CBS has made a five-year deal with Colbert, which was announced Thursday by CBS Corp. Letterman announced his pending 2015 retirement on April 3.
"Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career," Colbert said. "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead. I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."
Comedy Central released this statement: "Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades. We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best."