Comedy Central (ended 2015)

The news is out. David Letterman is leaving his Late Show post sometime in 2015. While we still have at least a year remaining in the Letterman era, the speculation is already running rampant about who could replace the man who had—and continues to have—a giant influence on comedy and who revitalized CBS's late-night television lineup more than 20 years ago. Being the good internet citizens that we are, we've compiled a full rundown of some of the more notable names being bandied about, as well as some of the less notable ones, and put together the odds on who will actually end up behind the Late Show desk.



THE NOTABLE FRONTRUNNERS

Jon Stewart (Current gig: Host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central)


I saw a bunch of people tweeting things along the lines of, "If Stewart wants the job, he has it." And Late Show with Jon Stewart isn't too difficult to imagine; Stewart is one of the most famous "real" candidates on the board, and probably the one with the most credibility/acclaim. His temporary hiatus from The Daily Show this past summer went off without a hitch, so it's not as if he'd have too much guilt about ditching the show he transformed into a pop culture institution. While the "too political" label might ruffle some feathers at the network affiliate level, Stewart's been working in Hollywood for a long time and could easily promise to tone it down for a broader audience. His Daily Show contract ends in mid-2015, right around the time that Letterman is likely to depart. 

ODDS: 15:1


Stephen Colbert (Current gig: Host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central)


Nearly everything I just said about Jon Stewart applies to his Comedy Central running mate Stephen Colbert. The big question with Colbert is whether he would stay in character on Late Show, and I'd guess the answer would be "no," which perhaps removes some of the "too political" fears but also makes Colbert's potential performance more of an enigma. Not that he can't do the job just being Stephen Colbert instead of "Stephen Colbert," but does CBS want to take that risk? His contract ends near the end of this year, which perhaps removes any issues with buyouts. Maybe that makes him more likely to get the job? 

ODDS: 35:1



THE NAMES YOU'LL HEAR A LOT ABOUT, WITH CAVEATS

Craig Ferguson (Current gig: Host of The Late Late Show on CBS)


The charming Scot currently follows Letterman in CBS's late-night lineup and that immediately puts him in the conversation as a possible replacement. Also working in CraigyFerg's favor? He's doing the best and most consistent work of any the hosts who are currently doing a "traditional" show (a group that includes Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, and Seth Meyers). Unfortunately, you're probably going to hear quite a bit about how Ferguson is "too weird" for the 11:30pm audience, especially on CBS. The situation isn't that different from when Conan took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show; CBS would never handle such a scenario as poorly as NBC did, but I'm not sure it would even want to take the risk with Craig. Still, I have to bet that the Eyeball will take a good, long look at him. 

ODDS: 50:1


Ellen DeGeneres (Current gig: Host of The Ellen Show)


If we're lucky, multiple women will be discussed for this job. There are enough white dudes at the table. And who better to break through that proverbial glass ceiling than Ellen DeGeneres? She's extremely likable, famous, experienced, and funny in a way that would seemingly easily translate to the late-night sphere. The big downside is that her daytime contract runs for some time—until 2017, to be exact. She could do both shows, but I'm not sure she'd want to. Then it becomes a buyout question. 

ODDS: 150:1


Jimmy Kimmel (Current gig: Host of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC)


Kimmel is one of the more fascinating options on the list, as he's the centerpiece of ABC's late-night operation and successfully made the transition to the 11:30pm slot last fall. You'd expect that such a move signals ABC's longterm commitment to Kimmel, and I'm sure that if you asked ABC executives, they would say just as much. Nevertheless, ABC has also flirted with Jay Leno a few times over the years, and Kimmel has several relationships with people in Hollywood that could make him a really appealing candidate to CBS. Would CBS hire him and move the Late Show out to Burbank? Kimmel's JKL contract isn't up until late 2015, so he'd likely have to be bought out. 

