Stephen Colbert's new show is at its best when it's like his old show, and that's just fine with me.

When Colbert took over The Late Show in September I expected two things: a smooth transition from “Stephen Colbert” to Stephen Colbert and lots of singing, dancing, and meme-ing a la the chipmunk sitting behind the desk at The Tonight Show. But in a lot of ways—particularly in the first act—Colbert is continuing the kind of political satire he was doing on The Colbert Report, just bringing down the irony a notch or two. Take this bit, in which Colbert dresses up as a character bearing a striking resemblance to Caesar Flickerman of The Hunger Games and roasts the GOP field. It’s exactly the kind of thing you would see in TCR’s second act and it stands out for that reason on late night. Scratch the surface of Stephen Colbert and “Stephen Colbert” is right there.