Stephen Colbert's jump into the late night network wars was not as smooth as it could have been. While he did have a rocky start, Colbert turned things around and has made The Late Show With Stephen Colbert a dominant force in the late night wars. So what changed? Colbert finally explains how he got better at doing the show in the quote below:
I enjoy it more. I totally changed jobs. I had to be myself, you know. I didn't know how to be myself. I had to learn how to be myself after all those years.
Stephen Colbert was asked the question by guest Scarlett Johannson during her interview, and agrees with the actress that he was "terrified," when he started The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Colbert's difficulty in being himself likely stemmed from the fact that he had spent most of his television career portraying a parody of a brash hardline Republican on The Colbert Report. It appears that once Colbert found the way to marry what audiences loved about his character personality with the real Stephen Colbert, things all started to come together for the late night host.
Part of that marriage was finding the right balance of political commentary to bring into The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Politics have been the bread and butter of Stephen Colbert's career, so it's no surprise that when the gloves came off and he started political monologues criticizing issues and President Trump, the viewers tuned in. Colbert has gained a fair share of controversy with some of his statements, but the move ultimately coincided with higher viewership to the point that rivals like Jimmy Fallon have attempted to jump more into politics as well.
Stephen Colbert's commentary on his success comes just a week after he finally was knocked out of the top spot in late night viewership by Jimmy Fallon. While he suffered a loss, it appears the competition between Fallon and Colbert is now gearing up to the Leno vs. Letterman rivalry we've all wanted for so long. If The Late Show With Stephen Colbert could find a way to reach that younger demo and get those ratings above The Tonight Show, we could have a real ratings competition between these two. Colbert managed to win a bulk of 2017's late night viewers so far, but can he also bring in the younger crowd to CBS and really send some heads at NBC spinning?
We can watch and see as The Late Show With Stephen Colbert is new tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS. Seth Rogen and late night legend Paul Shaffer are set to appear, so tonight would be a good of a night as any to tune in. For a full list of new shows appearing in the next couple weeks be sure to visit our summer premiere guide. Those looking to see when their favorite shows will end should jump over to the finale guide.