ODDS: 200:1


Jay Leno (Current gig: Performing at your uncle's favorite casino this Saturday)


Jay Leno's late-night TV career will outlive you, it will outlive me, and it will probably outlive late-night TV. He'll be telling OJ Simpson jokes on the eve of the apocalypse. Would it be super weird for CBS to hire Leno to replace Letterman? Absolutely. Would Dave spend his last weeks making fun of that decision? We can only hope. Can we rule either of those things out? No way. Leno, for all his faults, is a reliable, professional performer. If CBS can't pry Stewart or Colbert away from Comedy Central and doesn't like Ferguson for the spot, Leno could slink in.

ODDS: 275:1 


Ryan Seacrest (Current gigs: Host of American Idol, plus 1,200 other things)


I guess we should never underestimate Seacrest's ability to land every hosting job there is, right? He's not especially funny, but could steer the ship with a lot of different voices around him. There are probably too many existing contracts to mess with, though. 

ODDS: 325:1


Chelsea Handler (Current gig: Host of Chelsea Lately on E!)


That current gig needs an asterisk because if multiple reports are to be believed, Chelsea Handler is on her way out at E!. Her contract with the channel is up at the end of this year, and she seems ready to move on from Lately. There's no doubt that the upper level of late-night TV could use an injection of estrogen, and Handler is a recognizable name who could bring some different viewers to CBS. But would her style really fit in with CBS's generally broad content? More to the point, can you imagine Jim Nantz reading promos for The Late Show with Chelsea Handler during a Broncos-Patriots game on Sunday night? Probably not. 

ODDS: 350:1



THE WILD(ISH) CARDS

Drew Carey (Current gig: Host of The Price Is Right on CBS)


Shout-out to friend and fellow TV.com staffer Noel Kirkpatrick for this idea. Drew Carey appears to have a good relationship with CBS executives, people know him and generally like him, and he did a fine job hosting Ferguson's show the other night as part of their April Fool's switcheroo. Carey would be a very safe choice, should CBS want to go that route, but does the network want to move him away from The Price Is Right and create a second job search? Either way, Carey getting the job over his former co-star Ferguson isn't as nutty as it may seem. 

ODDS: 100:1


Conan O'Brien (Current gig: Host of Conan on TBS)


I've been beating this drum since last fall, and I'll continue to do so. You have to guess that Conan desperately wants a second chance at late-night TV on broadcast. The TBS experiment has gone just fine, but Conan is always going to play second fiddle to the Comedy Central offerings in that regard. Moving to CBS would give Conan the chance to redeem himself, to follow in Letterman's footsteps (a man he surely respects more than Leno), and to take potshots at NBC with a higher profile. The question is whether or not CBS would be interested in him. At this point, Conan is what he is, which is just weird enough to make a few older, curmudgeonly executives or affiliate managers uncomfortable. But he's probably an easier sell than Ferguson, he has major name recognition, and he would come in with something to prove (hopefully). His contract at TBS ends in November 2015. I'm rooting for this to happen.  

ODDS: 185:1



THE SUPER WILD CARDS

Chris Hardwick (Current gigs: Nerdist mastermind, host of @midnight on Comedy Central and Talking Dead on AMC)


Like with Seacrest, we can never underestimate Chris Hardwick's ability to get hosting jobs. Hardwick would certainly provide CBS with a host who could match Fallon's positivity levels and perhaps even produce comparable viral content. Nevertheless, this seems like a gig that's just a little beyond Hardwick's pay grade, right? 

ODDS: 395:1


Joel McHale (Current gigs: Community star, host of The Soup on E!)


Community could complete its sixth season in the spring 2015, just when Letterman signs off. There's next to no way the show goes past that—well, other than the movie—leaving McHale with a little more free time. He signed a two-year extension for The Soup in 2012, meaning that contract is about to expire again soon. It'd be tough to stomach a longtime NBC-Comcast employee promoting his jump to a CBS late-night gig as Community reached the end, but wouldn't you want to at least see McHale do a little time behind a desk? He'd certainly help CBS skew younger and compete with Fallon and Kimmel. 

