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."