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CBS Taps the Real Stephen Colbert as Letterman's Replacement

Stephen Colbert appears on "The Colbert Report"
Stephen Colbert appears on "The Colbert Report"Photograph by Scott Gries/Comedy Central via AP Photo

What is late-night host Stephen Colbert like when he’s not in character as the cable-news blowhard Stephen Colbert? Viewers are about to find out.

CBS has named Colbert as the next in line for the Late Show, a move that comes less than a week after David Letterman announced on the air that he will be retiring from late-night comedy when his current contract expires next year. The quick choice of a Late Show successor will give Colbert plenty of time to figure out how his version of the show will differ from Letterman’s long-running institution. But there’s one thing you can bet on, according to industry observers: Colbert is unlikely to be hosting in character as he does on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.