Late Show with Stephen Colbert: George Clooney/Jeb Bush
September 9, 2015 7:28 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

First episode! Stephen kicked the show off with the National Anthem sung by him at multiple locations around the country accompanied by locals (although a few seemed like tourists), which ended with a great cameo. Play ball, indeed. We were also introduced to his in-house band, Jon Batiste and Stay Human. After the opening monologue and settling into his new desk, Stephen showed the audience around the revamped Ed Sullivan Theater, some memorabilia, and then discussed an well known figure in the news. George Clooney was his first guest (ever), just dropping by to hang out with no real project to push. Jeb Bush became his first politician/presidential candidate guest and they discussed some policies and the election. The night ended with the band accompanied by multiple guests musicians, including Mavis Staples, as well as Stephen himself, playing "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone.

There's a bonus clip with Jeb Bush online, as captioned during the show.

I got a big kick out of Stephen launching his monologue (after the familiar Stephen! Stephen! Stephen!) with "Nation!", and it was great to see the familiar beats of his deliveries, this time by the real Stephen Colbert.

I do miss the old format, mostly because I think it allowed him to be more outrageous. This first episode had most of the hallmarks of a basic cable late night show with his own twists, which is what you should come to expect. However I'm excited to see where he takes the show and how it will be different from the others.
posted by numaner (38 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I liked the intro, and I liked the Oreo bit.....but really, it was just your general pleasant sleepy-time TV. The expected late show format, dad jokes, an over-the-top band.
posted by Windigo at 7:47 AM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was a decent first show but of course hard to judge because it's going to take time to find his voice.

It's tough seeing someone go from cable to network TV because they have to kind of dumb it down a bit for the wider audience. He's more Letterman than Leno though, thank god, so we'll still have a lot of the wackiness we've come to expect from Dave and Steven.

I wish him well and I hope in a few months or a few years it's just perfectly normal for that guy from that cable show to be as beloved as Johnny Carson or Letterman were in their prime.
posted by bondcliff at 7:59 AM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I look forward to seeing what happens as he settles into the show. Seems a bit scattered, but he's hit the ground running, and is ahead of the game.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:27 AM on September 9, 2015


Also the show credits were very eye opening.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:41 AM on September 9, 2015


I liked the cursed amulet bit, and the fact that Sabra apparently paid to be involved in it.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:11 AM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]



Also the show credits were very eye opening.


???
posted by drezdn at 10:16 AM on September 9, 2015


I wish that CBS would get with the program and put Colbert back on Hulu, or at least a convenient, non-paywalled TV app. I know for a fact that I wouldn't have watched Daily Show or Colbert Report for all these years without them being on Hulu, for the simple fact that I get up at 5 AM during the week. I don't want cable, and I don't see the point of paying for a DVR to record network television when it's easier to stream.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:20 AM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Or "beat the boots" and put clips of the show on YouTube, like HBO does with Last Week Tonight.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:23 AM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


ZeusHumms: Also the show credits were very eye opening.

The opening credits?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 AM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Was it me or was the show very blue. Blue suit, lights, etc.
posted by beowulf573 at 12:14 PM on September 9, 2015


ZeusHumms: Also the show credits were very eye opening.

The opening credits?


The closing credits that listed Jon Stewart as an executive producer.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:31 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


numaner: “I got a big kick out of Stephen launching his monologue (after the familiar Stephen! Stephen! Stephen!) with "Nation!"”
In my heart of hearts, he had coached himself all day not to say it, then couldn't help himself when the red light came on.

I loved the bit with the cursed amulet too. It seemed very subversive.

I'm completely over the melodica already, but I loved the big number at the end with Mavis Staples, et al.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:35 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Strange Interlude, not sure how long it'll last but you can currently watch the entire first episode on the show's site. There are also clips from it, including that bonus one, on their youtube page.

I'm pretty annoyed though that the show's site forces you to disable ad-block plus in order to watch, and then the commercial is like more than half the length of the clip. I hate Hulu even more because even if you upgrade to Hulu+ the commercials are still there. Forced commercials should die in a fire. I'm a proud supporter of Amazon Prime and Netflix because of that. Like we don't get bombarded enough daily with ads everywhere. Even in google search results (which is almost impossible to block) when we need any kind of product or service. The worst are those many-minutes-long commercial clips for a video that you might stop watching maybe a minute in. It's like waiting in a theme park line for a supposed "fun" house that turns out not to be very fun, and you can walk out any time but you just waited all time in line and you feel obligated!
[/rant]

Anyways, there's quite a few options to watch it whenever you want :-)
posted by numaner at 1:45 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't really care about commercials, personally. If it makes the content free to me (or in the case of Hulu, partially subsidizes it) and doesn't interfere with my viewing experience beyond giving me natural restroom and snack intervals between the normal act breaks, I'm fine with it.

I just don't understand why CBS is so loath to the idea of making their programming more accessible to viewers through general streaming services, because I'm sure as hell not joining a $6/month premium OTT service that only has CBS programming. I don't care for laugh-track throwback sitcoms, reality TV competitions, or dull crime procedurals, so there's literally nothing else on CBS that I care to watch.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:14 PM on September 9, 2015


I just don't understand why CBS is so loath to the idea of making their programming more accessible to viewers through general streaming services..

Well, Hulu is owned by Fox, NBC, and Disney, so that's probably why CBS doesn't have stuff on there.
posted by sideshow at 3:05 PM on September 9, 2015


It was free on the CBS website. Don't know if that was just for the premiere.
posted by transient at 3:46 PM on September 9, 2015


I'm completely over the melodica already, but I loved the big number at the end with Mavis Staples, et al.

I didn't recognize anyone in the ending number (which is totally on me) but it was a lot of fun. I don't usually stick around for talk show music appearances, but would if they were more like this. The energy reminded me a lot of when Springsteen would come on Conan or even Colbert's final show.
posted by Gary at 4:24 PM on September 9, 2015


The last dozen episodes of Corden's Late Late Show are on the CBS site, so if that's any indication, you'll have a chance to see him there.

I tried hooking up a good antenna to my TV and was frustrated to see the 'Central Coast' CBS station (based in Santa Maria, 30 miles from me) didn't come in but the ABC station (based in Santa Barbara, 80 miles away) did. Well, I'll be able to watch The Muppets with that... Then I signed up for the 'free week' of CBS.com's premium, but then learned that 'my local station' wasn't participating in the Live Feed, so no Instant Colbert and I cancelled immediately. At least it was onsite and free today.

Several small complaints (which is good since it means no BIG complaints)...
The National Anthem opening (1) seemed more like something Old Fake Stephen would do and (2) reminded me that, in the old days, broadcast stations played the National Anthem right before signing off for the night... not an association you'd think they'd WANT.
The 'cursed amulet' bit made me think "So he's changing his persona from 'goofball Conservative' to 'goofball Satanist'?
The extended Trump bit surprised me... I'd hoped he'd try going Trump free for at least the first night, ahem, (and the bonus Jeb Bush clip was also Trump-related) but the Oreo cookie framing worked well. BUT THEN HE BADMOUTHED HYDROX, the Oreo competitor with the bad name that I actually liked better and I don't care if it aligns me with Trump, I WANT HYDROX.
The line in the monologue about "having 9 months to prepare a one-hour show" seemed almost true, as filled-with-schtick as the show was... he seemed to get bogged down talking to George Clooney about having 'nothing to promote' (which isn't true, he could've plugged "Tomorrowland" going to video), then showing some 'fake clips from a movie that doesn't exist'.
And I never was able to hear clearly when he credited all the guest singers at the end of the musical number (even repeating the CBS.com video with headphones on). And during the song, I thought "why are they showing pictures of all white people in the background?" until I realized they were pictures of the first couple rows of Colbert's audience... still, NOT QUITE 'Everyday People' there.
Still, only small complaints... I'll be back to CBS.com to see if it has daily replays (you know his interviews with Elon Musk and Joe Biden are going to get 'schticky').
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:36 PM on September 9, 2015


I could only make it about half way through his first bit behind the desk (fell asleep) Based on what I saw, it was...okay. A whole lot of energy, and a lot of lame jokes scattered among the better ones.

That set sure was red, white and blue.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:43 PM on September 9, 2015


I didn't last long either. It has the inevitable stink of the mainstream on it. I'm not surprised that even Colbert cannot wash it away.
posted by juiceCake at 6:57 PM on September 9, 2015


i loved it. colbert hasn't been this energized in years. the old format was clearly stifling him.
posted by JimBennett at 8:32 PM on September 9, 2015


It's a different thing, and that's sad in its own way. But it looks like a good show so far. The cursed amulet bit made me LOL really hard. That was some Hodgman-level nonsense there.

I am reminding myself to adjust my expectations. "The Late Show" is a daily entertainment, something fun to watch at the end of the day. "The Colbert Report" was high-end satire and something else entirely. Apples and oranges. Both are yummy.
posted by jbickers at 2:58 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


What Colbert brings that no other late night show hosts bring is an absolute commitment to everything he does. Everything. I can imagine a number of other hosts doing the cursed amulet gag, but with a tongue-in-cheek, "Yeah, this is just a skit, haha" attitude that would ruin it. But not Colbert: that drama as real. And I love him for it.

I also just love the way he talks. The way he uses words. He's so incredibly articulate, and he gets this rhythm going that is both lulling and explosive. Like when he was talking about David Letterman.

