The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Entertainment & Events

April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on late show

NEW YORK — CBS moved swiftly Thursday to replace the retiring David Letterman with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who will take over the "Late Show" next year and do battle with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel for late-night television supremacy.

Colbert, 49, has been hosting "The Colbert Report" at 11:30 p.m. ET since 2005, in character as a fictional conservative talk-show host. The character will retire with "The Colbert Report."

"Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career," Colbert said. "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead."

Letterman, who turns 67 on Saturday, announced on his show last week that he would retire sometime in 2015, although he hasn't set a date. CBS said Thursday that creative elements of Colbert's new show, including where it will be based, will be announced later.

Mayors of New York and Los Angeles have already publicly urged the new "Late Show" host to choose their city. New York would appear to have the clear edge, since Colbert is already based in New York and CBS owns the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the "Late Show" has been taped since Letterman took over in 1993.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo added his voice to the mix, calling on CBS to keep "Late Show" in place and lauding the contributions of such programs to the state's economy.

"We must ensure that the 'Late Show's' long and proud history of making the nation laugh from New York continues for years to come," he said in a statement.

Letterman offered his endorsement for Colbert's selection Thursday. "Stephen has always been a real friend to me," he said. "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."

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