Stephen Colbert hosts "The Late Show," with Jeb! the first big shot brought down to size.

Stephen Colbert hosts “The Late Show,” with Jeb! the first big shot brought down to size.

“We will do the best show we possibly can and occasionally make the network very angry at us,” – Stephen Colbert [Washington Post]

SO YOU’RE a politician running for president and you’re booked on Stephen Colbert‘s inaugural show, getting free tickets to pass out to whomever you like, but instead you do a fundraiser. Jeb! thought it was a good idea.

In anticipation of Bush’s appearance on the inaugural episode of the show, the former Florida Governor launched a fundraising contest. Bush supporters could buy a $3 (or more, if one is so inclined) ticket for a raffle where the winner receives seat in audience and the chance to have dinner with Bush campaign National Finance Co-Chair, and billionaire New York Jets owner, Woody Johnson. [DailyDot.com]

Nobody told Stephen Colbert, which was a mistake that offers a window into what could be central to “The Late Show.” Colbert is funny, but more than that he’s a talent with a razor-edged mind who is less interested in sucking up to his guests than he is shaking the towers of power.

Colbert responded to Jeb! in a video that is now marked “private” in posts across the media. Colbert is now running his own raffle to benefit Yellow Ribbon Fund, a nonprofit that supports injured veterans.

“…If you can’t afford $3, you’re probably not voting for Jeb Bush. … I think the contest is a great idea,” he continued. “But here’s the thing: No one from Jeb’s campaign asked if this was okay with me to raise money off my first show. Where’s my cut of that sweet three bucks, Governor? Huh?” – Stephen Colbert[TIME]

Bush answered back.

What to expect on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert? You never know, but the early guests point to something different than we’ve seen from Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel and Conan.

Stephen Colbert has the potential to make acerbic chic again and take late night interviews beyond fluffy PR stunts, while expanding the talent pool, represented in the first two weeks through guests like the CEOs of Tesla, and Uber, as well as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

Nobody fears anyone on late night. Colbert could change all that. He’s got the mind and the talent.

Coming to “Late Night” as Americans seethe over who’s running the country and the competence of those in charge, Stephen Colbert has a plum opportunity.

And on Monday night, not only did Jon Stewart help launch Colbert’s new gig, he’s also one of the executive producers. Colbert was at his best when he used product placement to slam Donald Trump, and didn’t let Jeb! control the interview. He even made fun of celebrities, with a lot of help from George Clooney, hawking movies on late night. It was vintage Colbert on his first night, which was big and raucous.

Guest list via the Washington Post

Week 1
Tuesday, Sept. 8: Actor George Clooney; Jeb Bush; house band Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Wednesday, Sept. 9: Actress Scarlett Johansson; SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk; rapper Kendrick Lamar
Thursday, Sept. 10: Vice President Joe Biden; Uber CEO Travis Kalanick; country singer Toby Keith
Friday, Sept. 11: Comedian Amy Schumer; author Stephen King; Paul Simon tribute band Troubled Waters

Week 2
Monday, Sept. 14: Actress Emily Blunt; Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; Jack White’s rock band the Dead Weather
Tuesday, Sept. 15: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal; hip-hop duo Run the Jewels with indie band TV on the Radio
Wednesday, Sept. 16: Actor Kevin Spacey; actress Carol Burnett with comedians Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer; country singer Willie Nelson
Thursday, Sept. 17: Actress Naomi Watts; United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Friday, Sept. 18: Actress Lupita Nyong’o; Senator Bernie Sanders; “An American in Paris” director Christopher Wheeldon with stars Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope

Colbert will be joined by the music of Jon Batiste and Stay Human.

This post has been updated.