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Faces & Names: Colbert to succeed Letterman as ‘Late Show’ host

Stephen Colbert — the supremely gifted host of “The Colbert Report” who has made a career of satirically channeling Bill O’Reilly — has been named host of “The Late Show.” He will replace  when the latter retires next year, probably in May.

Letterman said in a statement, “Stephen has always been a real friend to me. I’m very excited for him, and I’m flattered that CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses.”

Colbert was expected. But this quick an announcement was not. Clearly CBS wanted to get the speculation behind it and begin laying the groundwork for the transition as soon as possible.

“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.”  

In case there was any confusion, Colbert won’t continue his alter-ego.

“I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me. I’m looking forward to it,” Colbert clarified in a statement.

“I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me,” Colbert said in the announcement. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”