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Why did Stephen Colbert appear on a Michigan public access channel?

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Jason DeCrow/AP

(Read caption) Stephen Colbert delivers the keynote address during the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in 2013.

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Viewers in Monroe, Mich., who were recently scrolling through their TV channels may have gotten a surprise when they saw the faces of a globally famous TV host and rapper. 

Stephen Colbert, formerly of the Comedy Central program “The Colbert Report,” is preparing to take over the CBS “Late Night” program after longtime host David Letterman departed earlier this year. So far, he’s uploaded various videos about bidding farewell to his beard and choosing his bandleader, among other topics.

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His newest video went to an unexpected location. Mr. Colbert appeared on the program “Only in Monroe” with Eminem in Michigan, taking over for the program’s usual hosts Kaye Lani Rae Rafko Wilson and Michelle Bowman, according to the Detroit Free Press. Monroe Public Access Cable Television program director Lance Sottile told USA Today Colbert originally asked about hosting with Ms. Wilson and Ms. Bowman but that they “were happy to give up the hosting duties to him.” 

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As for why Eminem was there, at least part of the reason is the upcoming boxing movie “Southpaw,” which is being released later this month and for which Eminem produced the soundtrack.

The interview between the two included Colbert challenging Eminem to sing Bob Seger songs and asking him about alternate career paths (carpentry was Eminem’s selected choice after Colbert suggested it).

Colbert’s varied promotion for his upcoming show reflects the multi-platform world of the current late night program. “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon in particular has perfected the art of having his guests participate in sketches or activities that go viral the next morning, with his Lip Sync Battles proving particularly popular (so much so that they spawned a show on Spike of the same name). Like Colbert’s and the “Late Show” Twitter accounts, the “Tonight Show” Twitter account is updated frequently. “Late Late Show” host James Corden has also had some success with the YouTube format, with his Carpool Karaoke segments getting millions of views.


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