Stephen Colbert has just been named David Letterman’s “Late Show” successor.
One person who fully supports the decision is Colbert’s mentor, Jon Stewart, who first introduced the former “Daily Show” correspondent to a wide audience on his Comedy Central show.
While Colbert is now most well known for portraying a caricatured version of conservative political pundits on “The Colbert Report,” Stewart insists, “He’s got a lot more he can show.”
“He is a uniquely talented individual,” Stewart told New York Magazine at a Cinema Society event last night, before the news broke. “He’s wonderful in ‘Colbert Report,’ but he’s got gears he hasn’t even shown people yet. He would be remarkable.”
Stewart further explained, “He’s got some skill sets that are really applicable, interviewing-wise, but also he’s a really, really good actor and also an excellent improvisational comedian. He’s also got great writing skills. He’s got a lot of the different capacities. Being able to expand upon [those] would be exciting.”
Stewart himself has long been rumoured to be replacing Letterman, but insists Colbert is better suited for the job.
“I don’t have that gear, I don’t think,” he said of the Letterman spot now. “I just don’t really have it anymore. I really like what I do, not that Stephen doesn’t. But he has a real opportunity to broaden out in a way that I don’t.”
As for how Colbert will stack up against the late night competition, Stewart says his pal is in a league of his own.
“I think Stephen [Colbert] is very different from Jimmy Fallon, is very different from Jimmy Kimmel. But you can’t deny that a performer coming from a different perspective, whether it [is] a different identity, would bring things, not in equal proportion, but would give shading to things that you don’t currently get. But obviously that’s not the sole deciding metric. It’s sort of like when people say, ‘Are we ready for a black president?’ And you say, ‘Well, Barack Obama — yes. Mr. T? Probably not as much.’
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