ODDS: 400:1


Aisha Tyler (Current gigs: Archer star, host of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on The CW, co-host of The Talk on CBS)


Aisha Tyler is another extremely qualified candidate who's hosted all kinds of stuff over the years. Heck, she's currently hosting two different programs that are owned or affiliated with CBS in some form: Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Talk. I also think she'd do a better job (and be less off-putting) than Handler, if we're comparing possible female candidates. But she might be the least famous person on this list, which doesn't bode well. 

ODDS: 400:1 



KEEP DREAMING

Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Poehler, Louis C.K., or any other famous person you think is cool


Guys, come on. Although it might be great to watch a version of Late Show with C.K. or Amy P. as the host, they're so busy doing other, better things that we shouldn't want them to waste their time on late-night TV. 

ODDS: 500:1 and beyond



Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/6/2015

Season 20 : Episode 142

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If Louis Ck didn't get the job then I'd either want grace helbig or lindsay lohan, grace helbig who was a cohost/correspondent on G4's attack of the show has the quickest wit I've ever seen. And lindsay lohan is always a dear in my eyes and desperately needs a steady job.
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Jon Stewart should decline the hypothetical offer for two reasons. First, as much as he'd be able to tone down his political views for the sake of a broader audience, the guest list of the late show could never engage him in the sort of interviews he gets from the Daily Show guests. I don't think talking mainly to celebrities would keep him entertained. The second reason is that he started this revolution against this horrific news media trend and the flawed direction all the 24 hours news channel are taking. This fight is far from over, and without some glimpse of hope that his effort is starting to show in correcting the issue, he shouldn't run away from the battlefield. Now, I'm not saying he should never leave the Daily Show desk, That option is entirely his and he definitely earned the respect to not be questioned when he chooses to do so, but leaving for the Late Show gig doesn't feel right for me. Developing some new show that could contribute to the politically correct vibe he has built at the Daily Show will suit him much better when he finally walks away from his desk at Comedy Central. As for Colbert, him leaving will undeniably mean the end of the Colbert Report and unless he's ready to say goodbye to this cultural institution that's growing by each day, he isn't a viable choice for CBS. All that being said, I would be pleased with either Conan, Ferguson, Ellen or Carey.
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I believe that if it is being correctly represented on-line that Craig Ferguson has a clause in his contract that makes him the one to be selected to replace David Letterman upon his retirement, etc. that such contractual provision should be honored (unless there is some legitimate reason preventing the contract in whole or in part from being enforced or enforceable). My greatest fear is that CBS will do something insane, like have some new programming such as a TV magazine or news program as a replacement for Letterman's show. By the way, bringing someone in as the new host who is entirely new and untested and basically unknown is not likely at all. It is possible that Drew Carey might end up with the show: He would be an excellent choice; and he has great mainstream appeal. However, the question is: Can Mr. Carey handle THE PRICE IS RIGHT and the 11:30 PM Eastern time show that Mr. Letterman will be departing from: Certainly, Drew Carey doing DANCING WITH THE STARS does give him a popularity boost that might just indeed be a factor when the ink is set out to dry and all is said and done sometime in 2015. :-)
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Obviously CBS should go deep into their talent pool and hire Tim Surette
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Well if don't give craig the job he gets 8 million dollars, it's in his contract.
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I don't get it, all these people already have shows, and the shows are all 100x funnier than Letterman's. Either Letterman is cripplingly unfunny himself, or he has been humorously crippled (no not like having your legs broken by a clown) by the network.
Either way, who would sign up for that?
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Yeah, exactly. Some decades ago, his show might've meant something (?); but, these days, it's, like: who gives?
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I wish Rosie O'Donnell was on the list.
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Hell no.
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Craig Ferguson cause its logical for him to take over. Jon Stewart could come cause CBS and Comedy Central are owned by the same company and he'll owned The Daily Show so he will still call the shots.
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It SHOULD go to Craig if he wants it. But as far as the best move for CBS - obviously - get Conan! Drew Carey is also a good choice. Jon Stewart would be crazy to leave The Daily Show since he's paid a ton there and has pretty much total control there too.
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Craig Ferguson! Speak no more! He's the best of them all!
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Norm Macdonald
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ha i love norm - it would be a total trainwreck - but i'd watch it for the 3 or 4 weeks he lasted as host.. heh
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I would love to see Lewis Black get this job. Would never happen, but still can you just picture him as Letterman' s replacement? It would be hilarious.
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Carrey or DeGeneres are the most likely choices in my opinion, They have the broad appeal that last night host usually have.
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ellen doesn't strike me as a late night host type person - but Drew Carey sure does!
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Good analysis. Honestly, Jon Stewart is getting older, mid-50s is pretty old to be picking up a younger audience, and he is a tad polarizing. But he is an excellent suckup, the interviews are what I hate most about The Daily Show.

