Yes, Stephen Colbert is assuming the throne of The Late Show.
David Letterman announced his retirement last week and since then, there has been much speculation as to who will succeed the legend. Today, CBS confirmed that Colbert too will be leaving his show, The Colbert Report, in order to assume the vacant position on The Late Show.
The major question is this: are we losing one of the great late night presences in this transaction, or two? Letterman has been toting jokes for over 30 years at the desk and we all knew his retirement was coming soon. But will Colbert (silent t), the late night pundit of deadpan mockery, make way for Colbert (hard t), the intelligent and personable goofball? Are both Letterman and Colbert retiring? I hope not (at least not entirely).
Watching any interviews with Stephen when he’s out of character is always a real treat. It allows us to see his other side and become aware of how ridiculous his conservative alter-ego really is. But it almost seems as if the real Stephen is how he spends less of his time, and pundit-Colbert is what he needs to be (I have no issue saying Colbert is Batman).
If he is to take on a traditional talk show, there is the looming question of how Stephen Colbert will show up. Is he really leaving pundit-Colbert to exist only in the memory of The Report? Regardless of what he does, the man is endlessly funny. I hope he keeps the zany character that made him famous, perhaps in the background or during skits, but I think we all want that. It would be too much to bear to see the loss of Letterman and Colbert (silent t) in one week.
That said, while Letterman will be sorely missed, Stephen is probably the best possible choice on television today to replace him. I can't wait to see what he does, and how he'll grow as a comedian in the new position. Good luck to him and let the Nation enjoy.