Late Night: Colbert beating Fallon, and a stupid word in the NYTimes article about it

The most important thing for this thread is that Stephen Colbert has started beating Jimmy Fallon in the late night ratings. Article is here.

While late-night shows are less relevant viewership-wise, and get more mileage via viral material shared online, I still want to say “Yay!” Colbert is a brilliant performer who killed on The Colbert Report, and has spent the past 18 months trying to figure out how that translates to a more traditional late night show.

As the NYTimes article says:

Colbert’s transition, in other words, has been smoothed out because Trump is a walking example of the crap that Colbert lampooned as a Bill O’Reilly clone.

So overall, this thread is about this changing late-night dynamic.

HOWEVER, in addition, check out this paragraph also quoted from the article:

Bolding mine. “Depthful”? “Depthful”?!?! What the hell kinda word is that?

It is highlighted as misspelled as I type out this post. I have Googled “define depthful” and am not seeing a response. What the heck happened in the NYTimes editorial room before this went out?!

Yes indeed. The best word choice would’ve been depthacity. But depthtacular would’ve been more cutting edge.

it seems to me that deep or profound would have been better. Depthful sounds like something GW Bush would have come up with.

Depthful Strategery!!! Yes!

Depthtacular sounds perfectly cromulent for this use case, too :wink:

Don’t get too smug about it.
Depth be not proud.

I’d have said “displays the most depth” rather than “depthful”. “Deep” comes across to me as philosophical whereas saying the show has “depth” rings more as factual or information-packed.

I think they were going for more “in-depth” than “profound.” Mainly because Oliver spends the majority of his show focusing on one subject.

Failing New York Times. Sad.

I’m not sure what the article author’s point is; Fallon and Colbert have different comedy styles. Colbert is at his best when he has a Republican to skewer, while Fallon’s stock-in-trade isn’t the sort of biting satire or politically aware comedy that Colbert (and Stewart) made their names with.

I mean, I admit I watch Fallon. Specifically because it’s NOT a politically oriented show for the most part. I don’t want to watch something before I go to bed that’s going to work me up or make me upset about the state of the world- I want to watch something light, funny and happy.

You beat me to it.

It seems to say two things:

  • Colbert needed to find his normal, non-Colbert Report Blowhard voice that reflected him as a person and his political views - and appears to have done so

  • The current political climate and Trump specifically provided the catalyst for this to happen, and looking at Colbert vs. Fallon illustrates this, in terms of current ratings and the fact that Fallon is dialing up his own edginess just a smidge.

I agree - I like that there is a non-political late night show vs. one that is more edgy. Not looking to slam Fallon or the value of having his approach.

I am a Daily Show/Colbert Report guy, so having Colbert find a way to keep that edge going in a format that is new for him is a very good thing. As with TDS/TCR, his current show is the one we DVR and watch as a family the next day and use it to discuss current events while also getting entertained.

The Times is saying that while historically the late night audience preferred that their talk shows be an escape, which benefited Fallon, with Trump in the White House they are preferring more topical political satire, which benefits Colbert.

I’m just happy to see him having the success he deserves.

Depthful is still a stupid word.

Actually, I read that article this morning and noticed that odd word choice.

The “Gist” podcast had an interesting interview with Colbert’s showrunner about how the show found its legs:

Oh yeah, it clanks. My eyes latched onto it like a pointer dog tracking a shot pheasant.

I looked to see if there was a Comments section for that article where I could ask about it, but no such luck. I have sent a letter to their general mail box, but assume I won’t hear anything given the trivial nature of this issue. I told them I searched Google depthfully ;), but couldn’t find another example.

snoe - thanks for the link I will check it out.

That kind of thing may be trivial, but I’ll bet that they’ll get many letters about it.

I’ve posted it on my Facebook page, where my editor friend at the NYT will see it. :cool:

The article was written by “James Poniewozik.”

Sounds like a Mexican to me. One of those bad hombres.

Struck me as bizarre, too, but apparently it has a very sporadic history going back to the early 1900s. Peak usage in the early-to-mid-50s, but it seems so rare that I wouldn’t necessarily say it was experiencing a wave of popularity or anything like that. I could find one more use of it in the NYTimes, but that was back in 2007 in a quote.

What’s wrong with “in-depth”? Is there a shade of meaning that’s different?

This reminds me so much of the DC sports radio guy who can’t stop saying “impactful.” When the heck did that become a word? Even my spell checker doesn’t like it. Makes me want to do something impactful to the radio, instead of just turning the station.

On the other hand, I also don’t like the word “smidge”, sorry - a derivation of “smidgen”, which seems to date only to 1845 or so - maybe it’s just too recent for me.

Y’know, back in my day, we had words - we had plenty of words, more than enough for everybody. I get that language is always evolving, but can’t it wait until after I’m no longer around to be bothered by it? :slight_smile: