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Report: Colbert to ditch conservative caricature if poached for ‘Late Show’ gig

Stephen Colbert, winner of the Best Writing for a Variety Series Award and the Variety Series Award for "The Colbert Report," poses in the press room during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sept. 22 in Los Angeles.
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

It’s early, but there leader in a clubhouse to replace longtime Late Show host David Letterman when he steps down next year is none other than Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, according to a report today from Mashable.

But would the host of the aptly named The Colbert Report ditch the satirical conservative character that he’s most known for in order to step into Letterman’s shoes? One source told the website yes.

Colbert has at times, albeit rarely, broken character, but has never done so during his the half-hour variety show that follows The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

In fact, the conservative caricature that Colbert perfected as a correspondent for Stewart’s show, before he started hosting the spinoff in 2005, has garnered The Colbert Report three writing Emmys and one outstanding variety series Emmy, won last year last year to break The Daily Show’s decade-long winning streak in the category.

But sources told the website that Colbert, who according to the report is a friend and admirer of Letter, is interested in taking the gig.

Conveniently, Colbert’s contract with Comedy Central runs out at the end of this year, just before Letterman’s slated to retire, though no specific date has been set for the host’s final Late Show.

Colbert could, however, see some stiff competition for the job, as other rumored candidates include The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson host Craig Ferguson and How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick Harris.

Predictably both CBS and Comedy Central did not comment to the website about the rumors.