Wildcats are taking over the late night network television lineup. CBS announced that Northwestern University alumnus Stephen Colbert ’86 will succeed David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” when the veteran host steps down in 2015.
As Colbert enters the late night fray, he faces competition from other Northwestern alumni working on comedy talk shows on the other major networks. Fellow School of Communication alumnus Seth Meyers ’96 recently left his post as head writer of “Saturday Night Live” to get behind the desk of “Late Night” on NBC. Over at ABC, School of Communication alumna Jill Leiderman ’93 has served as executive producer of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” since 2006. Other Northwestern alumni have also served a variety of roles on many of these shows over the years, including Leiderman as a segment producer for "The Late Show" and Jena Friedman ’05 as a writer for "The Late Show” and now a producer for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
The Northwestern infiltration of the competitive late night television landscape is a testament to the well-rounded education alumni receive from the School of Communication, said William Bleich, a senior lecturer in the school’s radio/television/film department who also wrote for David Letterman early in the comedian’s career.