The comedy community is busy congratulating Stephen Colbert, who has earned the coveted role of Late Show host. The news came Thursday afternoon, just one week after outgoing host David Letterman announced his plans to retire in 2015 — and just in time for other late-night hosts to send their regards during Thursday’s new episodes.
Jon Stewart offered the fondest farewell to his Comedy Central colleague, reminiscing about Colbert’s time on The Daily Show with a ridiculous old clip in which both comedians completely blow it because they’re making each other laugh so hard. But Stewart’s ensuing tribute to the man he calls “a very talented actor, writer, dancer, and improvisational comedian” was touching:
“Truly one of the great pleasures of doing this show has been trying to maintain professional composure whilst Mr. Colbert is making me laugh uncontrollably,” Stewart said on last night’s Daily Show. “So, the exciting news today is I no longer need a cable subscription for the privilege of watching Stephen Colbert. Our good friend Stephen Colbert will be heading to CBS to take over the Late Show from, for at least me, the comedian broadcaster who was the best there ever was, David Letterman. Here is the exciting thing for me — I think Stephen Colbert is up for the challenge. So while we wish Dave the absolute best for a well-earned retirement, there’s no greater joy than seeing a genuinely good man who works as hard as he can every day and deserves all the success in the world actually get that success. For Stephen, we’re just thrilled. Here’s what I’m looking forward to — to be able to walk down Broadway and to look up at the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee and see the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Check out the full segment here:
Craig Ferguson, host of the Late Late Show, offered a much more concise welcome, calling Colbert “a fine addition to the CBS cavalcade of stars.” (Are there possibly hard feelings that he didn’t get the job? Either way, CBS Entertainment head Nina Tassler said the network is happy with Ferguson in its 12:30 spot.) Watch Ferguson offer his toast here:
Jimmy Fallon, meanwhile, congratulated his friend on the new gig, but also made a point to stem talk of a new late-night war once Colbert goes head-to-head with The Tonight Show. “I just want to say there’s not gonna be any war,” Fallon insisted. “It’ll be a dance-off.” Take a look:
Then there was Seth Meyers, who’s thrilled mostly because he and Colbert both went to Northwestern — though “Stephen Colbert,” the character, went to Dartmouth. He sure says “Northwestern” a lot in this clip:
And Arsenio Hall issued this (sarcastic) warning: “All I can say is, ‘Keep y’alls eyes off my late-night job — especially you, Jon Stewart.'” Here’s the clip:
In case you missed it, check out Colbert chatting about David Letterman’s retirement — and whatever poor sucker CBS finds to replace him — here.