Colbert is an interesting fellow, he could not do the show in character, that simply wouldn't work. He's an interesting guy, but one gets the feeling that he'd simply be unhappy at a traditional late night talk show because he likes to play around.

Craig Ferguson is my favorite host since Carson retired, and honestly, he works best without restrictions that the earlier timeslot carries, and he generally won't play the "tell me about your latest project" game that the other guys play (my biggest disappointment in Conan is how he is a masterful suckup with interviews). That said, it's clear that CBS has been considering him for the job, they built him a larger studio (one that doesn't leak when it rains) and a stage for musical guests that have become more and more frequent. Also, while the show is produced by Letterman's company, Ferguson is paid by CBS so there might be schisms behind the scenes.

Ellen's talk show basically is a late night show with less edge, so she could do it but I just don't see it happening, and she is starting to hit the age wall.

I cannot see Kimmel going to CBS, he does well for ABC and they've put a lot of money behind him. Quick correction though, CBS doesn't produce in Burbank, that's NBC and Warner Bros., CBS produces in mid-Wilshire district just south of Hollywood only a few miles from Kimmel's Hollywood Blvd. studio.

Interesting idea on Leno, but I think it's simply his age that would keep CBS from picking him up.

Seacrest isn't likable or funny in the way that a late night show needs, there's a reason Carson Daly's show is so late at night, that type of personality doesn't carry anything more expensive.

Chelsea Handler is a bridge-burner, she would lose a lot of interviews and she probably has a bad reputation in Hollywood with this E! debacle.

Noel is right that Drew Carey is their likely pick, and I think your odds are double what they should be. It wasn't an accident that Ferguson and Carey switched jobs, Craig is producing and starring in a gameshow in the upcoming season, trying on another job is a good way to do these sorts of things. I suspect they'd move him from The Price is Right to New York, but maybe not, he could conceivably do both.

Conan honestly wouldn't be that surprising, he has sort of followed in Letterman's footsteps from the beginning with Late Night. But Conan has stalled on TBS and there's a feeling I think that Conan is a one-trick pony. So if he's an "easier sell than Ferguson", why did you put his odds at 185:1?

Hardwick probably is a little small for the timeslot right now, but I could see him taking up Late Late Show if Craig were to move up or out.

Joel McHale, now you're talking, and I honestly don't think you're giving him enough credit there. McHale doesn't work for NBC, he works for Sony. He's proven to be a strong interview with just the right amount of edge, and he's shown himself to have a work ethic for regular tv with The Soup. He's the cream, he has that Carson-like wit and bite without being too offputting, and his star is recognizable without being expensive. He gets my vote.

Aisha Tyler's odds are probably on the money only because she's a tad drab on talk shows. She's funny and has a very adjustable level of snark, and she hits some big key demo points (black, female, skews younger), and she hosted Talk Soup as well as The Talk so she clearly has that same ethic that they'd be looking for. She certainly would be less off-putting than Handler. But I still think her chances are slim.

Louis CK felt Chris Rock was the man for the job in the fictional universe, and I can see that happening in real life since Rock really isn't doing anything in front of the camera lately and yet still has recognizability. That would be inside the 400:1 odds IMO.
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It would be a genuine tragedy for Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert to leave their brilliant shows and take up residence at Letterman's dusty old desk.

