By Emily Lewandowski
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert allows the public to see politicians, such as Eric Adams, the New York City mayor-elect, in a new light.
The more casual platform allows Adams to display his personality and discuss topics that the public likely has not heard him speak about – such as the New York City club scene. This humanizes him and causes the public to view him as one of their own, rather than as a celebrity. While Adams does talk about casual, relatable topics, he also works in aspects of his approach to governing, such as police reform.
I think this segment was a huge plus for Adams, as he elicited hope and excitement in the audience for his leadership. This excitement was evident from the eruption of applause as he spoke about his plans for change.
This segment calls to mind Bill Clinton’s 1992 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show, during which he played the saxophone. This appearance opened the door for other political figures to appear on a casual stage, such as a late-night shows.
By displaying an aspect of his personality unrelated to politics, Clinton was seen in a new light by the public. This allowed the public to relate to him, seeing him casually playing an instrument and having a good time. His candidacy benefitted from this segment, since voters began to see him as a friend rather than as a celebrity. The public reaction to this segment was similar to that of Adams’ appearance on The Late Show, very positive.
Emily Lewandowski was a student in Campaigns, Candidates and Current Elections, an honors course at St. Bonaventure University.