Stephen Colbert visits David Letterman and new 'Late Show' home

See Colbert's new look on 'Letterman'
See Colbert's new look on 'Letterman'

    JUST WATCHED

    See Colbert's new look on 'Letterman'

MUST WATCH

See Colbert's new look on 'Letterman' 01:25

Story highlights

  • Stephen Colbert appeared on the "Late Show" with David Letterman
  • Colbert will be the next host of the talk show
  • Letterman plans to retire in 2015

CBS began to introduce the next host of the "Late Show," Stephen Colbert, by having current host David Letterman interview him and take a selfie together on Tuesday night.

Letterman called Colbert "always entertaining," "the new kid" and "my friend." What Letterman was saying, implicitly, was that he supported CBS's pick for his successor.

CBS announced that it had signed Colbert to a multiyear deal back on April 10, one week after Letterman revealed that he intends to retire in 2015.

The unspecified timing of the transition came up during the chat between the two comedians. When Letterman asked about family matters, Colbert, who has three kids, said, "They're getting ready for me to hang around too much." He pointed out that he'll be signing off his Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report" at the end of the year, "and then there's -- I don't know -- when are you leaving? I should have asked!," Colbert said as Letterman laughed. "I should have asked."

Why audiences love Stephen Colbert
Why audiences love Stephen Colbert

    JUST WATCHED

    Why audiences love Stephen Colbert

MUST WATCH

Why audiences love Stephen Colbert 01:57
Dick Cavett: Colbert and Late Night TV
Dick Cavett: Colbert and Late Night TV

    JUST WATCHED

    Dick Cavett: Colbert and Late Night TV

MUST WATCH

Dick Cavett: Colbert and Late Night TV 04:34
The Late Show with ... Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with ... Stephen Colbert

    JUST WATCHED

    The Late Show with ... Stephen Colbert

MUST WATCH

The Late Show with ... Stephen Colbert 02:49
See Colbert's tribute to Letterman
See Colbert's tribute to Letterman

    JUST WATCHED

    See Colbert's tribute to Letterman

MUST WATCH

See Colbert's tribute to Letterman 00:39
David Letterman: 'I am retiring'
David Letterman: 'I am retiring'

    JUST WATCHED

    David Letterman: 'I am retiring'

MUST WATCH

David Letterman: 'I am retiring' 02:42

"The thing is," Colbert said, getting back to his family, "they get nervous, they get nervous. I think they like me, but they get nervous when I'm around too much."

Colbert appeared as himself, not as his "Colbert Report" character. Tuesday's "Late Show" visit is likely to be the first of many media appearances that introduce the "real Colbert" to viewers.

Colbert also styled himself differently than he usually does on the "Colbert Report," further distinguishing between that show and his next late-night act. Instead of glasses with invisible frames, he wore hipster frames, for instance.

"You look good," Letterman said as Colbert came on stage. "You look right at home."

Colbert showered praise on Letterman, and remarked at one point, "I'm gonna do whatever you have done." When Letterman responded with mock disapproval, he added, "It seems to have gone pretty well, Dave!"

"It's, it's gone ON," Letterman said.

During the two-segment interview, Colbert talked about how he applied to be an intern on the "Late Show" in 1986 and submitted a writing sample for a job in 1997. "I was unemployed at a professional level," Colbert quipped. By the time he heard back from the "Late Show," though, the show that became "Strangers With Candy" -- which Colbert co-created and starred in -- was in the works.

True to "Late Show" form, Colbert read what he said was his actual writing sample from 1997: a "Top Ten List" titled "Top Ten Cocktails for Santa," with inventions like "Mama Said Nog You Out," "Scrooge Driver" and "Jack Frost."

When the "Top Ten List" animation played on screen, Letterman joked, "Wait a minute! He doesn't get that yet!"

Opinion: Colbert is taking a big risk

What is Stephen Colbert like out of character?