Last week, reports surfaced that Comedy Central talk show host Stephen Colbert was to replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Today, CBS confirmed that Colbert will take the chair in 2015 when Letterman officially retires. Colbert signed a five-year deal to host the show.
Colbert currently hosts The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, on which he plays a conservative persona that would not ultimately follow him to his stint on The Late Show.
CBS chairman Les Moonves called Stephen one of the most inventive and respected forces on television. “David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”
According to the official announcement by CBS, a premiere date for Stephen Colbert will be announced after Letterman determines his timetable of shows for 2105.
“Stephen is a multi-talented and respected host, writer, producer, satirist and comedian who blazes a trail of thought-provoking conversation, humor and innovation with everything he touches,” said Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment. “He is a presence on every stage, with interests and notable accomplishments across a wide spectrum of entertainment, politics, publishing and music. We welcome Stephen to CBS with great pride and excitement, and look forward to introducing him to our network television viewers in late night.”
Colbert himself is quoted in the release. “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” said Colbert. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead. I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”
Longtime friend of Colbert Jon Stewart, who Colbert worked for on The Daily Show for eight years before branching out to The Colbert Report, had nothing but good things to say about Colbert on The Late Show. “He’s got gears he hasn’t even shown people yet,” Stewart told Vulture. “He would be remarkable. He’s got some skill sets that are really applicable, interviewing-wise, but also he’s a really, really good actor and also an excellent improvisational comedian.”
David Letterman has hosted The Late Show on CBS for 21 years and announced his retirement on the April 3rd airing of his show.
What do you think of this announcement and do you think Colbert can successfully host the show as himself, having played the “other” Stephen Colbert for so long?