David Letterman Welcomes 'Boob' Stephen Colbert With Selfie - Rolling Stone
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David Letterman Welcomes ‘Boob’ Stephen Colbert With Selfie

Future ‘Late Show’ host shares how he almost worked for Letterman twice

“You look right at home,” David Letterman joked as he welcomed his successor Stephen Colbert to Late Show With David Letterman Tuesday night. Colbert’s appearance on Letterman marked the first time the two have been seen together publicly since Letterman announced his retirement earlier this month.

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In the clip above, Colbert tells the host, “I’m going to do whatever you have done here. It seems to have gone pretty well, Dave.”

“It’s gone…on,” replied Letterman in typical sardonic wit.

Letterman later replies to Colbert’s enthusiasm at his future gig, “I’m thrilled as well because in a situation like this, Paul and I have been doing this for a long, long time and they could’ve just as easily hired another boob like me. But they didn’t. They hired a…”

“They hired a boob like me,” said Colbert. “Every boob is like a snowflake, Dave. We’re all unique in our own way.”

Colbert also revealed that he almost worked for Letterman twice. After graduating from Northwestern in 1986, Colbert accompanied his girlfriend to New York, where she was applying for an internship on Letterman’s show. Colbert was offered the job instead, but turned it down. “I did not take the internship because you do not pay people,” he said. “The next job I’m taking, that pays, right? Because I’ve already signed.”

In 1997, Colbert and his writing partner sent in a Top 10 list to the show. The future host had already started working on Comedy Central’s Strangers With Candy when he got a call back from the show months later, but kept the list—The Top 10 Cocktails for Santa—and read it aloud Tuesday night. Before the Top 10, the duo took a selfie, with Letterman asking, “Is this still what people do?” 

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Colbert’s shift to CBS will happen sometime in 2015, when Letterman steps down from his hosting duties after more than 30 years. “The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance,” Letterman said upon announcing his retirement. “And I phoned him just before the program, and I said, ‘Leslie, it’s been great. You’ve been great. And the network has been great, but I’m retiring. What this means now is that Paul and I can be married.”

One week after the annoucement, CBS announced that Colbert had signed a five-year agreement with the network to take over for the venerated host. “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said in a statement. “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.”

Details are still scarce on Colbert’s new reign, but the host admitted that he would not be continuing the faux-conservative persona popularized in The Colbert Report.


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