Stephen Colbert

Apparently, one #CancelColbert Twitter movement won’t stop the show. In fact, it may have allowed for the major move of another one.

Just weeks after Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central found themselves under fire following a parody of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s “Original Americans Foundation” and a subsequent tweet that could have been misinterpreted from “The Colbert Report’s” Twitter account, CBS officially broke news today that Colbert would be next in line to take over the reigns as host of The Late Show when David Letterman steps down in 2015.

For nearly a decade, Colbert’s blend of satire and political/social commentary has made “The Colbert Report” one of Comedy Central’s most watched and continually talked about shows, second only to South Park. Though Colbert was initially “invented” as the snarky conservative foil to Jon Stewart’s mostly liberal approach to politics and news, Colbert would eventually evolve into his own spotlight, commanding his own following with his “character” and his tongue-in-cheek humor winning over a wealth of younger audiences.

The move is a major one for CBS, who surely understood they had big shoes to fill with the departure of Letterman, and especially with the success of Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” kicking off the post-Leno era. CBS is reportedly giving Colbert a minimum five-year contract on “The Late Show.” For Comedy Central, the move is both gift and curse. The recent “#CancelColbert” issue, whereby Colbert prompted a brief national discussion on what really counted as satire and race-based satire that unfairly targeted the Asian-American community, was likely something Comedy Central wanted to get away from as quickly as possible. And even though Colbert’s “apology” for the offensive tweet in question was well-played in character – Colbert even had the founder of Twitter come on “The Colbert Report” to “destroy” The Report’s official Twitter account – it’s possible that Colbert’s departure was the best statement the company could make.

The larger question right now, is what changes will have to be made in Colbert’s transition to “Late Night,” from a cable network with limited restrictions to a nationwide brand that is held to much more strict standards. Will Colbert’s character have to be more tailored to fit his audience? Will “The Word” carry over into the “Top Ten?” Granted, there’s a year and some change before these concerns become legitimate, but it will be to say the least to see Colbert carry his brand and audience over to the Letterman crowd.

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