'Daily Show' Personality Gets His Own Platform
Stephen Colbert, who plays a phony correspondent on the fake-news program "The Daily Show," is getting a real promotion.
Comedy Central said yesterday that it was giving Mr. Colbert his own show: a half-hour that is expected to follow "The Daily Show" on weeknights and will lampoon those cable-news shows that are dominated by the personality and sensibility of a single host. Think, he said, of Bill O'Reilly and Chris Matthews and Sean Hannity.
Where "The Daily Show" and its host, Jon Stewart, generally spoof the headlines of the day (and the anchors and reporters who deliver them), Mr. Colbert's program will send up those hosts who have become household names doing interviews and offering analyses each night on the 24-hour cable news channels.
[...] "In the way 'The Daily Show' is kind of a goof on the structure of news, this is more of a goof on the cult of personality-type shows," Mr. Stewart said in an interview.
[...] That "The Daily Show" has reached the point that it is considered ripe for a spinoff is something of a milestone for the program and for Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom. But in moving Mr. Colbert off "The Daily Show" - he is expected to make only intermittent return visits - the network is also risking diluting a recipe that has made it so popular.
To that end, Comedy Central is considering ripping an actual page from the cable news networks it so often mocks, and having Mr. Stewart, at the end of his half-hour show, share a split-screen with Mr. Colbert, in what is known in the news business as a "throw" or "toss."
"It could be kind of seamless," said Doug Herzog, president of Comedy Central and Spike TV, who presided over the debut of "The Daily Show" in 1996. "It would have the effect of extending 'The Daily Show' to a full hour."
At least they're not all quitting for movie careers... I'm not sure how successful this formula will be. They've mocked the O'Reilly's with some funny fake promos for "The Colbert Report" before. Those loudmouth shows are ripe for the mockin' and deserve it. It has the potential to be hilarious. But it also has the potential to be the last half-hour of Saturday Night Live -- you know the not-funny-enough skit that never ends...
Here's hoping it's hilarious, and that the pompous blowhards they lampoon cry themselves to sleep every night.