The announcements have been made and the pundits have commented. Now it's time for America to witness the first public meeting between Stephen Colbert and David Letterman since the announcement was made that Colbert would be taking over CBS' late-night slot sometime next year.
Colbert has appeared on Letterman's show 12 times since the premiere of his Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report," in 2005. But when he sits down on "Late Show" next Tuesday, he'll be there kicking the tires and seeing how the audience treats him.
Face-to-face with the man who will one day take over his job, will Letterman suddenly have second thoughts and renounce his retirement plans? Doubtful. By all accounts, the late-night veteran has been pleased with CBS' choice of host to replace him and even referred to Colbert as a "friend" in a statement.
What's still unclear is if Colbert will be appearing on "Late Show" as himself or as the ultra-conservative version of himself he plays on "The Colbert Report." During recent appearances on Letterman, Colbert played up that character, but after the announcement last week, he released a statement explaining he would be hosting the CBS late-night show as himself.
"So we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me," Colbert said.
[For the record, 6 p.m. PDT, April 15: A previous version of this post said Colbert would appear on the show "on Tuesday." He will visit "Late Show" next Tuesday.]