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Stephen Colbert taking over for David Letterman

Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as host of CBS' "The Late Show."

The network's official Twitter account broke the news Thursday, shortly before CBS sent out an official announcement.

The Second City alum and former Chicago resident Colbert currently hosts "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central. He will take over for Letterman in 2015. Letterman announced during his April 3 broadcast that he would leave "The Late Show" in 2015.

"Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career," Colbert said in the release. "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."

CBS and Colbert agreed to a five-year contract, CBS bosses Leslie Moonves and Nina Tassler said in the release.

Letterman, 66, is the longest-serving late-night host in TV history, last year surpassing his mentor Johnny Carson with 31 years. He began hosting the CBS show in August 1993 after leaving NBC, where he had hosted "Late Night with David Letterman" since 1982.

The announcement ends an uncharacteristically short period of speculation about who would replace Letterman. Pundits suggested such names as Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler, Craig Ferguson, Tina Fey, John Oliver and others.

Colbert graduated from Northwestern University and was a member of Chicago's The Second City improv troupe with Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello. The trio later created and starred in the sketch comedy series "Exit 57" and created the series "Strangers with Candy," both for Comedy Central.

He's hosted "The Colbert Report" since 2005, earning two Peabody Awards and 27 Emmy nominations, including an Emmy win for Outstanding Variety Series (2013) and three Emmy wins for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2013, 2010, 2008).

CBS said creative issues, producers, location and other details for the Colbert-hosted "Late Show" will be hammered out at a later date.

This marks another shift in the late-night show landscape, which recently saw the Jimmy Fallon take over "The Tonight Show" from Jay Leno, and Seth Meyers take Fallon's seat at "Late Night."

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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