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Monday, February 20, 2017

How Stephen Colbert Became Late Night’s King of Trump Resistance - The Daily Beast

"The CBS Late Show host had shown up at the media holiday party on the 30th floor of the network’s “Black Rock” corporate headquarters, and he wasn’t looking for laughs.

The 52-year-old Colbert—who’d been coping for months with industry gossip that the suits would eventually replace him since he began filling David Letterman’s colossal shoes in September 2015—was unsmiling and seemed genuinely gutted at the prospect of Trump becoming the most powerful human on the planet.

Colbert honed his gifts for political satire, impersonating a right-wing Fox News bloviator as the star of Comedy Central’s long-running Colbert Report.

He famously shocked the Washington establishment in 2006 by savagely—and bravely—mocking President George W. Bush to his face at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

But he couldn’t have known in December 2016 that President Trump—aside from peddling falsehoods, threatening immigrants, insulting minorities, disparaging the First Amendment, and upending international alliances—would also sweep his also-ran late-night talk show into first place, interrupting (or possibly even ending) the three-year reign of NBC’s Jimmy Fallon.

Yet, by relentlessly and hilariously ridiculing the orange-hued president and his rabid henchmen in nightly top-of-the-show monologues that sometimes run to an audacious 11 minutes, Colbert has been beating his competition for the past two weeks and thriving as the champion of the late-night resistance.

He has no doubt benefited from the counsel of his Comedy Central mentor, Jon Stewart, a Late Show executive producer and occasional performer.

And by virtue of a nightly audience that averages more than 3 million, Colbert is the leader of a sardonic pack that includes NBC’s Seth Meyers, HBO’s John Oliver and TBS’s Samantha Bee (both Stewart alums), and Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah, a South African who has steadily been climbing the political learning curve since he took over Stewart’s Daily Show perch 15 months ago."

How Stephen Colbert Became Late Night’s King of Trump Resistance - The Daily Beast

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