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Stephen Colbert and the rise of religious late night
Stephen Colbert in The Colbert Report (2005) - photo by Chandra Johnson
Late-night TV has undergone a huge changing of the guard recently, with heavy-hitters like Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jon Stewart all retiring in the last two years.

With Comedy Central alum Stephen Colbert taking the baton from Letterman, the network late-night roster will be rounded out with not just with comedians, but Christians mostly Catholics.

Colbert, Leno replacement Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and veteran host Conan O'Brien all make up what Catholic publisher Our Sunday Visitor called "a Catholic takeover of late-night comedy" and some religious watchdogs think it could change how Americans look at the Catholic church.

"Having prominent Catholics on TV who can offer a satirical and even sometimes a critical look at their own church in a lighthearted, humorous manner will reflect well on the church as a whole, which in turn could change some peoples perceptions of Catholics," OSV's Scott Alessi wrote.

Relevant Magazine's Jesse Carey agreed, saying that less edgy hosts like Fallon and possibly Colbert represent Christian views that combat a generally negative view among young people of the church as "judgemental" about 87 percent of millennials, Barna estimates.

"'The Daily Show' may have been biting and funny, but tune into Fallon youll likely encounter a lot more gentleness, joy and kindness," Carey wrote. "Thats why modern Christianity can learn so much from whats happening in late night."
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