The Late Stephen Colbert

April 14, 2014 7:25 AM

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One’s first reaction to the ascension—or descent—of Stephen Colbert to the helm of the CBS program soon to be formerly known as “Late Show with David Letterman” is grief: uncomprehending, possibly inconsolable grief. Why? Because, according to more than one news bulletin, the move means “the end of the character Colbert made famous on ‘The Colbert Report.’ ”

We, his fans, have always understood, in a vague sort of way, that there exists a regular human being whose Social Security card identifies him as Stephen Colbert—a nice fellow with a nice family and a nice house in a nice New Jersey suburb. On television, though, there is no such person. There is o...

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