There are a lot of questions surrounding Stephen Colbert’s Late Show debut, not the least of which is how his real-life personality will play with fans. The funnyman made a name for himself by playing an America-worshipping, freedom-touting Conservative caricature, but that persona won’t travel with him from Comedy Central to CBS. While uncertainty still abounds, we just got our first look at the news host’s guests and musical performers for his first week on-air — and let’s just say there isn’t a small name on the list.
Early this morning, CBS announced the slate, and it should certainly make for some interesting conversations, if not a confrontation or two. Here’s the full lineup:
Guests: George Clooney, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush
Musical performance: Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Guests: Scarlett Johansson, SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk
Musical performance: Kendrick Lamar
Guest: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick
Musical performance: Toby Keith
Guests: Amy Schumer, Stephen King
Musical performance: Troubled Waters
While virtually every name on that list sticks out, one of the most intriguing is Jeb Bush. In the past, Colbert hasn’t hesitated to skewer the Bush family with satire, and his speech at George W. Bush’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner … well, let’s just say it got a little uncomfortable.
Looking ahead a bit further, it will be interesting to see the dynamic between the new host and Amy Schumer, who may just be the hottest name in all of comedy right now. She also has a show on the network (Comedy Central) that Colbert left for CBS and the Late Show.
If you want an idea of the new host’s sense of humor sans the political shtick, the last time we saw Colbert in host format was during his completely random takeover of Only in Monroe, a public access program for a small city that lies just south of Detroit. During the show, he interviewed the Hip-Hop Artist Eminem and drew laughs mostly from the pure surrealism and absurdity of the situation.
While he may be the king of Monroe, Michigan’s media, in the late-night world, the jury is still out on the former Colbert Report host. If you want our opinion, however, someone with his comedic chops won’t have trouble drawing audiences in, and keeping them there.
Late Show with Stephen Colbert debuts September 8, 2015.