Stephen Colbert announced as next host of “The Late Show”

The First Annual Comedy Awards - Red Carpet

CBS announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert will take over as the host of “The Late Show” after David Letterman’s departure.

Letterman has hosted the show for 21 years. He announced his 2015 retirement on his April 3 broadcast.

Colbert has served as host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “The Colbert Report.”

The premiere date of Colbert’s hosting duties on “The Late Show” will be announced after Letterman announces a timetable for his final broadcasts.

“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, “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.”

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

Adding, “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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