Stephen Colbert, Honorary Knox Degree Recipient, Selected As New 'Late Show' Host

Star of 'The Colbert Report' delivered 2006 Commencement address

April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert at 2006 Knox College Commencement

Knox College congratulates comedian Stephen Colbert, a Knox honorary degree recipient and 2006 Commencement speaker, on being selected to succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show on CBS.

Known for his satire and political humor, Colbert frequently has mentioned his ties to Knox on his Comedy Central television show, The Colbert Report.

In his 2006 Commencement address, Colbert mixed humor with some heartfelt advice for graduating Knox seniors.

"First of all, when you go to apply for your first job, don't wear these robes. Medieval garb does not instill confidence in future employers -- unless you're applying to be a scrivener. And if someone does offer you a job, say yes," he said.

Colbert added: "You are about to start the greatest improvisation of all. With no script. No idea what's going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. And you are not in control. So say 'yes.' And if you're lucky, you'll find people who will say 'yes' back."

Several months later, after Knox announced that former President Bill Clinton would be the 2007 Commencement speaker, Colbert jokingly threatened to burn the honorary doctorate of fine arts that Knox had awarded him. Knox then created a metal diploma for Colbert and sent it to him. In a subsequent show, Colbert showcased the metal diploma and unsuccessfully tried to burn it.

In his new job as "Late Show" host, Colbert will take over from Letterman, who has hosted the program since it began in 1993. Letterman announced last week that he would retire sometime in 2015.