Stephen Colbert (r) with David Letterman

Stephen Colbert has been announced as the new host for CBS’s The Late Show when current host David Letterman retires next year, with a five-year contract. This is about the biggest non-surprise of the century so far.

The bottom line is fairly clear: Colbert will be significantly more enaging and funny than Letterman has been in recent years (which means being more likable and amusing than Joseph Stalin, Harry Reid, and Darth Vader), and he will be at least as reliably left-wing as the unbearable Letterman.

Expect Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show to continue to beat Late Night in the ratings after the initial curiosity-seeking audience bump for the CBS program once Colbert takes over for Letterman.