Stephen Colbert capped off his debut as the new host of CBS’s The Late Show with a bang last night, bringing together an all star line-up of stars to join the Late Show band and close out the show.
Featuring the likes of Mavis Staples, Ben Folds, Aloe Blacc, Buddy Guy and many more, the band led by Colbert’s band leader John Batiste delivered a blistering rendition of Sly & The Family Stone‘s Everyday People.
Taking over from the iconic David Letterman, and doubling rival Jimmy Fallon‘s Tonight Show ratings, the premiere sees Colbert picking up right where he left off with his highly popular Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report.
Up to his usual antics, Colbert matched pure comedy like advertising a fake movie starring George Clooney, with his characteristic political commentary and humour, such as telling Jeb Bush to his face that he wouldn’t be voting for him. Things drew to a climax toward the end however when Colbert introduced Batiste and his Late Show band once again… this time with some special guests.
These special guests included Mavis Staples, Aloe Blacc, Ben Folds, Brittany Howard, Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, members of Beirut and one guy who’s name I don’t know but who can play the hell out of a tambourine. However he wasn’t the only one dripping in enthusiasm, with all the artists giving high energy performances and clearly enjoying having some fun with Colbert and Batiste while getting to play some great music.
It deserves a mention that Colbert’s choice of song, a song that speaks to the hypocrisy of discrimination and prejudice, reflects his dedication to standing up for civil rights and equality. His choice of performers as well is a refreshing change from the chart toppers we usually see gracing the stages of late night talk shows, also showcasing Colbert’s love of soul and funk music, two great American art forms often glossed over by today’s media.
Remember though, this is still his first night, with stakes sure to rise as Colbert promises to treat us to many more amazing musical performances. And with Kendrick Lamar set to perform on tonight’s show (gush), it seems he’s wasting no time in getting the ball rolling.
Watch: The Late Show – Everyday People all star jam