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The Boston Globe

Arts

critic’s notebook

Stephen Colbert a wise choice to succeed David Letterman

It’s a testament to Stephen Colbert’s great abilities that, when news hit Thursday that he would be succeeding David Letterman as host of CBS’s “Late Show” next year, many were mystified. Colbert is a character, the Twitter chorus cried out, not a talk-show host. He’s a construct, not a real person.

But of course Colbert is very real, not to mention personable and, occasionally, sincere, as anyone who has heard or seen him interviewed knows. He’s just such a killer improvisational actor that he has been able to fool viewers into forgetting all about the actual Stephen Colbert.

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