Last week David Letterman announced he would be retiring from the Late Show, sparking a heated debate in the media and online as to who should replace him. The biggest contenders seem to be Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien and Craig Ferguson. But with all due respect, picking one of these three would leave late night talk shows in the same stagnant position: old and white.
Late night television could use a makeover, and there are many more diverse options who could and should reinvigorate the franchise. These are some of the non-old and white dudes we'd love to see taking over The Late Show.
Chelsea Handler is possibly the coolest woman on television right now, and the most likely contender from this list. With her own E! show coming to a close, Handler's up for a new gig. She's already proved her hosting skills on Chelsea Lately. Now it's time to give her a chance on network.
Retta has already provided one of the funniest moments in recent talk-show history, plus she's been consistently hilarious both on Parks and Recreation and her personal Twitter account. If she's willing to let go of Parks and Rec, she'd kill it on The Late Show.
With The Arsenio Hall Show back in business, everyone can see his hosting abilities have not waned at all in the past 20 years. Letterman seems to like him, so why wouldn't he be able to perfectly fill the spot?
Inside Amy Schumer has been one of the freshest and funniest shows on Comedy Central — until Broad City upped the competition, of course. Schumer would undoubtedly bring a distinctive female perspective to late night television, and it would be awesome.
Jon Stewart's The Daily Show has been a beacon of light for introducing non-old-white-dudes to larger audiences. His correspondents are both hilariously talented and diverse — take that, CBS! As the show's longest-serving correspondent, Bee has proved her chops time and time again.
Speaking of amazing talent on The Daily Show, Jessica Williams has been bringing some realness. Between that gig and her role on this past season on Girls, Williams can do just about anything. She might be a risky choice for The Late Show due to her age, but what's life without taking chances?
Hannibal Buress' popularity has been on the rise recently, especially since his Live From Chicago special aired on Comedy Central last month. But aside from his stand-up work (see also: Sunday nights at The Knitting Factory), Buress has written for SNL and 30 Rock and acted on Louie and The Eric André Show.
Amy Sedaris is an old comedy favorite, playing guest roles in just about everything. She's consistent, clever and deserves a chance to really showcase her talent.
Nicole Byer is by far the single greatest thing to come out of MTV's Girl Code. In every segment, her commentary is always that perfect comedy blend: unexpected, true and hilarious. Although she hasn't had much other mainstream exposure, we'd love to see her try out on The Late Show (or at least take over Chelsea Lately's spot).
There's no way CBS would hire her: She's waaay too much of a risk for the network. But how wild would that show be?