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Calling All Colbert Fans

Norris University Center will host a watch party for the new ‘Late Show’ debut

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Have you been missing the comic antics of Stephen Colbert?

Come join the party as Northwestern gathers to watch this wildly popular alumnus in the debut of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The free party will take place at the McCormick Auditorium in Norris University Center. The fun will begin at 9 p.m. and includes snacks and other surprises provided by CBS. The Late Show starts at 10:35 p.m. (Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.) 

The big question everyone has been asking leading up to the talk’s show debut: Who is the real Stephen Colbert now that he has retired the ultra-conservative blowhard alter ego that the world came to know and love on “The Colbert Report”? 

Jon Stewart, the former “Daily Show” host and executive producer of “The Colbert Report,” is quite sure he knows the answer.

“What made that character work was the thing that Stephen had to hide, which is his humanity,” Stewart said in The New York Times Sunday. “Instead of throwing off the cape and revealing the monster, he reveals, actually — oh, this incredibly lovely, talented man.”

In a column titled “Top 10 burning questions for Stephen Colbert’s ‘Late Show,’” Steve Johnson, arts and entertainment columnist for the Chicago Tribune, too, joined in the speculation about how the real Colbert is likely to do as an interviewer.

Colbert’s extraordinary talents will well suit the talk show format, he also concluded. “He's pretty skilled at the comedy thing and at keeping a show together and on point over time.” 

As a Northwestern senior, Colbert starred on a University stage in Mark Leib’s “Terry Won’t Talk” as a cigar-chomping character not unlike the overbearing pundit that he played in his wildly famous, long-running television series, “The Colbert Report.” 

He also performed weekly with a Northwestern improv team called No Fun Mud Piranhas, which included Northwestern alumnus David Schwimmer, later of “Friends” fame.

In 2011, Colbert returned to his alma mater to deliver a commencement address like no other in the University’s history. His talk was filled with hilarious Northwestern-related references.

He especially had fun at Northwestern’s expense about the University closing down that February for the first snow day in more than 30 years. “You were hoping I hadn’t heard about that,” he said as the crowd’s laughter egged him on. “I’m sorry, that is weak.” 

Toward the end of the speech, he used the improvisation training he received in Chicago before and after graduation to offer serious words of advice to the graduates. 

“Now there are very few rules to improv, but one of the things I was taught early on is that you are not the most important person in the scene -- everybody else is,” he said. “And if everybody else is more important than you are, you will naturally pay attention to them and serve them.”

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