TIME Television

Colbert on Replacing Letterman: ‘I Do Not Envy Whoever They Put in That Chair’

FILE: Stephen Colbert To Replace David Letterman On "Late Show" Late Show with David Letterman
Stephen Colbert and David Letterman during a taping of The Late Show in 2012. John Paul Filo—CBS/Getty Images

The satirical late-night host is due to break character to succeed David Letterman, who's retiring next year, but not before he jokes about how hard it will be. "Those are some huge shoes to fill," he said of Letterman's role, "and some really big pants"

Stephen Colbert praised David Letterman during the opening of his show Thursday, calling the man he’ll replace as Late Show host someone who “has influenced every host who came after him and even a few who came before him.”

“This man,” Colbert said. “He’s that good.

“I do not envy whoever they try to put in that chair,” Colbert added during The Colbert Report, which he’s leaving next year to succeed the retiring Letterman at CBS. “Those are some huge shoes to fill. And some really big pants.”

Colbert went on to praise Letterman’s run as a late night host, which he said spanned his “entire adult life.”

“Late night premiered my freshman year of college. I learned more from Dave than I did from going to my classes,” Colbert said. “Especially the ones I did not go to because I had stayed up until 1:30 watching Dave.”

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