Recently Jay Leno stepped down as the host of The Tonight Show and was replaced by Jimmy Fallon. Even more recently, Late Show host and longtime Leno rival David Letterman also announced that he would be retiring in 2015, effectively ending an era of late night TV many of us have known for most of our lives whether we watched the shows or not.
So of course the big question on everyone’s mind was who would be chosen to replace Letterman? Would it be Craig Ferguson from within CBS similarly to how NBC brought up Fallon? As it turns out, no. It’s been officially announced that they’ve chosen Stephen Colbert, host of the popular Comedy Central political satire show The Colbert Report, to replace Letterman. Unfortunately this also means that Colbert Report will be coming to an end.
You can read the press release of the announcement below.
The news is a bit ironic as well, as recently Colbert was in a bit of controversy after a segment on his Comedy Central show due to the fact that many people are apparently too stupid to realize he’s playing a character, and that he gets his message across through satire. Colbert responded to this “controversy” quite hilariously, and everyone moved on. But with this announcement, those pitchfork-wielding #CancelColbert haters are going to get their wish after all.
This could also be a reason Colbert decided to take the job (after the Scrooge McDuck swimming pool of coins he’ll be getting, of course). Not that Colbert is waving the white flag, but he has been doing his ultra-conservative character on Comedy Central since 2005 and it might be he simply wants to just be himself moving forward…plus the Scrooge McDuck pool. Leslie Moonves, who made the announcement, confirmed in a radio interview that he will not be doing the character when he takes over as Late Show host (though I’d be surprised if he didn’t use him every once in a while).
Here’s the press release:
The CBS Television Network today announced that Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “The Colbert Report,” will succeed David Letterman as the host of THE LATE SHOW, effective when Mr. Letterman retires from the broadcast. The five-year agreement between CBS and Colbert was announced by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, and Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment.
Letterman, the legendary, critically acclaimed host of the CBS late night series for 21 years, announced his retirement on his April 3 broadcast. Colbert’s premiere date as host of THE LATE SHOW will be announced after Mr. Lettermen determines a timetable for his final broadcasts in 2015.
Specific creative elements, as well as the producers and the location for the Colbert-hosted LATE SHOW, will be determined and announced at a later date.
“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” said Moonves. “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.”
“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,” said Tassler. “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,” said Colbert. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”
Adding, “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.”
Now attention shifts to Comedy Central, who has quite the empty slot to fill right after The Daily Show with Jon Stewart once Colbert’s final episode airs.
Who do you want to see take over The Colbert Report slot, and do you want it to be another politics-themed show or something different?