Political satirist and comedian Stephen Colbert will step into the shoes of David Letterman with his debut as host of the Late Show on Wednesday (Tuesday night US time).
But the 51-year-old won’t be rolling out the usual lineup of the celebrity guests. Colbert will instead be speaking with luminaries including Justice Stephen Breyer (a US Supreme Court Justice who has been in the position for 20 years) and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is his first two weeks of shows.
George Clooney and Presidential candidate Jeb Bush will feature in his debut tonight.
It seems Colbert will be trying to carve a niche separate to the other late night shows whose formats don’t typically include such political guests.
When he accepted the job, leaving his successful The Colbert Report show last year, Colbert told reporter: “One of the reasons I most wanted to drop the (joke conservative pundit) character is that I felt I had done everything I could do with him — or everything I could with that show — other than have my honest interest in the guest, which is almost constant.”
“And so, now I feel actually more freed up,” he said.
He has been given some advice in jest from other late night show hosts, including Jimmy Kimmel who told Colbert to “be rude and wear too much cologne”, while Conan O’Brien encouraged him to “buy valuable real estate” (in case his show is cancelled).
It may be good advice as Colbert will be taking a pay cut to take the Late Show with Stephen Colbert role, reportedly getting a US$4.6 million pay cheque from CBS, while as host of the Colbert Report he received a cool US$6 million from Comedy Central.