David Letterman’s retirement announcement triggered several days of speculation about his successor. Now, CBS has finally put an end to the guessing game and made the announcement. And it is... drumroll please... Stephen Colbert. The network released a statement announcing The Colbert Report host as the new face of The Late Show on Thursday. Colbert has reportedly signed a five-year deal to host, after Letterman’s 20+ year reign ends in 2015.

David Letterman, Ed Sullivan Theater
Letterman is bowing out after 21 years on the job.

 

Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," CBS bossLes Moonves said in his statement. "David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."

Letterman is yet to set an exact timeframe for his exit. After he announces any further details, CBS will proceed with scheduling a premiere date for Colbert, TV Guide reports. In the meantime, he will continue to host Comedy Central’s Colbert Report through the end of 2014. CC is yet to reveal whether there will be a replacement for Colbert or the show will be scrapped altogether. The channel did release a statement about Colbert’s planned departure.

Stephen Colbert
The hilarious Stephen Colbert has been named as Letterman's replacement. 

 

"Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades," the network said in a statement. "We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best."

Watch Letterman give his trademark warm welcome to Lady Gaga and Bill Murray.