All eyes were on the Late Show this past week after host David Letterman announced on Thursday, April 3, that he would retire from the late night talk show in 2015. Immediately, the Internet was abuzz with rumors of who would fill the shoes of Letterman, who's hosted the Late Show since its première in 1993.
While plenty of celebrities, from Chelsea Handler to Chris Rock, were named as contenders for the talk show title, CBS announced on Thursday, April 10, that Stephen Colbert will be the next host of the Late Show, signing a five-year contract with CBS.
Naturally, emotions are mixed about the big reveal, with some applauding Colbert's newly appointed title, others disappointed in the continuing lack of diversity in late night television, and many mournful of losing Colbert's satirical right-wing character on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.
Bittersweet as it is, we can all agree that Colbert's career thus far has had some serious highlights. Let's look back on the top 10.
"The Word" is one of our favorite segments on The Colbert Report, so much so that we can hardly pick a single favorite. Which is why we're naming two of them, starting with Truthiness, the difference between "thinking with your heart" and "knowing with your gut."
Another token from Colbert's "The Word." Ironically now defined on Wikipedia, wikiality is the concept that "together we can create a reality that we all agree on -- the reality we just agreed on." It was in this 2006 broadcast that Colbert urged viewers to go on Wikipedia and edit the post on elephants to say the elephant population in Africa had tripled in the last six months. In addition to causing servers to crash and editing privileges to be revoked, it stood as a testament to Colbert's increasing cultural influence.
Daft Punk learned the hard way, you don't cancel on Colbert. The French electronic music duo stood up The Colbert Report in 2013 when they decided to make a surprise performance at the MTV Music Video Awards. As payback, Colbert proved he didn't need European electropop musicians to make his show great; in fact, he could probably do it better -- with the help of Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Fallon, Hugh Laurie, and Jon Stewart.
7. The Roast of President George W. Bush
In 2006, just a year after starting The Colbert Report , Stephen Colbert presented a speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner that showed that not only was he funny, but he also had serious balls.
6. The Breakdown
Colbert rarely breaks from his radical, right-wing character on this show. But when a segment is so ridiculous that not even he can help laughing, we naturally laugh twice as hard. Such was the case when Colbert announced that he had received generous contributions from a viewer named "Suq Madiq."
5. Pap Smears at Walgreens
Ladies, contrary to what Fox and Friends might tell you, if you've ever received a pap smear at Walgreens, you should probably call the police. In this segment, Colbert attacked those who opposed funding for Planned Parenthood, including former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who was caught making statements that were "not intended to be factual."
4. Colbert Super PAC
How do you make a satirical Super PAC ad by Stephen Colbert even better? You get John Lithgow to narrate it. There's no denying it, folks, Stephen Colbert has connections.
3. Bill O'Reilly Inside Edition
When archived footage of Papa Bear O'Reilly losing his shit on Inside Edition went viral, Stephen Colbert came to his aid. Well, sort of. In his typical satirical style Colbert pointed out that he too had a temper, playing out a parody that only further mocked O'Reilly's antics.
2. The Accidentally Racist Song
When Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist" hit the airwaves, Colbert was inspired to write a terrible song of his own. Colbert's "Oopsy-Daisy Homophobe," featuring Alan Cumming, may not have made the Billboard 100, but it certainly became one of the most popular videos of all time on the Colbert Report website.
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The hashtag #CancelColbert went viral after The Colbert Report promotional account posted a tweet saying "I am willing to show #Asian community I care by Introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever." After that, "twit hit the fan." Rather than hide from the public outcry, the Comedy Central host responded to the accusations in perfect Colbert fashion.