The changing of the late night talk show guard is in full swing this year as Stephen Colbert has been tapped to replace David Letterman for The Late Show. While Letterman will still be commanding the show for some months (at least), it would appear that Colbert is not only the first choice for the role, but the last one as well.
Tipped first by Bloomberg through @JonErlichman, aka Jon Erlichman, correspondent for Bloomberg TV, this push followed word from Jon Stewart’s suggestion just yesterday – reported today by Vulture in a mini-interview. It was at the Cinema Society’s after-party for the movie Joe that the host of The Daily Show suggested that, though he didn’t feel he’d be right for the job, “I know someone who would be amazing.”
In a CBS release today, Colbert let it be known that “simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career.” He continued, “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”
Colbert went on to say that “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.”
At this time it is not clear if Colbert will be in or out of character for his Late Show debut. His “character”, also named Stephen Colbert, has changed from a hardline conservative Republican know-it-all (from his Daily Show tenure) to much more of a self-obsessed know-it-all with questionable motives here in the present – all for comedy, of course.
UPDATE: It’s now been suggested by multiple sources that Colbert will retire his Colbert character when moving to The Tonight Show. We must assume that the character will live on in our collective dreams as we’re certain Stephen Colbert can never really die.