CBS has made a surprising pick to replace David Letterman on the Tonight Show, Comedy Central’s Steven Colbert.
The network announced today that the satirist who currently hosts The Colbert Report will fill the shoes of Letterman after his 33 year tenure. According to CBS, Colbert has been given a 5-year contract for the show.
Cobert was equally surprised and honord at the announcement, and said that “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.”
Keeping true to form, he took a friendly poke at Letterman and said “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.”
Colbert’s friends all sent him their congratulations, happy he was chosen for the position.
Jimmy Fallon, who also recently was promoted to take over Jay Leno’s position on NBC tweeted “I’d like to welcome the great @StephenAtHome to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert.”
The contract between Colbert and Comedy Central is in effect until the end of 2014, even though it’s owned by Viacom who also owns CBS. CBS also hasn’t given a specific date I which Colbert will start, stating that certain “creative elements” still needed to be worked out such as writers, producers, and the location of filming.
Colbert beat out other contenders like Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Handler, and Neal Patrick Harris, with the President of CBS, Leslie Moonves, praising him as “..one of the most inventive and respected forces on television.
“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.”
Letterman announced his retirement last Thursday, stating that he would like to spend more time with his family in 2015 after hosting the longest running scripted show for 33 years.