Stephen Colbert has officially been hired to replace David Letterman as the Late Night host in 2015. It has been around a week since Letterman announced that he would be retiring from his 21-year run on CBS, and CBS has named Colbert as his successor by singing him up to a five-year contract.
Part of the announcement today came with the following words from Colbert: “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career. 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.” He added: “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”
Fans of Colbert will be all too familiar with the conservative talk-show host character he puts on while hosting the Emmy-winning Colbert Report, a spinoff from his correspondent gig on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. That persona won’t be back; Colbert is to be himself as the new Late Night host. “I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me.” Colbert said in a statement.
Colbert has had an eye on Letterman’s gig for some time now, even arranging his Comedy Central contracts so that they would sync up with Letterman’s. No exact date has been announced for Letterman’s final episode, only that it will take place in 2015. Colbert’s Comedy Central contract officially terminates around the end of the year, so he’ll be readily available for whenever Letterman decides.
Late Show With Stephen Colbert will be completely owned by CBS, unlike Late Show With David Letterman, which is owned by Letterman’s Worldwide Pants. No decision has yet been made as to the location of Colbert’s show. David Letterman’s Late Show currently resides New York’s Ed Sullivan Theatre, but there is a possibility of the show being moved to Los Angeles. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and NY Mayor Bill de Blasio have each requested that the show be held in their respective cities.