It’s official. Stephen Colbert will step down from Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” in 2015 to replace David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on CBS. Can this Emmy darling work his magic on this late night staple? (Vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.)
“The Late Show with David Letterman” used to be an Emmy juggernaut, nominated for Best Variety Series a staggering 16 years in a row (1993-2009) and taking the trophy six times (1994, 1998-2002) before “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” began its decade-long winning streak. “Late Show” has also won three technical categories for a total haul of nine Emmys.
After 2009, Letterman’s “Late Show” fell out of the Variety Series race and has never returned. In 2010, he was replaced by Conan O’Brien‘s short-lived “Tonight Show” Even when the field was expanded to six nominees in 2011 he wasn’t invited back; “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” got the nod instead, and then “Jimmy Kimmel Live” entered the race in 2012.
“The Colbert Report,” on the other hand, has been a perennial nominee since its debut, earning eight consecutive nominations (2006-2013). Last September it finally ended “The Daily Show’s” winning streak, taking Best Variety Series for the first time. In addition, “Colbert Report” has won three Emmys for Best Variety Writing (2008, 2010, 2013), bringing its total haul to four.
Letterman had a similar taste of Emmy glory before his promotion to the 11:35 CBS timeslot. His “Late Night” on NBC also won multiple writing Emmys (1983-1986), as well as a directing prize in 1990. Indeed, if you include his 10 straight nominations for “Late Night” on NBC, Letterman was nominated for the top honor a whopping 26 times in a row. That may bode well for Colbert, who could potentially turn his awards success into an awards dynasty.
In our recent poll, only 7.4% of respondents wanted Colbert to take over Letterman’s spot, which ranked him behind O’Brien, “Late Late Show” host Craig Ferguson, Tina Fey, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jon Stewart.
Do you think the move is a good idea? Vote below and then sound off in the comments section.