It’s official—carve it in stone. Stephen Colbert is the most famous person from South Carolina. The political satirist and host of The Colbert Report was already well on his way to knocking out other major contenders such as “Godfather of Soul” James Brown and Charles Pinckney, a wig-wearing patriot with his signature somewhere on the constitution, but with his newly cemented gig as the next host of the Late Show, he may as well be a clean-shaven, living Jesus.
Sure, he’s the face of pistachios across America. But what sets Colbert apart from his fellow statesmen is his ambition for more. The pistachio deal was just a snack on his way to TV’s grand buffet. According to The Wall Street Journal, CBS has announced that Colbert will replace David Letterman as the host of the iconic talk show when the 67-year-old steps down next year. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps,” Colbert said of Letterman, who has hosted the show since 1993. Colbert’s ascension to one of TV’s best-loved slots follows Jimmy Fallon’s successful graduation to host The Tonight Show.
Replacing the late-night legend is certainly a major notch in Colbert’s belt, and marks his coronation as the most famous, nay, important, nay, all-round awesome person from South Carolina. As a fellow South Carolinan, I’m just taking a moment to bask in his reflected glory. I mean, the competition was steep.
There’s Andie McDowell, actress-turned-spokesmodel, for whom it’s all been downhill since she delivered the worst line in movie history. There’s Shepard Fairey, the street artist behind the André the Giant Obey campaign and Obama’s emblematic (and controversial) “Hope” poster. There’s also wheel-spinner extraordinaire Vanna White, longtime cohost of the Wheel of Fortune, otherwise known as the attractive older woman in an evening gown who has the easiest job in the world.
There’s also Jesse Jackson, Mary-Louise Parker, Strom Thurmond, Chris Rock and even Andy Dick, all major contributors to the state’s prestige. And let’s not forget the man Colbert’s former boss, Jon Stewart, just loves to tear down on a daily basis—South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. But they’re all just fighting for second place, and probably a seat on the couch on the new Late Show, some time soon.
Colbert grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and frequently visits the charming coastal city where his mother and several siblings still live. Last year, Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, made headlines when she ran for Congress against disgraced politician Mark Sandford (another contender!) and eventually lost her bid. Of course, it could have been worse—she’s still related to the crown prince of the Palmetto State.