Many a take has been penned over Stephen Colbert's first night as host of The Late Show on CBS. Would the real Colbert be funny without the satirical Colbert character's pundit schtick? Would Colbert's new show rely as heavily on politics, and if so, would it dare to lean as far left on network television? Would the extra half-hour of time to fill put Colbert into the same old monologue, sketch, and a celebrity interview structure?
After night one, the only thing I'm certain of is it's too early to review Colbert as late night host, but the first episode seemed just as funny, strange, and, yes, political as its predecessor. That latter fact shined in Colbert's interview with presidential hopeful and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Colbert didn't press Bush quite as firmly as he might have on The Colbert Report, but he nonetheless asked better and more sincere questions than one expects to hear after 11PM on network TV. And Bush, for the most part, held his own, scoring a few laughs from the crowd that made it clear he was there for the host. A portion of the interview is above, while the entire interview (and the entire episode) can be seen at The Late Show's site. The interview begins around the 33-minute mark, if you want to skip ahead.
If the Bush interview isn't reason enough to be hopeful, the lengthy skit early in the episode in which Colbert performed an advertisement for hummus at the behest of a cursed idol should be.
Here's the rest of the interview, which didn't air during the episode: