Late Night Television Is Losing One Of Its Best Talents

Late night television has trained many legends in the entertainment world, and now one of those legends is stepping away from the world.

By Matthew Creith | Published

stephen colbert Jon Batiste

Comedian and mega-talent Stephen Colbert has had an exciting career in late-night television for two decades. A protege of Jon Stewart’s, Colbert first arrived on the scene as a correspondent on The Daily Show, Comedy Central’s news-parody series that is currently hosted by Trevor Noah. Using his political commentator skills, Colbert transitioned into a lead role as host of his own parody series, The Colbert Report. With success at his fingertips, the comedian was tapped to take over from David Letterman on CBS to host The Late Show with Stephen Colbert starting in 2015. As one of the highest-rated shows in late night, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has featured a band since its inception, led by musician Jon Batiste. Now, it seems that Batiste is parting ways with late-night television.

According to a report by Deadline, Jon Batiste is leaving his duties as the bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, a position he has enjoyed for seven years. Batiste will be replaced by Louis Cato, who has been the temporary bandleader on the show for part of this summer’s broadcast. He will fill the permanent replacement role for Batiste when the late-night show returns for its eighth season later next month. In a statement on the latest episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert himself noted the loss for the show and thanked Batiste for his work, quipping that the host would love him back on the show in the future to promote his next record.

Jon Batiste has blown up as an artist in recent years since taking the gig of a lifetime as the bandleader to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. A noted artist prior to his late-night stint, Batiste has won five Grammy Awards in 2022 alone, including Album of the Year for We Are. In 2021, he achieved a career-high point after he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his work on the Pixar animated film, Soul. He shared the Oscar win with fellow collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from the band Nine Inch Nails. Batiste is currently nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series for his work as a producer of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, according to

Leaving a position as prestigious as the bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was probably not an easy decision for 35-year-old Jon Batiste. Even though he was not present on Thursday’s broadcast when Stephen Colbert broke the news of Batiste’s resignation, this will surely not be the last time audiences will see or hear the musician. CNN reports that Batiste’s replacement, Louis Cato, is an accomplished musician in his own right. Before his current work on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Cato has collaborated with many artists, including Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, John Legend, and Talib Kweli. He is well regarded by the crew of The Late Show, with Colbert himself noting how talented Cato is by referring to his new bandleader as a “musical genius.”