Well, that was fast.

CBS announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert will take over when David Letterman retires sometime in 2015.

CBS president Leslie Moonves called Colbert "one of the most inventive and respected forces on television."

"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."

A few instant thoughts:

The quickness of this announcement has got to mean that CBS had Colbert in mind all along if and when Letterman decided to depart.

Colbert is a true talent, but we really haven't seen the real Colbert. It's a given that he'll drop the ultra-conservative, egotistical character he's been playing on Comedy Central.

Colbert is a good choice, but not a terribly bold one. It saddens me that the biggest network late-night battle will be between three white guys who are roughly the same age. My guess is that CBS will "retire" Craig Ferguson and bring in Chelsea Handler.

The next big question: Who will follow Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show"?

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