Late Show

Stephen Colbert

Last week, the news of David Letterman‘s imminent retirement (gently) shook the late night scene, and before anyone could actually mourn the end of the Late Show host’s career, speculation as to who would replace him hit overdrive. We’re guilty of it, too, though our speculative bits were centered around picking a host that could switch up the generally male-dominated late night scene. Our immediate attention turned to women who could take over the desk — women like Chelsea Handler, who already has a late night talk show and is nearing the end of her contract over at E!, along with other (probably high-shooting) picks like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Essentially, we wondered if the late night world was ready for a woman host (and, yes, although there have been female hosts in the past, none of them have stuck like the dudes have) — and, a week later, we’ve got our answer. They’re not. They are, however, ready for Stephen Colbert, who will now host The Late Show.

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Late Night Female Host

The late night chat show game has been the victim of some major shakeups and upheavals over the past few years – it’s lucky for Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon that his transition seemed to go so smoothly, because the previous attempt at ceding the show from Jay Leno to Conan O’Brien was eighteen shades of infamous ugly – but leave it to David Letterman to show everyone how classy retirement can (and should) be. Last night, Dave (always “Dave,” never “Letterman”) took to his Late Show to announce that he’s decided to retire sometime in the next year, meaning that the Late Show With David Letterman will end its run (as we know it) sometime in 2015. Letterman’s retirement closes out the end of an era – both his own and the one that saw Leno and Letterman as the only real late night choices – and subsequently signals the beginning of a new one. Who will next host the Late Show? Although Letterman has given no indication of what will happen to the actual brand, it seem impossible that CBS would go without a late night entry, so surely someone will move into the spot soon enough. There are plenty of male hosts and comedians that could take over the gig – names that have been bandied about include Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, Conan O’Brien and even Jay Leno – but isn’t it time a woman took her place behind the desk?

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