Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman as Host of 'Late Show'


Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show following David Letterman's retirement.

It's official.

CBS announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert will be the new host of CBS' Late Show, replacing David Letterman when he retires after 21 years.

"Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career," Colbert said in a statement. "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."

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Colbert, 49, is best-known for being the host, writer and executive producer of Comedy Central's critically acclaimed The Colbert Report.

"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," CBS President and CEO Les Moonves said. "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 and CBS' contract is a five-year agreement, and is set to begin in 2015.

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Letterman, 66, announced his retirement on his April 3 broadcast.

Update: Letterman himself has since reacted to the big news.

"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," he said in a statement via Deadline.