Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman as the Host, Writer, and Executive Producer of THE LATE SHOW

     April 10, 2014


Before David Letterman could even make an on-air official announcement about his retirement, the Internet was already buzzing about who would replace the late night legend because the Internet is impatient.  CBS has now announced who will step into Letterman’s gigantic shoes: Stephen Colbert.  Colbert will not only host The Late Show but will also serve as a writer and executive producer.

We’ll have more information shortly, but my snap reaction is that this is probably the best and least-controversial choice the network could have made.  Colbert has the comic chops, the late night experience, and the magnetism to make The Late Show his own.  Additionally, it would give Colbert a new comic direction after working in political satire and parody for the past 17 years.  While no one can ever truly “replace” David Letterman, I’m excited to see Colbert take the torch.  Hit the jump for the press release.

stephen-colbert-david-lettermanHere’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.”

Since its launch on Comedy Central in 2005, “The Colbert Report” has received widespread critical acclaim while earning two Peabody Awards and 27 Emmy nominations, including an Emmy win for Outstanding Variety Series (2013) and three Emmy wins for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2013, 2010, 2008). Prior to that, Colbert spent eight years as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” as an on-air personality and writer of news satire for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series.

In addition, Colbert is an accomplished author, with two books, I AM AMERICA (and So Can You!) and AMERICA AGAIN: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, appearing on the New York Times best-seller list. AMERICA AGAIN also won a Grammy Award for Spoken Word (2014).

In music, Colbert’s original holiday musical special on Comedy Central, “A Colbert Christmas,” won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album (2009) and Emmy nominations for Art Direction, Picture Editing and Original Music and Lyrics. In April 2011, Colbert starred as Harry in the New York Philharmonic presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company.”

After graduating from Northwestern University, Colbert was a member of Chicago’s acclaimed Second City improv troupe with Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello. The trio later created and starred in the CableAce-nominated sketch comedy series, “Exit 57,” and created the cult-hit narrative series “Strangers with Candy,” both for Comedy Central.

Colbert has appeared on series such as HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” He was also a cast member and writer on ABC’s “The Dana Carvey Show,” wrote for “Saturday Night Live” and voiced roles in DreamWorks’ animated films “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

THE LATE SHOW is broadcast weeknights on the CBS Television Network from 11:35 PM – 12:37 AM, ET/PT.

Around The Web
  • Marissa Evans

    Sweet heavenly Jesus YES. I fucking love this man.

  • DNAsplitter

    Great choice! Been a fan of Colbert since Strangers w Candy and the guy can just command the stage. Such a better choice then Chelsey Handler. Will be glad to see him do something different than his pro-conversative approach that he uses for The Colbert Show.

    • DPW

      With you on Handler, so overrated. Colbert is one of the best, comedy gold, but I do wonder if he won’t be a bit restricted in the major network format. Also wonder how they’ll adapt his persona on the Report on CBS. Anyway, he seems like a great guy, very talented and funny. Wish him success!

      • DR

        He isn’t going to do his Stephen Colbert satire persona. He will do his normal comedian persona…if that makes sense?

  • Sean Chandler

    Congratulations…but I actually watch The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. I don’t watch network late night talk shows.

  • Werefon

    Asian people are upset!

    • YodaRocks

      Asian person here.
      I hope you are trolling.

      • Sean Chandler

        There was an incident about a month ago where a joke about Asians from his show was posted out of context on his Twitter account. As a stand alone comment it was highly offensive, but like virtually everything on the show, in context it’s clear he’s mocking RACISM not being a RACIST.

        However, a group of people didn’t get the joke and started calling for the Colbert Report to be canceled over it. He of course came back with an incredible in character comeback on the air.

      • YodaRocks

        Oh, i might have missed that part. But I know that my folks are over-sensitive towards a lot of things so not surprising at all.

      • Werefon

        Got it?

      • Sean Chandler

        It was bizarre.

      • Sean Chandler

        It was bizarre.

  • The Flobbit

    This man is super funny, and super talented. I am looking forward to seeing more of him.

  • YodaRocks

    YES! Finally a good news from the entertainment industry. Finally a true good talent is being rewarded for hard-work and perseverance. America, be proud of yourself.

