The Colbert Report, III: Who is Stephen Colbert?

By Ryan Matera

Via Oregon Live

Colbert commenced the end of his first month as the host of the Late Show with his best show yet. On Monday he sat down with First Lady Michelle Obama to shoot the breeze about the time they first met and to discuss the rising issue of education in our nation and on a global level. The interview was a friendly reminder of the large role Mrs. Obama has played in health and education during her husband’s tenure. We also got a glimpse at her friendly sense of humor (“I wanna be able to open a window!”), and were able to truly reflect on whether or not we want our first lady to be Melania Trump. Following the interview, Colbert took the Myers-Briggs Personality test in a ten-minute segment where he tried to figure out who Stephen Colbert really is. The bit, entitled “Who Am Me,” was hilarious from beginning to end and perfectly showcased Colbert’s impressive improv talents and his ability to make being a sarcastic asshole lovable and funny.

The rest of the week was nearly just as solid. We watched Jesse Eisenberg nervously plug his new book (he writes short stories? I hope he isn’t taking his “End Of The Tour “role too seriously) and Ellen Page tackle the issue of religious rights conflicting with LGBT community rights. The show was also the first time I’ve ever seen a late night host give the musical time slot to an inventor and artist. Dominic Wilcox’s inventions included stained-glass self-driving cars and a machine that pours your cereal for you.

On Wednesday we saw two similar personalities collide when Stephen sat down with John Oliver. He made Oliver’s gig doing only thirty minutes one night a week with no guests seem trivial, but the conversation was enjoyable as two political comedians discussed strategy. The same night Colbert welcomed to the show musical icon Bill Withers. It would also be very difficult to deny Ed Sheeran’s musical talent while watching him perform “Ain’t No Sunshine” with Stay Human.

Colbert then talked with an understandably exhausted Secretary of State John Kerry who gave insight on the Iran Nuclear Deal and allowed viewers to respect the truly difficult and stressful job he is able to manage quite well.

The show closed the week with a heartfelt monologue reflecting on the Oregon Shootings. In this emotional moment Colbert made it clear that though he doesn’t know what it is, something needs to be done.

The week showed the show playing around with the format to a very positive outcome. I would also like to let the readers know (because my roommates don’t care) that as I was walking home from Union Square last Saturday, Jon Batiste and Stay Human was dancing their way to their gig at Webster Hall. As Jon Batiste dapped me up beneath a marquee with his name on it and I stared awe-struck, I truly knew what it was like be in the presence of greatness. 

Ryan Matera is a Highlighter Staff Columnist. Email him at entertainment@nyunews.com

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