Colbert To Succeed Letterman On Late Show
Stephen Colbert will be the new host of the Late Show, taking over from David Letterman when he retires next year.
Colbert, who has signed a five-year deal with CBS, is currently the presenter of satirical news show The Colbert Report on the cable channel Comedy Central.
He said he was "thrilled and grateful" to be given the new job and joked he would be grinding a gap in his front teeth - in reference to Letterman's trademark smile.
Colbert, 49, also said: "Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career.
"I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead."
Letterman, who will be 67 on Saturday, has hosted the Late Show with David Letterman since 1993.
CBS president Leslie Moonves said: "Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television.
"David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."
Colbert has said he will not tackle the Late Show in his Report character. An official start date for his new venture has not been announced.
Colbert recently came under fire on social media after an alleged racist tweet was posted from the show's account.
The controversial message from the verified Twitter account for The Colbert Report tweeted: "I am willing to show the #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever."
The tweet - later deleted - was a reference to a skit Colbert did on his show where he joked about Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's announcement of a foundation to help Native Americans.
The American football team has been at the centre of controversy for having a name seen by some people as racist.
Colbert's character on his show is ultra-conservative and often makes outrageous statements, including his impression of Ching Chong Ding Dong, which mocks Asian stereotypes.
But without the context of the television show skit the Twitter message caused an outrage.
The tweet was from a Comedy Central account and was not controlled by Colbert or his show, it was claimed.
Colbert used to write and appear on Jon Stewart's Daily Show and before the official announcement of Colbert's new job, Stewart threw his support behind his former colleague.
Stewart told Vulture.com: "He is a uniquely talented individual. He's wonderful in Colbert Report, but he's got gears he hasn't even shown people yet. He would be remarkable."