Earlier today, Gawker reported that Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's “Colbert Report” will replace David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.” CBS reached the decision yesterday following Letterman's announcement last week that he will retire in 2015. Letterman, 66, has hosted “The Late Show” for 21 consecutive years. As of yet, there is no word on the exact date for Letterman's retirement or Colbert's premiere.
The timing works out great for Colbert, as his contract with Comedy Central expires at the end of this year. According to The Wall Street Journal, Colbert plans retire the satirical character he played on the “Colbert Report” in favor of appearing as himself. The 49-year-old comedian has signed a five-year contract with CBS. The company has yet to announce whether the show's location and producers will remain the same.
CBS is hopeful that Colbert will bring his younger fan-base to broadcast television and provide competition to NBC's “Tonight Show.” Since Fallon began hosting on the NBC late night talk show, his ratings among younger viewers have sky-rocketed. However, CBS expects to give Fallon a run for his viewer base. Colbert tests as the second most highly ranked late night host for viewers between the ages of 18 and 24. The top spot in this age range belongs to John Stewart of “The Daily Show.”
The announcement comes on the heels of a #CancelColbert movement on Twitter after Colbert tweeted a joke without a proper frame of reference. ““I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” the tweet read. The comedian said that the joke was in reference to the establishment of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. Despite the upsurge of outrage, it appears Colbert will be rewarded with a larger audience.
In a news release, Colbert made light of his windfall. "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.”