There has been backlash and there has been praise, and I have let a day or so pass before I write this. Why I am saddened to see the end, I also know and understand the benefits of ending on a high. I am talking about satirist Stephen Colbert taking over David Letterman’s hosting position on The Late Show an I am happy for Stephen.
Being a part of the comedy community in Australia my Facebook and Twitter has been filled with comments and tweets, some good and some bad. To anyone who knows the nature of preforming, in particular doing a character, everything doesn’t last forever. Every year during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival showcases many comedians doing new shows that they will tour and eventually retire.
Comedians, like all human beings grow and develop away from their previous work. It is not necessarily that they get tired, or that they don’t appreciate their previous material. More than likely it is because they want to be challenged further, and they they reckonise that what they are doing now doesn’t seem to be as fresh as it used to be.
I am an advocate for the leave while we are popular theory, it is better to be saddened to see someone leave what they are doing than be dancing on their grave. It has proved by shows like Spicks and Specks (first incarnation) that ended in 2011 and it is still remembered fondly and not loathed.
Stephen Colbert is the next performer to take this baton. I am saddened because I value what Stephen Colbert (the character) does for the American public and the comedy community, yet I am thrilled for Stephen Colbert to be given his opportunity to spread his wings and shed his character, finally being able to show us the real Stephen Colbert.
I wish nothing but the best for Stephen Colbert and as he is taking his writers with him, so we can rest assured that the writing will be of a high quality.