Caveat: There’s no guarantee that Comedy Central will program another topical nightly talk show in The Colbert Report‘s place when Stephen Colbert leaves to take over CBS’s Late Show in 2015.
After all, Colbert isn’t just another late night gabfest — it’s a parody of a very specific type of news program, starring a character who’s a very specific caricature of folks like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. (Limbaugh, naturally, has already spoken out against Colbert’s move to CBS, saying that the network has “declared war on the heartland of America.”) It would be strange and sad to see Comedy Central try to capture similar lightning in a similar bottle by ordering another show that parodies cable news the same way Colbert did.
That said, I can’t see the network scrambling to find a whole week’s worth of new programming for the 11:30 timeslot — and if it’s going to go with another nightly program, some sort of talk show revolving around some sort of central comedic figure would make the most sense. So, with that in mind, here are eight options for Colbert replacements — both realistic and more pie-in-the-sky.