Emmys smackdown: Stephen Colbert vs Jimmy Fallon

With Stephen Colbert set to be the next host of “The Late Show” and Jimmy Fallon having settled into “The Tonight Show;” we will see them go head to head in the world of network late night at some point in 2015.

But long before then we are likely to see a Colbert and Fallon showdown at the upcoming Emmy Awards in the race for Best Variety Series. 

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Fallon has hit the ground running with his incarnation of “The Tonight Show.” His showmanship in performing musical items, sketches and games has created viral hits and established him as late night’s most-watched host.

In each of the last two years, his “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” was nominated for Best Variety Series so it looks likely that he’ll bring “The Tonight Show” back as a nominee for only the second time since 2004 (in 2010 Conan O’Brien’s version was able to crack the field).

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Standing in Fallon’s way of ultimate Emmy glory is last year’s winner “The Colbert Report.”  The “Report” broke the 10-year winning streak of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” Both of these Comedy Central shows make fun of the newsmakers of the day. 

Before these political satires owned this category, David Letterman’s “The Late Show” won for five years running. When you claim this category at the Emmys, you are hard to take down.

Colbert’s performance as a character offers something unique in the category. His exposure and buzz have magnified since being named to the new job. Add to that Letterman’s gracious passing of the “Late Show” baton, as evidenced by Colbert’s appearance on the show Tuesday, and he could be unbeatable. 

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Below, watch Fallon and Colbert collaborate on a rendition of the YouTube sensation “Friday” back in 2011 before they had their new jobs. 

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