Comedy Central Roast Of James Franco, is a voice cast member of Comedy Central’s animated series Brickleberry and a recurring guest panelist on the network’s breakout new late-night show, @midnight. Now Comedy Central has greenlighted a scripted pilot starring and executive produced by Leggero and a stand-up special headlined by her.
The pilot, Another Period, hails from Ben Stiller’s Red Hour, with Drunk History co-creator/director Jeremy Konner directing. It was created by and stars Leggero and Riki Lindhome as Victorian-era heiresses. Shot reality style, the comedy follows the misadventures of Newport’s first family, The Bellacourts, a family with nothing to offer the world, but who have so much money that it doesn’t matter. The show centers around the oldest Bellacourt sisters, Lillian (Leggero) and Beatrice (Lindhome), who care only about how they look, what parties they are invited to and becoming famous — which is a lot harder in 1902. Leggero and Lindhome executive produce with Konner and Red Hour. Leggero previously starred on the first season of Red Hour’s popular online series Burning Love.