(Reuters) - Stephen Colbert makes his “Late Show” debut on Tuesday with a mix of Hollywood glamour and presidential campaign politics with guests George Clooney and Republican White House contender Jeb Bush.
Nine months after his satirical “The Colbert Report” ended its run on Comedy Central last December, the 51-year-old actor and comedian takes on CBS’s flagship late night talk show with no one quite sure what to expect.
Colbert has promised to drop the pompous conservative alter ego that helped make him a star.
But whether he will take “The Late Show” into the variety show territory developed by rival Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” or the pranks of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on ABC remains to be seen.
Colbert has revealed little about what he has in store.
He told television reporters last month that he chose Clooney as his first “Late Show” guest “because he’s a brilliant actor and a great director and he cares about the world.”
Jeb Bush and Colbert, meanwhile, have already been making waves on social media over competing raffles for a seat at Tuesday’s inaugural show taping in New York.
Guests for the remainder of Colbert’s first week give a glimpse of the flavor of what is to come. They include actress Scarlett Johansson, Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk and Vice President Joe Biden.
Fallon, whose “Tonight Show” is the most watched of the U.S. late night talk shows, has gone for a more lighthearted guest list as he faces off against Colbert for the first time.
On Tuesday, Fallon will sit down with actor Richard Gere, country star Keith Urban and singer Jessica Simpson. His guests later this week include singers Justin Timberlake and Carrie Underwood and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
On Friday, Fallon will talk with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. Colbert’s guests on that night’s show include comedian Amy Schumer and author Stephen King.
Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Jonathan Oatis