I'm just so glad to have him back, guys. I missed you, Colbert. cbs you better damn well not put him behind a paywall
posted by meese at 7:42 AM on September 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought for the most part it was a pretty good translation of what Colbert used to do for the broader audience he now has access to. I do wonder how the whole cursed amulet thing went over with some of the home audience who've never seen his old show.

Colbert and Stewart both talk over / interrupt their guests far too much. S'ok on Comedy Central, but the focus of the new show is -- or should be -- different. I hope he'll moderate this a bit more. He did let Jeb! show himself to be an empty suit with no charisma. There was no need to interfere.

It denotes excitement.

Golden.

Clooney and Jeb! both locked eyes with the camera several times. I wonder if it had a funny hat on or something that distracted them.

I know Colbert likes to eat and drink on-camera, but I could do with less of it. Irritated that he devoted so much time to it on his premier.

the show credits were very eye opening . . . . The closing credits that listed Jon Stewart as an executive producer.

Eh? Stewart was always credited as executive producer on The Colbert Report. He's a principle of a production company that invests (in both senses) in entertainment products. It doesn't necessarily mean he's involved directly with the show in any way. The role may be strictly financial, or even strictly honorary -- a sort of producer emeritus.

I'm completely over the melodica already

Interesting. Several Mefits are on record as being 'over' the saxophone, and at least one as being 'over' the guitar. You could all probably find some accordion and ukulele haters and start a band.

I never was able to hear clearly when he credited all the guest singers at the end of the musical number

I didn't recognize anyone in the ending number


With valued assistance from my hipper better half, I can help you with that:

Two guitarists, house left
Derek Trucks: Slide guitar genius, played with the Allman Bros Band, Eric Clapton, lead his own bands, and now co-leads Tedeschi-Trucks with his wife Susan Tedeschi.

Buddy Guy: 79 year old blues icon, longtime partner with the late Junior Wells. A major influence on Hendrix and many other rock guitarists. Usually plays polka-dot guitars -- often while wearing polka-dot shirts --because he'd promised his mum a polka-dot Cadillac once he made it big. (She passed away before that happened.) Normally a pretty flamboyant performer, he didn't find much space here*.

Keyboards, house right
Ben Folds One, formerly of The Ben Folds Five Trio.

Background singers enter from behind a screen
left to right:

Paul Janeway: Lead singer with St Paul and The Broken Bones, a young soul band out of Alabama, (connected somehow with the somewhat better known Alabama Shakes).
Susan Tedeschi: A fine guitarist and singer with her own band, now co-leads Tedeschi-Trucks with her husband Derek Trucks.
Brittany Howard: Lead singer and guitarist with the always tasty Alabama Shakes
Aloe Blacc: A hip-hop artist about whom I know nothing

Lead vocals, entering front from house left:
Mavis Staples, formerly lead singer of the Staple(s) Singers ("Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There"), they also appeared in the film The Last Waltz performing "The Weight" along with The Band. Lately, she has been working with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.
Finally, on horns:
Zack Condon (trumpet) and other members of his band, Beruit about which I know nothing.

--------------------------------------------------
* The perfomance that was broadcast was edited. There's a bit more instrumental soloing on the extended version available online.
posted by Herodios at 8:41 AM on September 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


What Colbert brings that no other late night show hosts bring is an absolute commitment to everything he does. Everything.

Amen ta that, Reed. Amen ta that.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:43 AM on September 10, 2015


Stewart's a principle of a production company

Or rather, a principal.

I need a seven minute edit window, it seems.

posted by Herodios at 8:50 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


you know if ads are a problem you could just get the show the way that most decent normal people do. Piracy is a bulwark of democracy — what public libraries were to the 20th century, piracy is to the 21st — and as such supporting piracy is more important than supporting media producers.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:20 PM on September 10, 2015


Aloe Blacc: A hip-hop artist about whom I know nothing

I only know him as the vocalist for Avicii's "Wake Me Up", the house/dance song that was infecting all the popular radio stations for the past year or two. Great voice though, but I haven't really taken the time to check out his own stuff.
posted by numaner at 10:59 PM on September 10, 2015


It's funny that Colbert went with a jazz band, when Letterman reportedly hated the genre. I like jazz, but Batiste's music just feels "pleasant" and not particularly memorable so far (maybe it's different live). The lighting seems a lot darker too, so the show just has a wind-down feeling to it. Although, compared to the millennial atmosphere of Fallon, it might not be a bad thing.

And I don't know if they can do this without aping Letterman too much, but I hope he does some outdoor bits, meets neighbors, wanders around the building. More spontaneity, chances to show his quick wit. The political desk segments feel a bit standard, particularly for the first couple shows.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:21 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aloe Blacc: A hip-hop artist about whom I know nothing

I only know him as the vocalist for Avicii's "Wake Me Up"


Here ya go. Enjoy!
posted by jbickers at 3:15 AM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Colbert went with a jazz band, when Letterman reportedly hated the genre.

