After many years in late-night, Stephen Colbert is moving up to the next big TV gig. The star of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” has signed up to be the new host of “The Late Show” after David Letterman signs off, which the transition coming at some point in 2015.
Is this a surprising move? Hardly. We reported last week that Colbert was the leading candidate to replace Dave, and as a fellow Viacom employee, he was already very familiar with executives. He’s an experienced interviewer, and should appeal very well to some of the CBS viewers who already watch Dave as a frequent guest on the show. CBS is also not a network who likes to take risks. They know already that Stephen has a presence with young viewers, and that’s what they need to compete against Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel at 11:35 p.m. Eastern time.
As a longtime Colbert fan, we feel like we’ve seen enough of him to know that he’ll be very funny, and he doesn’t need to be his character in order to do so. As a matter of fact, we’re sure that he is looking forward to actually being himself on TV again rather than an angry fake Republican who stirs up controversy from time to time. There is a hilarious bit of irony in that those who were declaring that Colbert should be canceled over the Asian stereotype that he used to mock the Washington football franchise now have to stomach him getting what is effectively a promotion … even if he was paid very well for his duties on Comedy Central.
Colbert released a statement, expressing his gratitude for being chosen as the new host:
“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.”
We imagine that the reason for this quick announcement was that this was in the works for a long time, and it’s no coincidence that Colbert’s contract at his other show ends this year. We hear that “The Colbert Report” will end, but there will likely be another show as the meat in the “Daily Show” – “@midnight” sandwich announced soon enough.
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