Stephen Colbert To Replace David Letterman on 'The Late Show'

The announcement surprised many that Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show. INSIDE EDITION has the story.

It's official—Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman on The Late Show.

The announcement comes exactly one week after Letterman told the world he'd be calling it quits next year, and ends speculation involving some of the top names in show biz about about Letterman's possible successor.

In breaking the big news, CBS honcho Les Moonves said in a statement: "Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television."

The sharp-witted anchor of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report accepted the job humbly, saying: "Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career. I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me."

But then, he returned to comic form adding: "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."

David Letterman said, "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."

His late-night competitors are weighing in with congratulations, for now, at least.

Jimmy Fallon tweeted: "I'd like to welcome the great Stephen Colbert to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert."

Jimmy Kimmel played it straight: "Congratulations to Stephen Colbert--a finer or funnier man I do not know."

Stephen Colbert is getting a five-year contract for The Late Show, but a couple of things are still up in the air, such as the exact date of his Late Show debut, and even the location of the show. Will it be broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York, where David Letterman ruled for 21 years? Those details are still being finalized.

Fans outside The Late Show studio were thrilled by the news. One fan told INSIDE EDITION, "I'm so excited! Stephen is amazing."

Another fan said, "I'm very excited. I love Stephen Colbert."

Larry King told INSIDE EDITION Stephen Colbert can handle the job, saying, "He's a great choice. He's young and has great appeal to the young."

One guy who might not be happy about Colbert's promotion is Bill O'Reilly, a frequent target of Colbert's edgy humor.

O'Reilly said, "He is the darling of the far left internet which rhapsodizes over him!"

Colbert plays an O'Reilly-like blowhard on his Comedy Central show, and he's always in character.

King said, "You can't do a character hosting an hour late night show, so it will have to be Colbert as Colbert."

Stephen Battaglio Business Editor of TV Guide told INSIDE EDITION, "A lot of people will be tuning and getting to know him for the first time. So, it will be interesting and I think it might be a surprise."

Hear More From Battaglio

One things's for sure, Stephen Colbert's jump to the late show gig is going to be the challenge of his life.