A changing of the guard is underway in late night. CBS announced today that Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert will take over as the next host of the Late Show after David Letterman retires in 2015.
Letterman, who has hosted the Late Show for the past 21 years, announced his decision to step down last week, leaving much speculation about who would take over for the late night legend.
"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," CBS chief Les Moonves said in a statement. "David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."
Added 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."
Unable to resist throwing in a dose of humor, he continued, "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."
Congratulations to Stephen Colbert on this exciting new gig!
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(Photos from left: Jason DeCrow/Invision/AP, File, AP Photo/CBS, Jeffrey R. Staab)