Shock as white man named to replace Letterman

00:46, Apr 11 2014

I'm angry. More so than normal. And I suspect many of you will read this and think there are far better things to lose your temper over.

You may be right.

But that doesn't stop my righteous indignation that Stephen Colbert has been appointed to replace Dave Letterman as host of the Late Show from next year.

It's not that Colbert isn't a great fit for the role - he's way funnier than Letterman ever has been and he's an accomplished interviewer, so it's almost perfect.

I think the Colbert Report is a great television show, and his satirical take-down of George W Bush at the Correspondents' Dinner in 2006 is an all-time comedy highlight.

Nope, it's simply that he's just so... well, male, white and middle-aged for my liking.


This was the perfect opportunity for those in charge at CBS to look beyond the ubiquitous and appoint a talented performer that could represent the America that exists rather than the America that a decent proportion of the southern states wish existed.

Unfortunately, given a chance to think outside the box CBS did what any other conservative organisation did and defaults to type.

This is the company, remember, that thinks Two and a Half Men is a show worth pumping millions of dollars into each episode.

Now I may be miscrying CBS here, but given how quickly this decision was made and announced I'm betting they didn't get into discussions with many other people about this.

Challenged on Twitter to name other possible hosts who weren't white, male and older than me I came up with the following off the top of my head:

@chrisphilpottnz Tina Fey, Aziz Ansari, Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Wanda Sykes, Amy Sedaris, Maya Rudolph, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Chelsea Hander

Now I'll admit several of those don't come close to Colbert in terms of status and ability .

But let's not forget what this gig is - it's the Late Show. I've had funnier visits to the proctologist than the average Late Show gag.

Nope, it's about connecting with the celebrities and working with them to give a great interview and I believe any one of those on my list could do so.

My first choice would have been Tina Fey, who is a dead-set comedy genius. 30 Rock is one of the great comedies of our time and she's accomplished at presenting on live television.

But the one who might have better suited CBS would have been Amy Sedaris. Sedaris has appeared on the Late Show many times, gets what it is about and is hilarious as a comedian and writer.

She has a quick wit and her ability to connect with whomever she is speaking to (just watch any of her multiple appearances on many different talk shows for proof) makes her ideal for the role.

Plus she could have given her brother - the awesome David Sedaris - a regular slot on the show.

Unfortunately she's probably a little too vagina-y to get a shot at the top job.

If that's the case and CBS's head honchos are simply too entrenched in their misogyny to consider a woman (It's just a hypothesis - I don't know them and I'm not middle-aged enough to actually meet them) then maybe they could have looked at Aziz Ansari or Chris Rock?

Both are fantastic comedians, able to connect and would not only open up the show to a whole new generation of viewers, but would give minority comedians the hope they might no longer be ignored.

I believe it's the job of television to represent the viewers. By picking Colbert, as good as he may be, CBS are just further perpetuating a myth that only white, middle-aged men are good enough to be beamed into your home five nights a week.