The problem with people like Craig Ferguson, Stewart, or Colbert leaving their quirky and unique shows for generic late night is that some of their charm would inevitably be sucked out of them to make them more suitable for a rather boring, traditional show.

I'm hoping either Conan or Ellen will take over. Conan's TBS shows it great, but his heart was always set on continuing in the tradition of what he considers the late night greats. After the disappointment that was the Tonight Show, I would love for the Late Show to work out for him. But my number one choice is Ellen, because she's funny, lovable, lively (which would be a much welcome change from Letterman), and it's about time a woman crashes the boy's club.
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It's crazy but now that you've put it on the table (i didn't consider it until now) i would actually love Joel McHale for this. He's funny, he's handsome, he's really good at comebacks and i just love his sarcasm. Now my dreams will be shattered when they choose Jon Stewart.
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Joel McHale would be great! Love him on both The Soup and Community.
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'Don't see Stewart choosing them, though.
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I hope not. I love The Daily Show, and it would suck for him to stop making fun of our crappy political system and media.

Anyway, I voted for Ellen. Joel McHale would be good, and so would Craig Ferguson.
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Ellen stopped being funny 20 years ago. I have no clue who they will pick, I only watch Craig and Stephen.
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I want anyone from the Keep Dreaming section. Those are the best.
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What about Craig Kilbourn? He originally hosted LLS before being replaced by Ferguson. It would be funny if he ended up hosting LS just before Colin's show aired.
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He's proven his work ethic is outside what they're looking for.
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Yea, I def wouldn't want someone I like to get the job if they has to change their style. So Jon, Colbert, Handler, no. Chris Hardwick could work cos he's snarky without ever being threatening.
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*had
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another name that fits the com bination of "could do the job" and "has connections at CBS that could get him the gig": Jeff Probst.
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LOUIE
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i'd like Louis too - but he's so good his talent seems wasted on a late night talk show.
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i'd just love the chance to hear him do a mini standup every night. but the networks would never go for him, and would be a shame to lose his current show
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You really want to go really, really out the box, pick Madea!

Just kidding there folks!
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I'm conflicted; I'd love to see Mr Ferguson get rewarded for his abilities but dont want him to change his style for the better time slot
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Same here.
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Aisha Tyler would be amazing but I agree it's highly unlikely.
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I want to keep Jon Stewart as he is and not watered down for CBS so I am voting for Drew Carey because he is clever and funny but mostly inoffensive. And I have to admit I like Conan but just don't find him particularly funny.
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Ricky Gervais.
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now that would be great - but i can't see someone as brilliant as Gervais doing a late night talk show.
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Oh my lord I would love that!
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Joan Rivers.

Or the person built out of the skin she had cut off. There WAS enough of her cut off to build an entire person, you know, or at least enough to repair 1,000 of those deformed upper lips you see on late night cable.
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Burned too many bridges in Hollywood, and too old.
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JOEL FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!! Craig is perfect where he is now and that should never change.
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There is no question that Ferguson COULD easily do it - every now and then he discards his weird style and his sexual innuendo and everytime he does, I am amazed how good he actually is. Just watch his interviews with Desmond Tutu, his "graveyard" interview with Mila Kunis or every interview with Stephen Fry and you will know, what I mean. The thing is, I didn't want him to tone down his style permanently. His show is just perfect where it is when it is - where else can you see somebody talk about different philosophical theories one minute and about sweaty balls the next? Where do you see a Talkshow that invites (largely unknown) authors or ever game designers? I would hate to see his show change...
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Back in the 90's, Jon Stewart was already anointed Dave's main potential replacement by Letterman himself, because of the strong youth following forThe Jon Stewart Show. It didn't work out at the time (Jon had great opening sketches, but, when came time for interviews... well, let's just he got MUCH better at it now), so he eventually ended up at The Daily Show.