  • Person

    Eh, I’ve never been a huge Colbert fan for some reason. I find him grating. I like Jon Stewart way more (not necessarily for this job), but then again he and I went to the same college, so maybe I’m biased haha.

    Gonna miss Letterman, he’s easily my favorite of the late-night hosts. Honestly can’t hate on Colbert too much because frankly, I can’t think of anyone who could adequately replace Letterman.

  • rivertreeradar

    don’t forget to bring the shield

  • aceshigh

    I’m going to miss his satirical send-up of Fox News punditry, but this is still a great choice. He’s a great guy and a gentleman.

  • Gary Collins

    His constant use of politics in his comedy might not be a good thing for CBS or the late show. The last thing I want the Late Show to be is Political.

    • jc

      You do realize the Colbert Report is a show about politics right? That’s why he “constantly” uses politics in his comedy.

      • Gary Collins

        Yes, but will he stop for the Late Show. Most likely not, yes I realize that about the Colbert Show and that’s what Colbert does mainly is political humor, not regular humor.

      • aceshigh

        I’m sure CBS doesn’t want a polarizing political presence on The Late Show. Network late-night talk shows are a COMPLETELY different format and demographic than Comedy Central’s nightly political shows.

        My guess is Colbert will completely abandon his satirical persona and play it straight.

      • Gary Collins

        Let’s hope or CBS will have a problem.

      • aceshigh

        There’s no chance CBS would have offered the deal to Colbert without making CRYSTAL clear what the format and limits of his character would be beforehand.

        As I said, I’m going to greatly miss The Colbert Repor’, but he’s earned his success, and I wish him well.

      • Strong Enough

        it is clearly stated colbert will not be using his satire character on the show

      • Strong Enough

        it is clearly stated colbert will not be using his satire character on the show

      • Melwing

        You realize he had a comedy career before the Colbert Report, that had nothing to do with politics? ;)

      • Gary Collins

        Nope, didn’t realize that.

  • Faptain America

    “Stephen! Stephen! Stephen! Stephen!”

  • matt_gabriel_uk

    nooo! why don’t we get Craig Ferguson on the Late Show! He’s a lot funnier and entertaining. I’ve voted for Craig on and please people do the same, it will make nights more fun ;)

    • The Destroyer

      I feel like Craig is too drunk to do the Late Show.

  • Ruprect

    Wonderful, yet sad news. Hopefully we will get the Jones/Bee Report to replace him.

  • cruzzercruz

    This places me in a conundrum. I want to watch Colbert, but I don’t want to tune into CBS. Also, now I have to watch Fallon on Hulu.

  • paul h

    As long as they keep it starting after The Daily Show I’ll give it a shot, it will be interesting to see how much of Stephen is in the Colbert character.

  • Jamesy

    I was actually rooting for Craig Ferguson, maybe because I’m Scottish. But I love his style and sense of humour regardless of nationality and wanted to see him “step up” so to speak. I thought maybe because The Late Show has a more accessible time slot he would be given the chance to try some new things and make it bigger and better..I loved it when he takes the show out of the studio and does it from different towns etc. Happy for Colbert, although I haven’t really watched much of his show I’ve only seen some stuff on YouTube, but he seems like a nice guy and wish him all the best.

  • Sean Chandler

    But will CBS let him make cartoons like LAZER KLAN?!?

  • ʝoe ßloggs

    Does this mean he’ll lose his comic edge moving to a more “established” franchise?

  • enzofloc

    We knew Johnny Carson. We know Leno and Letterman and Kimmel and Fallon. We invite them in our living rooms or bedrooms each night as intimate friends. But who the f*** is Colbert? I’m not sure he knows himself.

  • enzofloc

    We knew Johnny Carson. We know Leno and Letterman and Kimmel and Fallon. We invite them in our living rooms or bedrooms each night as intimate friends. But who the f*** is Colbert? I’m not sure he knows himself.

  • NotePad

    I’m glad he wont be playing his fake character on this show, The Late Show shouldn’t be done ‘in character’, With him being himself, it could be really great as long as his comedy isn’t as political as his other show.

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  • Lex Walker

    Every host of every talk show ever is giving you a character. Some are just more obvious/honest about it.

  • The Destroyer

    “I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me. I’m looking forward to it.” Stephen Colbert to the New York Times today.

  • mattinacan

    reading is harddddd