The Colbert Report, IV: Planting the Seeds of Awesomeness

 By Ryan Matera

Via Consequence of Sound

This past Friday’s episode of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert carried an energy with it that the show has yet to experience. This palpable dedication to the show is a sure sign of the fan base they have been looking to build as they continue to shape their definition. Colbert and the band clearly fed off this energy and turned a normal episode into something special. Throughout their first month it felt as if the best work always came earlier in the week before the writers lost stamina, though it is now clear they have the elasticity and the strength to provide sufficient material for a long time to come.

On this episode we watched the nation’s newest comedy crush, James Corden, exhibit his silliness alongside Colbert. As we watched them dance around to Me & My Shadow it gave the viewer a longing for a relationship between the two similar to the one Colbert had with Stewart. To watch these two air back to back and carry a friendship would certainly increase both solidarity with the shows and viewership.

Another technique that we spotted this week is one that Carson had perfected: a flirtatious host. Having dazzling female stars on the show always leaves the viewer with a longing to see her playful side, and Colbert’s friendly nature has started peeking out in such circumstances. Though this did not end well for Carson, Colbert seems to be a far more stable character.

Watching Academy Award Winner Cate Blanchett read a struggling Amazon user’s comments was a wonderful bit that showed the actresses talent and the humor of simplicity. We also saw the lovable Bill Clinton do that thing where he bites his lip and sticks his thumb out, and Colbert did not let us down as he subtly referenced that thing Clinton did 20 years ago.

From the other end of the aisle Colbert welcomed John McCain, and on Monday he did his second edition of his best bit so far: Who Am Me. This time was not nearly as funny as the first time around, but putting Colbert in front of a serious professional will always bring laughs as he determines that he is indeed Stephen Colbert.

The week also showed Colbert’s appreciate for fine art when it showcased Misty Copeland’s fantastic ballet dancing to the sweet sounds of Yo-Yo Ma’s cello. Also, Florence + the Machine.

The only things the show seems to be lacking is a consistent guest to challenge Colbert’s sarcasm, a large gimmick like the ones the Report was always supplying, and with any luck a rendition of the classic bit The Word.

The Late Show has certainly found its groove and will continue to build fervor into its second month on air as its fans and its host both settle into their new roles. It is now clear that the show truly does exist and is not just an elaborate prank by Punk’d’s Ashton Kutcher.

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

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