Now, the real question is: why would he do it? He's already unarguably the king of late night, solely based on all the Emmys his show AND The Colbert Report, to which he is a producer, won; also, both of those shows have been way more buzz-worthing than pretty much any talk shows you can think of, to an extent that they pretty much draw the competition on a weekly basis (Comedy Central's late-night block is usually next-day watercooler-talk worthy; the rest of the late-night shows... not so much.) And then, there's the salary - Stewart already makes more money than any other talk show hosts out there - almost $10 millions more than Letterman right now. On a late night block, it must be repeated, where he's essentially the king.

... Why would he do it?

In a lesser extent, the same goes to Colbert - those two can do whatever they want on Comedy Central, a freedom neither one of them would get on CBS. So, for my money, Ferguson seems to be the frontrunner here.
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I don't think it is going to be Stewart. Part of Stewart leaving over the summer was that he made a movie and on several occasions he said he wanted to make more. I don't think an contract with CBS would include time off to do such things. The man is the king of Comedy Central, Comedy Central is going to let him do whatever he wants.
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Comedy Central already let him do whatever he wants - and they ripped all the rewards for it!
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'they've reaped'
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I love the idea of Aisha Tyler, Chris Hardwick or Joel McHale, but none of them will get the job. I suppose if I'm choosing who should get the job then it has to be John Stewart or Craig Ferguson, so I'm going with John Stewart mainly because The Daily Show will live on without him but Late Night with Craig Ferguson is a goner without Ferguson.
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"Late Night" is on NBC, "Late Late Show" is on CBS.

CBS doesn't care if Late Late Show lives or dies, they put on no promos for it even when it gets big name guests.
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Oops, you know what I mean! I don't want the The Late Late Show die.
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Staff
Sorry folks I forgot to add Conan to the poll originally. He's in there now.
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Are you working for Leno? Team Coco!
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Rosie O'Donnell
She would be the perfect late-night host. She already hosted a daytime version of one of these shows, and it did very well. She's funny and can be sardonic and that's what a late-night hosts needs.
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Except that roughly 50% of the country hates her with a passion.
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Is the point of this article to inform us of the most likely candidates or just to assess the most talked about ones, because if you add up all the probabilities in this article then there's more than 5/6 chance (1:5) that none of these candidates will get the job. So either the estimations are moronic or there's a huge disconnect between who will likely get the job and who everyone's talking about. I guess that's fine but if you are going to write an article on Late Show candidates surely discussing the most likely candidates, at least in passing, is essential.
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Or it reflects that there is a fairly large number of people who could get the job, and there wasn't space to cover them all.
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That's fine as long the people covered here are among the most likely to get the job, 1/6 chance doesn't back that up.
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Staff
MATH MAN
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Guilty.
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Neil Patrick Harris.

Time and time again he's proven to be a great performer and now that HIMYM is over the timing couldn't be more right.
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NPH would be great - but also falls into the category of "too talented for late night tv".
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I've been thinking the same thing even before Letterman announced his exit. NPH has deep ties with CBS, has hosted everything ten times over, and is looking to move to New York full time now that HIMYM has concluded. I think it would be brilliant!
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Wouldn't you rather him continue to act or perform in another avenue? He fits into the last category for me.
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He as great in HIMYM, Dr. Horrible and the host of those awards shows that I rarely bat an eye too.

Conan,Leno and Jon Stewart appear in TV and films (granted small appearances) so why shouldn't he branch out to late night and still manage to get acting gigs.
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Jon Stewart is due a game changer and he is not too political in my humble view.
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But "real Americans" hate him because he makes fun of Fox News personalities.
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So you are a real American if you like FOX and their collection of media clowns???
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I guess there's a reason why he put "real Americans" in quotation marks. ^^
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I think Stewart and Colbert may be the only real candidates on this list. I honestly can't see any of the others switching from their current jobs or deciding to forgo their bigger acting careers to do a talk show.

Craigy Ferg is a tough one. I am in the camp that says he's maybe too unconventional and plays that "Not like any other late night talk show!" role a bit too much for the 11:35 viewers. But if CBS is willing to give him a try while letting him remain just as unconventional, then sure, I'd go for it.

