Late Show Nation, Ctd

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A reader has an inspired idea about who could replace Colbert:

My heart just jumped at your “Samantha!” comment. I’ve been telling my friends for a couple of years that my dream Colbert replacement, or replacement for Stewart if he ever left Daily Show for that matter, would be: The husband and wife co-anchor team of Samantha Bee and Jason Jones.

The Daily Show is a fake news show. The Colbert Report is a fake pundit show. The Bee-Jones Factor Cycle or something like that could be the co-anchor news show send-up, sort of satirizing co-anchor news classics like Barbara Walters/Hugh Downs on 20/20. Maybe make the show Samantha Bee’s with Jason Jones as her chief field correspondent. But they are both so good in the studio and in the field that I think co-anchor would be the best set-up.

If you like this idea, spread this shit: The Bee-Jones Factor Cycle!

Or Jamantha Bones:

Another reader has a very different take on the news:

I enjoyed reading your post on Stephen Colbert just now. I, too, have mixed emotions about this news. Mostly, I’m really happy for him and really excited to see how the whole thing unfolds.  I can’t watch Colbert all the time, but I frequently do, and I am in constant awe of how he can be so creative and innovative, and at the same time be so damned funny.

Beyond appreciating his performance, I admire the man.  He is courageous (the White House Correspondents Dinner) and honorable (his congressional testimony when he came out of character was profoundly memorable).  And yes, as someone in your post said, he is authentic (in some weird way). I have no idea what he will do with his new show, but I believe the man is so talented that whatever it is will be brilliant.

But I will miss the character he has created.  Things change.  I think Colbert will leave that character behind and we’ll never see him again.  And that makes me a little sad.

But there’s a little more to it than that.  I first started watching The Daily Show right before The Colbert Report got started, and I remember Colbert appearing as a contributor on The Daily Show.  I started watching the show because my then late-teenager son would mention it.  Jeffrey was struggling with depression, and it could difficult to find topics to connect with him on … but these two late night shows were a topic we could discuss and enjoy together.  When my wife heard that John Oliver was coming to a club in Boston to perform, she suggested that Jeff and I go to see him.  And we did.  Another connection.

It was about a year after that Oliver show that Jeffrey died by suicide.  Recovering from our grief, my wife and I found that our sleep patterns changed: I sleep much less than I did (and Jeff died 4 1/2 years ago) and my wife, who used to be asleep between 9:00 and 10:00, is now frequently still awake at 11:00.  And so she started watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.  We don’t always watch it live – but we record each show, and sometimes we’ll watch 2 or 3 nights in a single sitting.

My wife considers these shows a connection to our son, especially Colbert, because it’s not really her type of humor, but it was Jeff’s type of humor.  She feels that when she enjoys Colbert, she is getting a little piece of Jeff.

Surviving the loss of a loved one is a journey.  Over time, the intensity of the pain decreases, but the memory fades too.  (I don’t believe one leads to the other, however.)  At first, we could smell Jeffrey’s scent in his clothing, but that goes away in time.  We re-arranged his room.  Things change and his memory becomes more distant. When The Colbert Report ends its fabulous run, we will feel that we’ve lost another connection with Jeff.

Update from a reader:

Earlier this year a friend’s daughter came down with a mysterious nerve affliction that caused her such pain when moving her limbs that she willed herself into near-paralysis. She’s largely better now, but she spent a lengthy time in hospital, bedridden.

Though only 11 years old, she is seriously precocious, and already a committed progressive. The Colbert Show was and is her favorite program. While she was in hospital, her mom got the idea that a call from Colbert might cheer her. This being New York, everyone knows someone, so friends got to work and within 48 hours the request was on his desk. Without hesitation he called and spent half an hour on the phone, just chatting and encouraging her. And it did cheer her, tremendously.

Again, she’s on the mend; the crisis is thankfully mostly a memory now. She’s delighted for Colbert, the man and mensch, regarding Late Night. But she’s sad that her favorite character is saying goodbye.