CBS has named Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman on The Late Show, but not with his Comedy Central persona.
“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” CBS Chairman and CEO 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.”
Colbert, who signed a five-year deal, said in a statement: “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. 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.”
David Letterman commented: “Stephen has always been a real friend to me. I’m very excited for him, and I’m flattered that CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses.”
Via Twitter Hollywood reacted to the news:
Jimmy Kimmel: Congratulations to @StephenAtHome #StephenColbert – a finer or funnier man I do not know.
Jimmy Fallon I’d like to welcome the great @StephenAtHome to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert.
Craig Ferguson: Congratulations to the hugely talented and fragrant and lovely @StephenAtHome on the new gig. Welcome to the CBS funhouse.
Neil Patrick Harris: I’m thrilled for @StephenatHome replacing Dave. He’s a fantastic choice. I’m a huge fan. Colbert is rad.
Jon Cryer: Finally! A minority is gonna be represented in late night! Catholic Elvish speakers everywhere rejoice!!
Judd Apatow: Congrats @StephenAtHome ! The world rejoices!
Ryan Seacrest: Can’t wait to get to know the real Stephen Colbert. Congrats @StephenAtHome
Meanwhile Comedy Central, which has aired The Colbert Report since 2005, said in a statement,: “Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert as been part of our family for nearly two decades. We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best.”
A premiere date for Colbert will be announced after Letterman determines his final broadcast.
No decision has been made on where the show will be based amid reports Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been trying to lure the NYC show west.