Soon after CBS announced that Stephen Colbert would take over for David Letterman sometime next year, I made a note to write a post with the exact title you see above. In a nutshell [Editor’s note: Feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph], the post would have revolved around the observation that at the end of a full streaming episode of The Daily Show, Comedy Central would automatically begin to play another episode of The Daily Show — but that at the end of a full streaming episode of The Colbert Report, Comedy Central would automatically begin to play… The Daily Show. In conclusion, Colbert was more than justified in deciding to take his talents to a network that could better appreciate them.
Like many of the posts I’d like to write, that one never actually happened. Fortunately, Jon Stewart gave me a brand new opportunity to use this precise headline at the beginning of his show last Thursday night. In that opening segment, Stewart mentioned that his guest — Tracy Droz Tragos — had directed a wonderful documentary. But he didn’t stop there:
It’s a beautiful work, it’s very powerful. You should see it — obviously not right now. Do it in a half hour.
Just one problem: half an hour after Stewart’s words aired, Colbert’s audience began to chant STE-PHEN! STE-PHEN! STE-PHEN! and he halfheartedly did his best to quiet them. Stewart’s suggestion thus marks quite the turnaround for a pair of shows that once regularly transitioned directly from one to the other. Now, it seems Stewart would rather you see some random documentary (“Rich Hill“) than watch his former correspondent. Colbert was right to bail on what has apparently become a hostile work environment.