Stephen Colbert replaces Letterman: The congrats and jeers

The guessing game over who would replace David Letterman on CBS’ “Late Night” lasted exactly one week. On Thursday, the network confirmed that Stephen Colbert would be the new host to replace Letterman when he steps down in 2015.

In a statement, Colbert said: “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.”

Robbed of the opportunity to continue to spin out who they thought should fill the spot, comedians, writers and fans fell over themselves to share their thoughts on the pick.

“Family Guy” writer Julius Sharpe wasted no time in getting existential, writing: “Wow, Colbert replacing Letterman. Who’s replacing Fallon? And Kimmel? And who will replace them? Oh my God, we’re all gonna die someday!”


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Comedian Andy Daly, whose show “Review” also airs on Comedy Central, touched on the recent “cancel Colbert” controversy, touched off by Asian Americans unhappy with a Colbert joke, and simultaneously hoped to ride those coattails, “The cancel Colbert controversy worked out pretty well for him. Well I happen to despise Asians. That is the WORST race! #cancelreview.”

Jimmy Fallon, whose “Tonight Show” is the current late night champ, showed himself to be a magnanimous competitor, tweeting, “I’d like to welcome the great @StephenAtHome to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert.”

Jimmy Kimmel also congratulated his new competitor, writing, “Congratulations to @StephenAtHome #StephenColbert -- a finer or funnier man I do not know.”

“Late Show” Executive Producer Barbara Gaines wrote, “I wake from a colonoscopy (thnx Dr. James Marion) & Stephen Colbert has been named the successor. I can’t leave my desk for a minute.”

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On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh was typically dour about the implications of Colbert’s hire, telling his audience, “CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America.” He continued, “No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives. Now it’s just wide-out in the open.”

“Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, who helped Colbert along his path by getting him “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central after he served as a correspondent on Stewart’s show, told New York Magazine, “He’s done an amazing job with just that very narrow cast of character, but he’s got a lot more he can show.”

Nigerian American writer, photographer and art historian Teju Cole was less upbeat about Colbert’s new gig, writing, “In spite of being white, male, straight, popular, competent, and rich, Stephen Colbert has overcome the odds and succeeded.”


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