Who Should Replace David Letterman As Next Late Show Host?

David Letterman has announced that he will officially retire as host of the Late Show some time in 2015, leading many to speculate as to whom his replacement will be following a very successful run with CBS. While everybody has their own opinion and personal favorite, TV Line has assembled a list of 13 potential candidates to take over for Letterman when he decides to hang up his monologues and one-liners. While I feel that a few of them may make for an interesting choice, I feel that some either have no shot or would make for a terrible decision. Click here to read the full story at TV Line, and continue to read below for the chances I give each of their picks to succeed Letterman as next host of the Late Show.

* Stephen Colbert (15% chance of being named Letterman’s replacement) – No way. Not after the whole #CancelColbert stuff. CBS has always been more conservative. Colbert will not be a likely choice.

* Jay Leno (25%) – Really? He already retired. Twice. Fans forgave him after the first one, even though it abruptly ended Conan O’Brien’s late night run on non-cable television. Leno cannot come back again. Not in this role.

* Chelsea Handler (30%) – She is leaving E!, but does that mean that she would take over at CBS? WHile very funny and clearly talented, she may be a bit too edgy for CBS.

* Jon Stewart (45%) – This one, I could definitely see. He has the following and the personality to jump right into the chair. To me, he should be considered one of the odds-on-favorites.

* Craig Ferguson (50%) – Due to a wonderful clause in his current contract for the Late Late Show, Ferguson reportedly has the first right of refusal to take over the Late Show. I think that he would be the most likely to land the gig, but it is still his choice.

* Whoopi Goldberg (30%) – She has a decent chance, and clearly brings the celebrity power with her. Attracting guests would never be an issue. But, is she funny enough to handle a job like this at this point in her career? I’m not sold.

* Conan O’Brien (35%) – I could see him wanting to come back to a major network. No offense, TBS, but O’Brien would make for a rather smooth transition.

* Neil Patrick Harris (25%) – How I Met Your Mother is over – Thank God – after one of the worst final seasons and series finales in television history. NPH has the charisma to carry a show such as the Late Show. I’m not sure he is interested, but I could see it working out well.

* Tina Fey (20%) – I don’t see this one happening, but I would be all for it. Extremely talented and funny, Fey would make for a great choice. Again, I just wouldn’t get my hopes up.

* Kevin Hart (25%) – No doubt, one of the funniest people in the world. I don’t think he would be after a gig such as this, but I think he would be a fantastic job as host. We may just have to get him a booster seat.

* Louis C.K. (35%) – We know that he can host. He has proven that time and time again. I’m not sure if CBS sees him as the ideal fit, but it could work.

* Jerry Seinfeld (15%) – A great fit, but I doubt that he wants to take a job like this with such a big commitment. He would do great, but I don’t see enough of an interest on his part.

* Jimmy Kimmel (35%) – Anything can happen in the world of late-night television, but I don’t see him leaving his current job. It works, so why take the risk?

* The Field (33%) – OK, they listed 13 possible replacements. While I can see it – some more so than others – I certainly would not rule out a long-shot or someone not mentioned in their article.

As you can see, I would place my money on either Ferguson or Stewart to take over for Letterman when he retires next year. Who would you like to see as his replacement? One of these or someone else?



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About the author

Rob Kelley

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.