Why The Late Show Didn't Really Work At The Beginning, According To Stephen Colbert

the late show with stephen colbert

People have kept a close eye on Stephen Colbert over the past year, as he's struggled to find his voice in the late night realm. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has been open about reworking the entire tone of the series over the past few months, and largely the tide has seemed to be turning for the late night host. Recently, Stephen Colbert explained why he thinks The Late Show really didn't work in the beginning. Here's what he had to say:

People were watching me learn to play a new instrument in public. Now I really don't care and it's so much more fun. I tried so hard to be myself that I kept on fading away. I've surrendered to my natural instincts, and to how I actually feel on a daily basis.

There were a lot of complaints early on that Stephen Colbert was stiff and really wasn't bringing anything new to the table. Even other celebrities had a few choice comments about the post-Letterman Late Show. For instance, Chelsea Handler memorably called Colbert's late night program "not interesting" and basically a carbon copy of everything else out there. Stephen Colbert's recent comments to the New York Times pretty much directly address the concerns people have had about his show in the past, also saying he looks forward to the future.

Figuring out what direction The Late Show with Stephen Colbert should go in wasn't easy peasy, however. CBS heads actually sat down with Colbert to see what changes could be made to make the host's role easier. Changes in producers also occurred, with Meredith Bennett stepping down and Chris Licht took over as the showrunner on the series, working with the network and its late night host to figure out what will work best for all involved parties.

The show has begun incorporating a bit more of Stephen Colbert's fun-spirited comedy antics---similar to what he used to do on The Colbert Report. In addition, several live episodes have also helped to jazz the show up a little bit more. All of it, Stephen Colbert reports, has helped the show to just be more fun---both for himself and for viewers. He's come to the realization that his former cable persona is still a part of him, and that's ok, as well.

It is all me. Of course it's me. I thought of the character. It's my humor... If I do things that are like the old show, it was a good show.

Fall TV is just now kicking off, and with it comes a brand new season of late night. There will be silly interviews and avid ones, viral videos and live shows. There will be great musical guests and terrible ones. Hopefully, in the middle of all of this, Stephen Colbert will finally pull away from the pack. New episodes of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert air on weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET. To find out what else is coming to television, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.