Stephen Colbert has long been a feature on the Comedy Network, and his recent remarks on Eric Bolling’s Benghazi conspiracy are just one example of why his show will be missed by many. It was recently announced that Larry Wilmore will replace Colbert in the 11:30 slot on the Comedy Network, with Colbert slated to replace David Letterman as the host of Late Show next year. While Larry Wilmore, who will host the Minority Report, is a talented comedian in his own right, having already starred as the “Senior Black Correspondent” on The Daily Show, it remains to be seen whether or not he will be able to produce comedy of the quality for which Colbert has become renowned. Colbert, who is known for his biting sarcasm in regards to political gaffes, showcased his skills once more on Wednesday night, when he ridiculed Eric Bolling of Fox News.
Bolling, who is the co-host of the evening talk show The Five, was commenting on the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, and claiming incorrectly that it was done before Osama bin Laden had been killed by American forces. He was quickly corrected by his co-host, Dana Perino, who said that it would have been a great point, had it been true. The direction of the argument was that President Obama was soft on terror, and Colbert, with his customary sharp wit, wasted no time pouncing on the gaffe in his show. This allegation, entirely manufactured by Eric Bolling for the sake of filling in his narrative on Obama, is a reminder of the polemical methods of Fox News, and Colbert’s reaction to this ‘Benghazi Conspiracy’ is just another example of his attempts to hold such organisations accountable for their actions.
None of this, is to say that Larry Wilmore will be any less capable of producing quality material for the Comedy Network, his commentaries on contemporary race issues for The Daily Show demonstrate just how good a presenter he is, but the Comedy Network will undoubtedly miss Colbert and the Colbert Report. Comedy Central viewers should be further put at ease by the fact that ABC announced a new series, Black-ish, on Thursday, and Wilmore has been named as the executive producer. This endorsement of Wilmore’s skills by ABC should put to rest any lingering doubts anybody may have had regarding his ability to entertain audiences.
Presenters such as Fox News‘ Eric Bolling will undoubtedly be relieved to be rid of a figure such as Stephen Colbert, although figures such as Jon Stewart will undoubtedly still be around to pounce on gaffes and errors, but perhaps the most affected segment of the population will be the viewers. Since October 17, 2005, Colbert has hosted the Colbert Report with passion and determination, traits that are unfortunately missing from many television programs. While these traits will undoubtedly be brought by Stephen Colbert to his new role as host of the Late Show, it his tirades on political issues, such as his latest commentary on Fox News‘ ‘Benghazi Conspiracy’, on the Colbert Report will be sorely missed by fans throughout the country.
By Nicholas Grabe