I don't think those two things are mutually exclusive. It can be a brilliant decision for CBS as I have no doubt Colbert will be charming and great, but there's no way he'll be able to reach the heights he has on the "Report," so that's probably at least some level of cabining. Great for Colbert, terrible for America.
This could be a good thing if Colbert was getting burned out on the Report and was already looking to wrap it up. It's been a full decade.
My wife and I's reaction has been the same: We are incredibly pleased for him, but sad to (potentially) be losing the Colbert character. I think any reservations about the choice are mainly reservations about the network talk show format, characterized by the outgoing guard of Leno/Letterman. Anyone who loves Colbert doesn't want to see him fall into that traditional mold -- he's too talented, sharp and clever for that. But at the same time, I think that's why he'll be successful -- he's too talented, sharp and clever to let that happen.
I'm not surprised by the decision, but I am surprised by the alacrity with which it was made. It does put Comedy Central in a tricky place, though--losing Colbert and with Stewart's contract up and no clear successor there has got to give them concerns. (Unless John Oliver has an out clause in his HBO deal.)
It's also the easiest $5-8M (depending on the source) Craig Ferguson has ever made, by being passed over.
Does Craig get the money? His contract was up anyway, as I understand (hence their negotiations with Handler), and if Craig's contract expires before they give the show to Colbert, there hasn't been a breach. (Another reason why the fast announcement surprises me.)
Well, presumably they have been thinking about this for longer than since Dave's announcement.
I feel like Stephen is talented enough to be amazing as himself.I was at a taping a few years ago where in the audience Q&A someone asked him what his favorite song was, and if he would sing it. He asked what the audience member's favorite song was, and she said "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He immediately draped himself over his desk and did a stunning, loungey, a cappella version of the song that brought the house down, which I can only compare to Fantasia's Idol performance of Summertime. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rOCwVsSW0Y&feature=kp
So does this cement The Dana Carvey Show as the greatest comedy incubator since Your Show Of Shows?
I can only say that I'm pleased for Colbert, impressed that he kept up the Colbert character as long as he did and that CBS managed to make a hire that can't help but please everyone but certain cable hosts. Though they might actually also be pleased at no longer being shown up every night.