stephen_colbert-350x262UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “I know we’ve got a big show to do tonight, but one thing  before we get started,” Stephen Colbert said at the top of his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, hours after CBS announced Colbert would replace David Letterman as host of Late Show (Video below).

“There was some big news  last week that slipped through my news crack, and it concerns someone I’ve admired for years and yet, surprisingly, is not me. I’m talking about David Letterman who, last Thursday night, announced his retirement. And I am going to miss this good man,” Colbert said.

Related: Jon Stewart Kvells Over Stephen Colbert’s Move To CBS

Letterman and Colbert“Dave has been on the air my entire adult life. [NBC’s] Late Night debuted my first year in college. I learned more from watching Dave than I did from going to my classes. Especially the ones I did not go to, because I had stayed up until 1:30 watching Dave. This man has influenced every host who came after him, and even a few who came before him. He’s that good. And I gotta tell you, I do not envy whoever they try to put in that chair.”

Wild cheers and applause: Stephen! Stephen! Stephen! Stephen! “Folks! Folks!” Colbert said, calming his audience. “Those are some huge shoes to fill —  and some really big pants,” he said. Yes, a Worldwide Pants gag.

Watch Stephen announce his new gig here: