Stephen Colbert puts his stamp on Late Show

Stephen Colbert took over the Late Show last night, filling the space left by David Letterman's departure, and the new host's opening featured George Clooney, Jeb Bush and a whole lot of Donald Trump jokes.

New late-night TV show replacement for David Letterman mixes political humour, entertainment

Stephen Colbert, right, chats with actor George Clooney during the first episode of The Late Show on Tuesday. Clooney and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush were the guests for Colbert's debut. (Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via AP)

Stephen Colbert marked his debut last night as host of the Late Show, taking the reins from the retired David Letterman, and even in his new venue, it was the same old Colbert. 

Colbert's first night at Manhattan's Ed Sullivan Theater featured Oreo munching, cursed amulets and lots of Donald Trump jokes.

But also Tuesday night, there was some classic Colbert, whose previous gig was Comedy Central's satirical news show The Colbert Report

Late Show, on CBS, opened with a skit featuring Colbert travelling America — from the baseball diamond, to the Washington Monument — singing TheStar Spangled Banner, with a (perhaps not so surprising) surprise visit from Jon Stewart.

During his interviews — one with Hollywood superstar George Clooney, the other with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush — Colbert cast aside his bombastic conservative alter-ego, but hung on to the razor wit that has made him a household name. 

"I used to play a narcissistic conservative pundit," he told Bush. "Now I'm just a narcissist."

The show closed with a performance of Sly and the Family Stone's Everyday People by the new house band, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, with an ensemble featuring soul legend Mavis Staples, Aloe Blacc, Ben Folds, Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks and others. 

Online, many thought the show was a success. 

But there was some criticism, too. Some thought the lighting was a bit, well, orange. 

Some didn't like the show at all. 

And for others, it'll probably just take a little getting used to.

So here's to the first one down, and many more to go.

The guest list for Colbert's first week of shows includes U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, the CEOs of Tesla Motors and Uber, comic Amy Schumer, actress Scarlett Johansson and author Stephen King.

With files from The Associated Press


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