By Kevin Rutherford
Wow, that was quick — David Letterman already has a replacement for his spot on The Late Show, and he already has plenty of experience behind a desk of some sort, just maybe not in this fashion.
Stephen Colbert will be taking over hosting duties on The Late Show once its longtime host retires in 2015. The funnyman, whose first rose to fame on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and then again as host of his own show, The Colbert Report, on Comedy Central, has long been a source of news for young and old viewers alike, particularly those disillusioned with standard news broadcasts.
Colbert’s signing includes a five-year contract to sit at the helm of the show.
“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said in a prepared statement. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”
“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, said. “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.”
Added Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment: “[Colbert] 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’s jump to late-night talk shows will certainly be well-documented and covered; as host of The Colbert Report, he portrays more of a character, a satirical version of conservative pundits, rather than presenting his views straightforward. One would assume his spot on The Late Show will be less of a character, but will still maintain the biting commentary for which he’s known.
Of course, Colbert is no stranger to booking musical guests on his show, meaning the Late Show lineup could be chock full of intriguing performances. He had Arcade Fire on The Colbert Report in support of their new album Reflektor late last year and featured the Black Keys to vie for a chance to check the host’s prostate, among others.
More details about Colbert’s reign at The Late Show will be provided as they come; currently, little is known about the makeup of the upcoming show other than its host and the general ballpark of its debut date.