David Letterman, the late night talk show host on CBS, announced his retirement the other day, as of 2-15. And now we learn that he will be replaced by satirist Stephen Colbert. That would mean the end of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, which has been the bane of conservatives though a very funny bane. Reportedly, when he takes over Late Night, Colbert will set aside his faux-conservative persona that he used to such withering effect.
I’ve got mixed feelings about this. What do you think?
It’s official: Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as CBS’ Late Show host.
The broadcast network has tapped the 49-year-old Comedy Central host to take over the late-night franchise.
CBS has made a five-year deal with Colbert, which was announced Thursday by CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves and CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler. . . .
Letterman, the longest-serving late-night TV host, announced his retirement on April 3. Colbert’s premiere date will be announced after Letterman determines a timetable for his final broadcast in 2015.“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,” Tassler added. ”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.”
“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said. “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.”
Sources say Colbert informed his Colbert Report staff a couple hours ago and that he told his team they’re all going to work on his CBS show.
Comedy Central released this statement: “Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades. We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best.”
Colbert is expected to shed his ultra-conservative Colbert Report character for Late Show, which leads to perhaps the biggest question mark surrounding his hiring. Though he’s been going through the broad motions of being a late-night host since 2005, he hasn’t been “himself” on the air — so what does that look and feel like, exactly?
Colbert’s fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart assured Vulture: “He’s got a lot more he can show. 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. He’s also got great writing skills. He’s got a lot of the different capacities. Being able to expand upon [those] would be exciting.”