After I graduated high school in 1980, I spent a semester just hanging out and working at the library. (It was my little rebellion - not marching directly into college. My 52 year old self is appalled and ashamed.) One day I found this odd daytime TV talk show. I distinctly remember the talk show host looking at the camera sardonically while it "snowed" in the studio. I liked it. I was not surprised when it was canceled.
When I eventually trudged to Indiana University, that same peculiar host did a night of stand up at IU for $20 a ticket, which was out of my price range or I would have gone.
I only stayed at IU one semester. I was back at home when I went from watching Nightline - which at the time was Ted Koppel giving a twenty minute nightly update on the Iran hostages - and a commercial came on. I switched channels, left the room, and shot back in when some strange foreign woman started talking about sex. I hadn't had sex yet, so I need to hear what this Dr. Ruth woman had to say. Then I saw she was talking to that same guy.
"Hey, it's that guy!' I said, then I became a fan and drank the KoolAid and bought the sweatshirt.
(That thing must have been huge on me when I got it over 20 years and 100 pounds ago. I've just assumed it didn't fit.)
I watched Late Night devotedly, Late Show a little less devotedly, and eventually I switched to Mom's favorite show, The Daily Show with Craig Kilborn, when Dave went through his regrettable Grimacing Period.
Since then I've watched devotedly in spurts, usually after he shows up in the news ... after 9/11, heart surgery, blackmail, the Oscars. "Pah!" I say to Jay Leno and other nice guys. "Find me some clinically depressed weirdo, that's what speaks to me."
I think Colbert will do fine. Hopefully retirement doesn't kill David Letterman, fellow old depressed weird person.