A week after David Letterman’s announcement that he will be retiring next year, CBS has announced his successor. The host of the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert, will be leaving his current satirical hosting seat to take over the role on ‘The Late Show.’
The exact date of Letterman’s exact departure has not yet been specified, but it is expected that Colbert will start to be seen on the illustrious late night show sometime in 2015. CBS said that Colbert has signed a five-year deal.
To host the show, Colbert must leave his current 11:30 slot on Comedy Central where he has been the sole host of The Colbert Report for what will be ten years. The Colbert Report is a political satire television show where Colbert parodies a right-wing conservative with a self-assumed superlative clout, poking fun at cable news pundits. His show has played host to an array of guests like New York former governor Eliot Spitzer, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Henry Kissinger, and ‘The Who” rock legend Peter Frampton… all in the same segment. Comedy Central released a statement saying they look forward to the next eight months of Colbert Report, wishing him the best.
David Letterman, on the other hand, will be leaving behind a career in television that stretches back to the mid seventies, including over 20 years on The Late Show. Letterman, who will be celebrating his 67 birthday soon, is the longest-serving late-night host in television history, who last year surpassed Johnny Carson at 31 years.
Colbert will leave behind the pretentious, narcissistic moderate character, that America has come to love on ‘The Report’, to fill in on the ‘Late Show’ as himself, a relatively unknown commodity. Jon Stewart, Colbert’s friend and Comedy Central lead-in, says that Colbert has layers that have yet to be seen by the public.
Before his hit television show ‘The Colbert Report,” Colbert began writing for the ‘Dana Carvey Show’ and was involved in the television show ‘Strangers With Candy’ before becoming a correspondent for Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show.”
One thing led to another and the parody-driven political pundit was born. Since having his own television show, Colbert has earned three Emmy nominations, winning two, as well as a pair of Peabody Awards, and a Grammy. For years, Colbert has hosted one of the highest rated late-night shows in the demographic of 18-49 year-olds, but many far outlying the demographic hail Colbert as being their reason to stay up late.
Oshawa, Ontario Mayor John Gray even declared March 20, 2007 as Stephen Colbert Day, honoring a bet the actor had with him concerning a hockey game.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, CBS acknowledged concerns with how Colbert may come off out of character, but maintained that with his talent, intelligence, and creative ability he is a gifted performer.
The world of late-night is predominately a male driven sector with the ranks of Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, and now Stephen Colbert. In anticipation of Letterman’s leaving many reports suggested that a woman take up the role on ‘Late Night’ to break up the monotony, but that is not the way CBS went.
Opinion by Cody Long