“If anyone can bring edge back to late night, it’s Stephen Colbert.” TIME is confident in David Letterman’s replacement, but what can we expect from tonight’s episode? As Colbert warms up for his Late Show debut, with promised appearances from George Clooney and Jeb Bush, we’ve chosen four stories that offer clues to what the show might look like with him as the host. Get to know Colbert as a feminist, a suited style icon and, in one memorable photo-shoot for Entertainment Weekly, a hobbit, for a glimpse of what’s to come.

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The Late, Great Stephen Colbert


In revealing his truest self to GQ, “the most inventive comic of his generation” shows how he might just reinvent late-night TV.

Night Vision


As Stephen Colbert takes over CBS’s Late Show, a question looms: Who is Stephen Colbert?

Women: Why I’m For Them


Stephen Colbert comes clean: He loves women. Can’t enough of ’em. Thinks they should be in charge of everything. Hear him out.

Force of Hobbit

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly asked Stephen Colbert if he’d like to be transformed into Middle-earth characters. And write their cover story. And interview Peter Jackson. He said yes, yes, and yes.