The Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert

Last week, the news of David Letterman‘s imminent retirement (gently) shook the late night scene, and before anyone could actually mourn the end of the Late Show host’s career, speculation as to who would replace him hit overdrive. We’re guilty of it, too, though our speculative bits were centered around picking a host that could switch up the generally male-dominated late night scene. Our immediate attention turned to women who could take over the desk — women like Chelsea Handler, who already has a late night talk show and is nearing the end of her contract over at E!, along with other (probably high-shooting) picks like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Essentially, we wondered if the late night world was ready for a woman host (and, yes, although there have been female hosts in the past, none of them have stuck like the dudes have) — and, a week later, we’ve got our answer. They’re not. They are, however, ready for Stephen Colbert, who will now host The Late Show.



According to the kind of people who are prone to make such pronouncements, the Golden Age of Television ended this year with the series finale of Breaking Bad. But with more quality television on the air today than is humanly possible to watch, I don’t see how that could possibly be true.  The one big observation about the TV landscape this year that I’d like to make is that there finally seems to be a preponderance of shows about women, a much-needed correction to the masculinity-obsessed, anti-hero shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. I love and admire all of those shows, but I’m glad to see that the new opportunities for original programming that the proliferation of cable and now Netflix and Amazon offers has resulted in more stories about women. Without further ado, my picks for the 13 best shows of 2013:


Channel Guide - Large

Anyone who has watched Mike Judge’s Idiocracy can’t help but see some of the more moronic features of the present as signs of a Dystopic future where electrolyte enriched sports drinks flow from drinking fountains, Costco hands out law degrees, and “Beef Supreme” is a perfectly acceptable baby name. We can be thankful, though, that two new shows on FX are at least attempting to combat stupidity. Brand X with Russell Brand, which wrapped up its six-episode run earlier this month, and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, which premiered last week, synthesize what’s happening in the news in ways that are accessible to people who don’t usually seek out political comedy or care about social commentary. Like Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, both Brand X and Totally Biased offer a sometimes biting, sometimes silly spin on current events. The two FX shows, however, aren’t concerned with satire or news parody and structurally are informal to the point of almost seeming haphazardly thrown together. Russell Brand and W. Kamau Bell dress casually and spend the majority of their time standing in front of a wall—something that is fittingly and simultaneously reminiscent of a comedy club performance and an academic lecture.


Culture Warrior

Episodes and seasons and weeks after its inspiration and its humor have peaked, I still continue to watch new episodes of The Office week in and week out. I don’t know why – I never do this with dramatic shows, only with comedies – but I tend to stick with comedy shows whose legacy I appreciate even if their time has passed, either out of respect, blind hope, or simply the desire to have some noise in the room while I take a break to eat a meal or fold laundry. While The Office certainly isn’t what it used to be, even before Steve Carell left, it’s still an inoffensive and enjoyable way to pass some time. I can’t deny that the affinity I developed for the show’s characters early on in the series has carried me through a lot of its creative droughts (in other words, I hardly watch it only for its comedy) even as more recent network sitcoms like Modern Family, Community, and (especially) Parks and Recreation have made me LOL significantly more often. But in the bizarre cameos leading up to a strange and dry seventh season finale, The Office seems to have encountered much greater problems than a rudimentary lack of inspiration typical for the (possibly cyclical) lifespan of a long-running television show. The Office seems to have rejected the defining characteristics that made it unique in the first place.


Check out which of your favorite television shows and movies won with this complete listing of PGA winners. Tiger Woods isn’t on here.


Stephen Colbert by Todd Lockwood

For those who follow Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards marked a very important moment in Colbert Nation History. See how Stephen faired as well as the rest of the nominees for the 60th Annual Primetime Emmys…



Only one of two things can come of this — either I should feel used, as a studio has decided to use my words to promote a film, or I will be called a quote whore, because one quote from one of my reviews has made it into a commercial. Either way, I am stoked.


Iron Man on the International Space Station

I am beginning to think that Astronaut Garrett Reisman, who is currently orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station, is the coolest astronaut since that guy who stepped on the ole’ Moon, at least in terms of Geek-cred.


Need your fix of Stephen Colbert and his brilliant writing team? We’ve got that for you…

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published: 12.18.2014
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