I watched Letterman a lot in the early days. I really appreciated that the band played (the living crap out of) instrumental version of (then) seldom heard rock and pop records as bumpers, often sublty relevant to the guest or segment. I never picked up that Letterman specifically didn't appreciate jazz. Where did you get that?

Maybe that's why Hiram Bullock left -- or maybe it was because the pay was so low he couldn't afford no shoes.

I like jazz, but Batiste's music just feels "pleasant" and not particularly memorable so far

I think describing Batiste and Stay Human as jazz is too limiting. Batiste is a New Orleans musician from a New Orleans musical family who not only attended Julliard but earned an MFA. They are definitely coming from a different perspective than the Schafer band did thirty years ago, but I think they too can probably play anything. Only in this case, don't think "buffet / salad bar" think "gumbo".

the millennial atmosphere of Fallon

I've never seen his show. Does he really talk about the End of the World and the Second Coming all that much? He seems like a much sunnier sort.
 
posted by Herodios at 6:41 AM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Colbert went with a jazz band, when Letterman reportedly hated the genre.

I watched Letterman a lot in the early days. I really appreciated that the band played (the living crap out of) instrumental version of (then) seldom heard rock and pop records as bumpers, often sublty relevant to the guest or segment.


Also worth noting that when Letterman went on the air, the premier late night band was Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra. They were your classic big band. Though adaptable to trends, jazz was always Doc's heart and soul.

Paul Shaffer's outfit for the Letterman show was originally called the World's Most Dangerous Band, to contrast with the sleepy, older, more genteel NBC Orchestra. I won't say that Letterman hiring Shaffer was the equivalent of Fallon hiring the Roots, but there are similarities.

(And then when Letterman moved to CBS, the World's Most Dangerous Band became the CBS Orchestra. Which is pretty much the most concise summation of what happened to Letterman as well.)
posted by aureliobuendia at 7:44 AM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I never picked up that Letterman specifically didn't appreciate jazz. Where did you get that?

I've read it in interviews, near the end of his career. Probably mentioned to contrast him with Carson. But he obviously did have jazz musicians on the show and seemed to show a genuine enthusiasm for their performances. He actually preferred hard rock, and would lock himself in his office during more stressful moments. So his love of Foo Fighters was a real thing.

I do hope to gain more of an appreciate of Batiste as the show goes on. When they hired him, I think Colbert had mentioned that he was funny in his own right, and I wonder if he'll ever get to banter with Colbert. So far it's been kind of a one-man show, and even with longer and more frequent interviews, it seems like there's a risk of Colbert fatigue for an hour-long show.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:24 AM on September 11, 2015


I do hope to gain more of an appreciate of Batiste as the show goes on. When they hired him, I think Colbert had mentioned that he was funny in his own right. . .

I found this today:
[I]t was Colbert’s promise of creative freedom that convinced Batiste to sign on for the next five years. . . .

Batiste already has ideas about redefining what a bandleader does on network TV. “I’ve been working on my comedy,” he says, never mentioning that he can act, having appeared on HBO’s Treme. “I’m talking to Stephen about improv, talking to Jason Sudeikis, trying to get as much coaching as possible.”

He’ll also be introducing some novel musical concepts, amplifying social music for high-definition enjoyment and leaving two spots in his band open for a rotating corps of players. “We’re going to have these residencies, where people can sit in with us for two, three months at a time,” he says. “It could be anybody. It could be Paul Shaffer. It could be Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
-- WSJ
posted by Herodios at 9:47 AM on September 11, 2015


Last night was gut-wrenching but in a good way. In his interview with VP Joe Biden, Colbert drew him out to talk about losing his son and the conversation spiraled into a conversation on grief, facing tragedy, faith, perseverance... Just a beautiful thing to watch.
posted by Ber at 1:53 PM on September 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Last night was gut-wrenching but in a good way.

That interview clearly expressed everything I hoped Colbert would be able to do with this show, getting rid of the pundit persona. Among all the praises I sing, maybe this is his best attribute: Colbert has the strength for sincerity.
posted by meese at 2:09 PM on September 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


OK, so I finally got a chance to catch up on Colbert first week on the CBS website. So far I'm enjoying it! On the other hand: I have no idea what the streaming quality on their paid app is, but hopefully it's a damn sight better than the high-buffering, pixelated video their website was serving up. This underlines why I hope CBS will end up sucking it up and working out a streaming deal with Hulu or some other streamer that can handle the load, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel themselves.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:28 AM on September 15, 2015


I was really hoping for something a bit more different than the The Colbert Report. The chanting, Colbert saying stuff like "Nation" and "Jimmy", and just the general feel are way too similar for me, at least in the first episode. I guess we'll see.
posted by ODiV at 9:33 PM on September 16, 2015


« Older Farscape: The Hidden Memory (P...   |  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Th... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments