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By Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Comedian Stephen Colbert will be the next host of The Late Show.

CBS said Thursday that the Colbert Report star will take over hosting duties for the long-running late-night talk franchise when David Letterman retires in 2015.

Colbert and the network have reached a five-year agreement, the broadcaster said.

Letterman, who has hosted the show for 21 years, last week announced his retirement on the program.

CBS did not give any details on the creative direction of the show once Colbert takes over, nor did it say where the series will be produced.

“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said in a statement.

Colbert has hosted his satirical Comedy Central show since 2005, winning two Peabody Awards and multiple Emmys.

“I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me,” Colbert said in a statement. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm

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