Viewers of tonight’s “Late Show” on CBS might be startled. Producers are set to cut part of this evening’s broadcast – a repeat – and replace it with something new.
Host Stephen Colbert has taped a segment from home offering his reaction to last night’s presidential debate, and the six-minute piece will add a fresh element to an old program featuring Amy Schumer and Michaela Watkins. The “Late Show” posted the piece on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter Monday evening. Staffers have been off since Thursday, taking a break for the Columbus Day weekend (a broadcast for Friday was taped the day before).
“Welcome to not the show, with me not at work,” the host says in the new segment.
The digital play marks the second time in two broadcast days that Colbert has used social media to release fresh material despite being off from work, and one hopes he’ll be able to file for overtime. On Friday, he used Twitter to post a video reacting to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s crude remarks about harassing women. The outreach also shows the increasing demands placed upon the nation’s late-night hosts, who are pressed to increase the flow of fresh content to attract a rising generation of viewers who latch on to humorous snippets, rather than hanging out on the couch past midnight.
“Late Show” staffers are gearing up for a new digital-media salvo. Chris Licht, the “Late Show” executive producer, told Variety last week that fans of the program can expect to see a new flow of content aimed expressly at digital venues that does not appear first on the program.
Colbert’s duties appear to increase when he tackles such material. In the new segment, Colbert serves as his own announcer – though he does have others around him. One anonymous assistant steps into the shot to strum a guitar at a particular moment. He also is working without the benefit of a studio audience that can punctuate his jokes with laughter. Still, Colbert does get something he’s never had on “Late Show” – a new sidekick, in the form of a bewildered feline.