Can Steve Colbert be funny without mocking conservatives?

Rick Moran
Word from CBS entertainment exec Nina Tassler that when he takes over for David Letterman, Comedy Central's Steve Colbert will not use his conservative alter ego in his new gig.

EW.com:

We’ve been hearing that Colbert will drop his conservative Colbert Report character, is that correct?
Tassler: Correct.

While he’s been doing a talk show for years, he’s been doing it in character. Was there any concern about how he will come across as himself, since that’s pretty untested?
Tassler: He’s done some limited speaking engagements [as himself]. When you really have such admiration for somebody’s talent, intelligence, and satiric ability, you know there’s a gifted performer there. Dave’s shoes are very big to fill, and we believe Stephen will honor Dave’s legacy in terms of his ability and intellect.

[...]

Colbert is pretty liberal politically, some conservatives don’t like him. Was that a concern?
Tassler: We didn’t have concerns. We were most excited about his talent to be creative and innovative, and now he’s going to work on his idea of what his show will look like.

Rush Limbaugh says that the choice of Colbert is a sign that "CBS has declared war on the Heartland of America." Perhaps "war" is overstating the case. What Tassler appears to be saying to conservatives is "We don't care what you think" which isn't much different than what they usually say about a particular show.

Colbert against Kimmel is going to be no contest. Without his conservative personae to mock, Colbert is going to be very ordinary. His Comedy Central shtick was already getting stale, IMO, I just don't think he's interesting enough, funny enough, or smart enough to carry an hour long show.

We'll see. But CBS is taking a tremendous gamble on Colbert and if it blows up. Ms. Tassler will likely be in the ranks of the unemployed.

Word from CBS entertainment exec Nina Tassler that when he takes over for David Letterman, Comedy Central's Steve Colbert will not use his conservative alter ego in his new gig.

EW.com:

We’ve been hearing that Colbert will drop his conservative Colbert Report character, is that correct?
Tassler: Correct.

While he’s been doing a talk show for years, he’s been doing it in character. Was there any concern about how he will come across as himself, since that’s pretty untested?
Tassler: He’s done some limited speaking engagements [as himself]. When you really have such admiration for somebody’s talent, intelligence, and satiric ability, you know there’s a gifted performer there. Dave’s shoes are very big to fill, and we believe Stephen will honor Dave’s legacy in terms of his ability and intellect.

[...]

Colbert is pretty liberal politically, some conservatives don’t like him. Was that a concern?
Tassler: We didn’t have concerns. We were most excited about his talent to be creative and innovative, and now he’s going to work on his idea of what his show will look like.

Rush Limbaugh says that the choice of Colbert is a sign that "CBS has declared war on the Heartland of America." Perhaps "war" is overstating the case. What Tassler appears to be saying to conservatives is "We don't care what you think" which isn't much different than what they usually say about a particular show.

Colbert against Kimmel is going to be no contest. Without his conservative personae to mock, Colbert is going to be very ordinary. His Comedy Central shtick was already getting stale, IMO, I just don't think he's interesting enough, funny enough, or smart enough to carry an hour long show.

We'll see. But CBS is taking a tremendous gamble on Colbert and if it blows up. Ms. Tassler will likely be in the ranks of the unemployed.