TODAY | April 11, 2014
>>> cbs did not keep us guessing very long when it comes to who will take over for david letterman . willie 's got that story back in studio 1a . hey, willie .
>> hey, savannah. good morning. just one week after david letterman announced he'll be retiring as host of "the late show " in 2015 , the network named stephen colbert as the man who will inherent one of television's most coveted time slots. late night 's newest name is one you already know.
>> stephen ! stephen ! stephen !
>> cbs announced thursday that when david letterman steps down from "the late show " next year, stephen colbert will take over. last night, he spoke out about his new job in true colbert fashion.
>> this man has influenced every host who came after him, and even a few who came before him, he's that good. and i've got to tell you, i do not envy whoever they try to put in that chair.
>> a nine-year veteran of ""the colbert report ," he's no stranger to 11:30 , or even to the ed sullivan theatre .
>> keep those laughs coming. rehearsal is going great.
>> and he's pretty familiar with his network competition as well. he and "the tonight show 's" jimmy fallon have a good-natured cameo-filled feud that dates back to the days when both were their network's number twos.
>> your ice cream is actually pretty good -- for 12:30 .
>> they all have great respect for each other, and that also makes it kind of interesting. there's not -- i don't think there's any friction going on the way there was kimmel versus leno and dave versus jay.
>> there's not going to be any war. [ laughter ] it will be a dance-off.
>> but "the late show " handoff means not just the end of letterman and his top ten, but also goodbye to colbert 's blustery pundit persona.
>> this is america and we don't need to know where a country is to send troops there. k
>> colbert confirming in a statement, i won't be doing the new show in a character, so we'll get to find out how much of him was me. so while his current fans have another year of hat tips, finger wags to look forward to, expect a broader, perhaps gentler colbert when he hits cbs .
>> he's going to do a modern late night show. he's not going to do a throwback to letterman, leno, carson. what exactly it's going to be, we don't know. but i think whatever it is, we're going to see the best of stephen colbert .
>> and that's the word.
>> letterman's show was a repeat last night, but he did put out a statement saying stephen has always been a real friend to me, i'm very excited for him and i'm flattered that cbs chose him. i also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses, said dave. and by the way, savannah, we're going to hold stephen and jimmy to that dance-off that they promised us.
>> i can't wait. by the way, so now that he's going to be out of character, will he be stephen colbert or --
>> it remains to be seen.
>> all right, willie . thank you