Stephen Colbert has been a vocal opponent of Donald Trump. So has conservative pundit Ben Shapiro. The two are seldom mentioned in the same context, although both have been quite political over the last year and a half.
Shapiro is popular and outspoken, but at the end of the day, he is a traditional pundit. Stephen Colbert is viewed largely as a comedian, although much of his career has been built on politics.
— Hollywood News Now (@hollywoodnewz) September 8, 2016
But if you ask Ben, the Late Show host is a far cry from funny.
In a recent commentary on his daily podcast, Shapiro lampooned the Stephen Colbert and John Oliver post-election summit in which the two liberal talk show hosts lamented Trump’s election, calling it “terrifying” rather than funny.
Ben accused Oliver of being able to “pretend he’s intelligent because he has a British accent,” but his harshest words were saved for the former star of The Colbert Report.
Shapiro particularly seized on the comments by Stephen Colbert that Trump was “mean” rather than funny, calling it “hypocrisy” that Colbert would decry that when his former show on Comedy Central rose to prominence by him “pretending to be racist, evil Bill O’Reilly.”
“That was the Colbert Report,” he added.
From there, Ben did a bit of forecasting as to the future of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, claiming that “now that he can’t play that (character) anymore, he’s just a really really bad late night host, who’s going to get fired as soon as his contract is up.”
Shapiro also disagreed that Trump wasn’t funny, remarking that “funny and mean aren’t mutually exclusive,” and that Trump could be mean while still being funny.
To back that up, the podcast host and owner of the Daily Wire ventured that most comedians are mean, yet you can still laugh at something like a roast, which Comedy Central has excelled at in the past.
To Oliver’s point that “not everyone is going to be okay” in the Trump era, Shapiro saved a little more venom for Stephen Colbert, stating, “I think John Oliver is going to be okay. I think Stephen Colbert will be all right because apparently he’s able to be the crappiest host in the world and keep his job.”
— Complex (@Complex) November 20, 2016
Will Stephen Colbert respond to these comments any time soon? The jury is still out. Shapiro might not be popular enough or travel in close enough circles, although he has raised his profile some throughout the election season.
He has consistently opposed Trump in spite of being a young conservative voice. He also publicly quit and criticized Breitbart News when it didn’t stand by reporter Michelle Fields’ claims that she was attacked by Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
If there is a response from Stephen Colbert, this story will be updated. In the meantime, the Late Show host continues to trail in the ratings behind Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Show) and Jimmy Kimmel since taking over for David Letterman in 2015.
Shapiro charges that it’s because he ventures too far into punditry, which is second nature compared to former forays into comedy.
But what do you think, readers?
Will Stephen Colbert be just fine with his current gig, or do you see CBS grooming a replacement, such as James Corden, for the Late Show? Sound off in the comments section below.