So if not Stewart or Colbert, I figure they'll go the route they usually have and choose a relatively well-known comedian, whether standup or maybe a podcaster. I don't know why because I haven't seen him enough to consider myself a fan or anything, but I always tend to think of someone like Michael Ian Black for these jobs, hehe.
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Oddlyoth Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are too well-situated in their current shows to want to make the switch.

Also, your criticism of Ferguson would have been just as accurate describing Letterman when CBS hired him away from NBC.
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Well, it wasn't really a criticism from me -- I absolutely love Ferguson -- but sure, I guess CBS thought Letterman was unconventional too when they originally hired him. But ever since I started watching late night shows, Letterman seems far more conventional than Ferguson is. I didn't watch Letterman or Leno when they first started, so I wouldn't know: Is it just that Letterman's simmered down a lot as he got older? Or is it just that the format used to be a lot different and what was unconventional then is conventional now
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Bonnie Hunt did an awsome job when Dave had surgery, why not her?
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Man, that would be great. She's so talented and yet perennially underemployed.
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She's pretty old.
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Old?
Bonnie Hunt is 52 and frontrunner Jon Stewart is 51. Ferguson is also 51. Also included in this list are Carey (55) and Conan (50).
Or did you mean 'old for a woman'? Because, wow.
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She's only 52? Then I'm mistaken. I could have sworn she was in her late 50s.

But you know that someone at CBS would probably say she's 'old for a woman' though right? It's awful, but true.
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sad but true
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Even wilder card but Brian Williams is quite funny and perhaps less polarising than some of the more obvious bunch... On the 'wrong' network at present but who knows... contracts can be rewritten...
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Brian Williams is a great shout! He is almost certainly the least polarising, and is also REALLY funny...
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I hope not Jon Stewart. Now that John Oliver has his own show there's no one that could fill his boots easily. And if Jon has been considering to go for the "big job" John Oliver should've really been urged to stay on for another year.
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My shortlist would be: Craig, Ellen, Conan, and Chris Hardwick. I love Chris, but I don't think he'd be able to do it without sacrificing one of his other gigs, all of which are amazing. Honestly, I don't even know if he would take it were it offered to him. So that leaves Craig, Ellen, and Conan for me. And quite frankly, I don't watch these late night talk shows unless Conan has a guest I really like. I just have too many other shows to watch to bother much with it.
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I don't watch the Late Show so please don't take Stewart away from my beloved Daily Show. He's destined to make fun of people, not kiss their behinds!
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I worry that Stewart's brilliance would be smothered on the Late Show.
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I wish Letterman picks Craig Ferguson! he is hilarious
or how about someone new that no one knows?

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Staff
Someone out of the box and new would be awesome. There's just a lot of risk in that decision.
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someone no one knows would be problematic since they wouldnt be proven and a spot like that would be too high profile. they could give it to ferguson and put an unknown in the late late show
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how did any of these big names started out?
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I love Stewart, Colbert and CraigyFerg and while it would be nice for them to get the gig, I really want them to stay put. Stew and Colb need to stay together and stay political, and CraigyFerg.... well.... If he keeps his kind of humor and edge then he can take the gig, but if not.... don't move.
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How about Garry Shandling, god the Larry Sanders show was great I watched all six seasons recently and it was way ahead of it time. So many good characters.

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If Craig ends up doing the Late Show. What does it say for the Late Late show ? Id like to think McHale and Hardwick are good contenders for those. For the Late show , their just too inexperienced.
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Staff
Good point
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I dont understand why someone who has a show has to move to another show just because the host goes? Is that an american Late Night Thing? Craig, Jon etc. all have a perfect show that fits to their Humor..- why would they go and do a different Show and either change their program or do pretty much the same as the host before them?
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The reason Stewart and Colbert work is their narrow political focus. If they changed to the broader appeal of the entertainment industry neither would work. I know there's overlap, but they'd be dumbed down for a broader audience and it wouldn't work.
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I'd like to nominate Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell and Russell Brand.
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all brits!!!
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