On Thursday, April 10th, the official announcement that Stephen Colbert is taking over David Letterman’s slot on CBS next year was made. Letterman announced his retirement the previous Thursday and media speculation has been rampant over who will be the new host of “The Late Show”. The multi-Emmy winner will stay on his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report” throughout the rest of the year and will start his major network gig in 2015. No official date has been made yet of when Letterman’s final show will be and Colbert will start.
Late night talk show hosts were abuzz yesterday over the news of Colbert replacing Letterman. “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, the place where Stephen got his start as a correspondent for eight years, did a whole tribute last night. After showing an old clip of Colbert in which both Jon and Stephen were cracking up, Stewart elaborated, “Truly one of the great pleasures of doing this show has been trying to maintain professional composure whilst Mr. Colbert is making me laugh uncontrollably.” Stewart is very happy that his friend is taking over for the man he called the best comedian broadcaster that ever was, David Letterman. Jon proudly stated, “There is no greater joy than seeing a genuinely good man who works hard as he can everyday and deserves all the success in the world actually get that success, so for Stephen, we’re just thrilled.”
Craig Ferguson, the host with the 12:35 time slot on CBS with “The Late Late Show”, started his show on Thursday congratulating Stephen and welcoming to CBS. He tweeted earlier in the day, “Congratulations to the hugely talented and fragrant and lovely @StephenAtHome on the new gig. Welcome to the CBS funhouse.”
Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers also tweeted out their congratulations to Colbert’s twitter account, @StephenAtHome. Fallon and Meyers talked about it on their shows, too. Meyers said, “Stephen is one of the nicest people I met and if you ever watch his show, I don’t have to tell you that he’s one of the funniest and smartest, as well.”
David Letterman did not have a new episode of “The Late Show with David Letterman” last night, but did say in a statement, “I’m very excited for him, and I’m flattered CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses.” On “The Colbert Report” last night, Stephen talked of his history of watching Dave for his whole adult life, learning more from him than he did in college. Without directly saying he is the new host, he just explained in character about Letterman, “This man has influenced every host who came after him and even a few before him- he’s that good. I gotta tell you, I do not envy whoever they put in that chair.”
Stephen Colbert will be hosting the new version of “The Late Show” as himself, not the conservative faux pundit character with the same name that he has been portraying on “The Colbert Report”. There is no word from Comedy Central yet on what they are going to put on after “The Daily Show” Monday through Thursday. Perhaps Chelsea Handler, who is leaving E! at the end of the year, could fill the spot. Or perhaps Chris Hardwick’s comedy game show could change its name from “@midnight” to “@11:30”. Let the speculation begin. Congratulations Stephen Colbert!