The seat is still warm and already rumors are flying as to who will fill David Letterman’s chair on CBS’ Late Show. Letterman is the longest-serving late night show host in television history, so the sudden vacancy is propagating fans’ nominees and debates on who will be the new host.
The rumors so far include everyone from Jay Leno (highly unlikely) to ex-Daily Show contributor John Oliver—but the real suggestions holding weight are Comedy Central’s two late night show hosts: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Colbert and Stewart have demonstrated that they are already capable of maintaining a rabid late night viewership, and are clearly funny. More than that though, they’re intelligent, as demonstrated by their primary coverage of political satire.
Now, their real chances for replacement are related to their CBS ties. Comedy Central is owned by MTV Networks, which is a unit of Viacom. Viacom and CBS share a common denominator in Sumner Redstone. Redstone is a controlling shareholder of both CBS and Viacom, and helped CBS gain traction in broadcasting by way of current CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. It’s not far-fetched at all that CBS would reach into Viacom/Comedy Central’s stock as the relationship is already present.
Now, who would be a better fit between the two titans of Comedy Central? Colbert, probably—he’s more animated than Stewart (and therefore a better competitor to Fallon), and as Mashable points out, The Daily Show is Comedy Central’s flagship program, meaning Colbert has more mobility to jump over to CBS.
Stay tuned for CBS’ announcement!