Colbert named as Letterman’s replacement on US talk show

CBS wasted little time in unveiling Letterman’s replacement

Comedian Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman. Photograph: Reuters/Jim Bourg

Comedian Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman. Photograph: Reuters/Jim Bourg

 

Stephen Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s satirical news show The Colbert Report , will replace veteran talkshow host David Letterman in the late-night slot on US television network CBS.

CBS wasted little time in unveiling Letterman’s replacement after the Late Show host unexpectedly announced last week he would retire some time in 2015 after 22 years fronting the popular programme.

Colbert (49) has hosted The Colbert Report since 2005, sending up conservative political pundits in a parody of personality-driven news shows such as The O’Reilly Factor on Fox. The character had been reprised in a show of his own from a slot in Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart .

“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,” said Colbert, who added that he would not be playing his Colbert Report character in his new role.

Without saying when Colbert would take over, CBS chief executive Les Moonves described the comedian as “one of the most inventive and respected forces on television”.

CBS has not yet said where the new Late Show will be based, with New York fighting to hold on to the flagship programme and Los Angeles making a pitch to have it moved to the west coast.

Colbert, who was signed up on a five-year contract, said in a statement that he was “thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me”, going on to poke fun at his predecessor: “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”