The Late Stephen Colbert

April 14, 2014 7:25 AM

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The Late Stephen Colbert

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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