LATE NIGHT Colbert Debuts

Tonight, Stephen Colbert takes over David Letterman’s chair as host of The Late Show and the media is engaged in a game of trying to predict how he will transition from his Comedy Central persona to a more traditional style. As the New York Times asks, “Will the new digs have room for ‘truthiness’ and ThreatDowns?”

Looking at the initial lineup of guests that includes Justice Stephen Breyer and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Variety comments, “It’s a different sort of mainstream late-night program, the kind that convenes guests from broader walks of life, almost in recognition that the nation has grown very weary of seeing actors and actresses hype their latest project and go on their merry way.”

Those in the book business are hoping he will continue to give authors the famous “Colbert Bump.” Encouragingly, an author will be featured in the first week, although one who doesn’t need the bump. Stephen King is scheduled for Friday’s show. It’s a big week for him; the day before he receives the National Medal of Arts presented by Barack Obama.

Bazaar of Bad DreamsKing’s Finders Keepers came out in June. A new collection of short stores, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams will be published in November (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).

The finale of CBS’s adaptation of King’s book Under the Dome will be broadcast on Thursday.

King already has a rapport with the host, having appeared on the Colbert Report in 2009.

The real character of the new Late Night is likely to take a while to emerge. As CNN points out in their run down of various iconic late night shows, many of them took months or even years to hit their strides.

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