At roughly 12 PM EST, it was announced that the great Stephen T. Colbert would be taking over The Late Show on CBS after David Letterman retires next year. At roughly 12:01 PM EST, everyone reignited the now non-existent late night war. "Stephen Colbert vs. Jimmy Fallon, it's on!" It's true, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert will be on at the same time (you know, like they currently are) but if you're hoping for some Leno and Letterman-style decades-spanning rivalry or Team Coco allegiances, you really haven't been paying attention. Colbert, as he so often brilliantly does, has been skewering the late night talk show host feud mentality with Fallon over the past few years as the two have played faux foes turned singing, selfie-taking best buds.
First of all, Colbert and Fallon have no reason to be rivals. Neither of the hosts are ratings-focused like Leno and Letterman, because in the age where viral matters more than nightly numbers, Colbert and Fallon excel. Sure, the Colbert Nation will likely follow their smart, witty leader straight over to CBS, but is that really going to ignite a war with the millions of people who love watching the lighthearted Fallon play beer pong with Betty White. There has been no bitter backstabbing or bad blood between Colbert and Fallon, and it's highly unlikely that this Late Show news will change any of that. And you know what? Good. It's dated and tired and if it doesn't exist anymore, we don't need a thousand think pieces convincing us otherwise. Plus, you know, they genuinely like and admire each other.
If anything, the fact that Colbert and Fallon will now be permanently a few blocks away from one another means more delightful crossovers and cameos on each other's shows could be in out future. One of the best recurring gags on The Colbert Report (which will sorely be missed) or Fallon's Late Night was anytime Colbert and Fallon "fought" (sometimes with the help of their friends like Jon Stewart) and then rekindled their beautiful friendship. And, of course, the majesty that was their "Friday" duet. Just in case you needed a refresher that come 2015 there will be no 11:30 PM late night war, here's a rundown of Colbert and Fallon's best Best Frenemies Forever moments on television.
Think Leno and Letterman would ever do anything like this? The answer you're looking for is "Hell no."
Of course, there was that dark period where they became mortal enemies for six months.
Things got really sticky when they had competing Ben & Jerry's flavors.
But they could still band together when the time came to take down their true enemy, Jon Stewart.
Of course, they are always there for each other for the big moments. Hey, maybe Jimmy will return the favor and take a selfie during Stephen's first night as Late Show host. "Welcome to 11:30, bitch!"
Best friends at 11:30, and forever.