Stephen Colbert on Shortlist to Replace David Letterman

Stephen Colbert on Shortlist to Replace David Letterman

With David Letterman stepping down as the host of Late Night With David Letterman, many names, such as that of Stephen Colbert, have been shortlisted as possible replacements for him. Letterman has been the host of the series for 21 years, but on Thursday, he announced that he was calling it quits.

Although CBS Corp. and its boss, Leslie Moonves, is not in a major hurry to sign and announce a replacement for David Letterman, unnamed network insiders have mentioned some actors and actresses who are being considered for the job. Choosing someone who would have a wide appeal might be the most important quality that CBS execs will be looking for when choosing a new person to take over the helm.

Will Stephen Colbert take over the Late Show crown from David Letterman?

Stephen Colbert, who hosts The Colbert Report on the Comedy Channel, is definitely one of the choices that are seriously being considered to take over the Late Show crown, and he has expressed interest also, if the job is offered him. If he is offered the job, Stephen Colbert would reportedly drop the pseudo-conservative persona that he has on The Colbert Report, and be more himself.

Colbert has a definite knack of conducting interviews with his guests, while still being witty, and this is considered to be one of the many pluses that recommend him for the job. If he can remain snarky but be apolitical, he might end up as show’s new host.

Among other choices mentioned are Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Howard Stern, Chelsea Handler, Drew Carey, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson.

While Ellen would likely be successful with whatever time slot she’s given, she has developed a following with her show and might be satisfied right where she is currently. Howard Stern, 60 has stated that he’s pretty busy, and has a “full plate,” though if he’s offered the job, he might change his mind — if the money was right.

Stephen Colbert on Shortlist to Replace David Letterman

SNL and 30 Rock alumni Tina Fey would make an excellent hostess, and she has the quick wit and wide appeal that Moonves might be looking for, so she might very well end up as the host. She would likely bring a blend of irreverent humor and funny skits to the show, and attract big name stars as guests.

Drew Carey would make for another good choice, though he is great as the host of The Price is Right and he might not want to leave that job. Jimmy Kimmel has stated that he’s happy where he is at ABC, but it would be an honor for him to get a call from Letterman, and under the right circumstances, he could probably be swayed to become the new host.

Jay Leno seems to be at peace with the idea of retirement, but he has a proven track record as being a great late night talk show host. If the contract was generous enough, Leno could possibly be lured out of retirement.

The host of the Late Late Show, Craig Ferguson, is witty and self-deprecating, and he has always said he’d like to have a house band. His stock has fallen somewhat because of the success of both Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, but it’s written into his contract that if he doesn’t get the job whenever it might become available, he would get paid somewhere between $8 million to $12 million. Craig Ferguson also has terrific interviewing skills, so the job might fall to him.

Jon Stewart, host of the Comedy Channel’s The Daily Show, is yet another possibility, and he would make a fantastic choice, as well. He has proven to be a very insightful interviewer, and he could very easily wind up on the top of the ehap with the hosting job.

Was the decision of David Letterman to retire based on how well Jimmy Fallon was doing in the ratings?

There has been supposition that David Letterman was prompted to retire because of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers doing so well in the ratings at their time slots in comparison to him. Since Fallon has gone against him in the same time slot, Letterman has averaged 2.7 million viewers, while Jimmy Fallon has averaged 5.2 million.

However, it could have nothing to do with ratings, at all. The last contract that David Letterman signed was just for one year. He might have been considering retiring over a year ago, and only signed a year-long contract because of that reason. Being the host of a show for 21 years, even one that Letterman seemed to love — sometimes, seemed to love hating — and he might have felt is was simply the right time to retire.

Will The Late Show move from New York to L.A.?

Will the Late Show see a change in setting and move to the West Coast now that David Letterman is retiring? One person who is already lobbying for that to happen is the mayor of L.A., Eric Garcetti. He wrote an open letter to Les Moonves suggesting the change in venue for the Late Show.

Stephen Colbert on Shortlist to Replace David Letterman

Even if the Late Show relocates to the West Coast, selecting a replacement for one of the greats of talk show history, David Letterman, will still be necessary, if the show is allowed to continue.

Among other considerations will be who, of the available choices, might be able to stand up to the ratings juggernaut that is Jimmy Fallon? Who will be a worthy successor to David Letterman, and will be able to appeal to younger viewers and exploit social media like Twitter and YouTube, like Jimmy Fallon does? Who will be the next person to wear the Late Show crown? Will it be…Stephen Colbert, or someone else? Please leave your comments below!

Written by: Douglas Cobb

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