To really catch the public’s attention, the Trump Effect now requires one to be bold, brash and outlandish as possible. That’s the lesson former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart learned upon crashing old friend Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue on the “Late Show” last week. You can check out Inside Edition’s recap of the stunt below.
Stewart is attempting to promote legislation known as the Zadroga Act. The bill would cover health benefits for New Yorkers who worked to find survivors in the wake of the September 11th terror attack. Now a successful producer who’s branched out into dramatic territory with his directorial debut “Rosewater,” Stewart also spent time lobbying in Washington D.C. for legislators to pass the Zadroga Act. His “Late Show” appearance is bound to help the cause.
Colbert gained popularity as a satirical correspondent on Stewart’s “Daily Show,” and he more recently took over the “Late Show” on the heels of David Letterman’s well-documented retirement. Opening to exceptional ratings, Colbert now finds himself regularly battling “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” for late-night supremacy. Politics has become a substantial part of his appeal, particularly amid the primary theatrics that have given rise to Trump’s pursuit of the presidency.
Of course, politics is nothing new to Colbert. He played a caricature of a conservative talking head on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” winning over legions of fans with incisive and consistently hilarious social commentary. He also hosted the politically-savvy White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2006. It was only a matter of time before Colbert made it to network television, and Letterman’s departure created the perfect opening.
Stewart is one of the “Late Show” producers, so one suspects he doesn’t need much of an invitation to drop in.
Not everyone has appreciated Colbert’s political take on the “Late Show.” The New York Post’s Kyle Smith cited, “A survey by the Hollywood Reporter [that] found that conservative viewers are turning off Colbert in droves.”
Smith added that, “Nearly twice as many Republicans are watching Kimmel as Colbert, who has turned “Late Show” into a sort of wannabe MSNBC program.”
MSNBC is widely regarded as offering a more liberal slant on cable news.
However one feels about Colbert’s politics, there’s certainly something satisfying about seeing he and Stewart together again. Stewart built a legendary comedic reputation while hosting “The Daily Show” from 1999 to 2015. That kind of longevity is rare in the business, and Stewart’s comedic IQ may be even rarer.