For the last nine years, Stephen Colbert essentially was playing a character, not being himself. When the program began in 2005 it was a perfect opportunity for Colbert to get into the public eye and display his star power. And for the nine years the show aired, his program along with Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" dominated the 11:00pm hour for Comedy Central. While Colbert's comedic intelligence and charisma shined throughout his time on the program, reports say playing the same character for nine years began to weigh down on him. Pretty much everything he said or did on the show had to go through a right wing filter to keep him in character. Essentially Colbert was performing one long sketch for nine years.
As much as people loved the "Colbert Report," it's easy to see how he could grow tired with the limitations him and his crew faced in writing for one character. So now as he steps into his new show and the vacated seat of David Letterman, Stephen Colbert has a chance to show his real self, to speak uninhibited.
Colbert's first show was interesting, to say the least. You never really know what to expect on someones first episode, but the mystery felt greater going into this program. One of things I was trying to figure out early on was the structure/format. Most late night programs eventually find their rhythm and begin to roll out shows daily that are fairly similar, with some variation here and there. But in the first episode of Colbert, it was hard to figure out the set up they'll use going forward. Some moments just felt a little awkward or different. One instance of this being when they played the title sequence about ten minutes into the show after he had already done his monologue and dialogue with the crowd. Overall, the show had very little flow and most of his gimmicks or bits went longer then expected.