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Who Should Be Stephen Colbert's Bandleader?

by Joey DeGroot   Apr 10, 2014 18:47 PM EDT

We can all stop speculating: today it was officially announced that Stephen Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman when he retires from The Late Show next year. Now we can begin speculating about something else: who will be Colbert's bandleader? Based on all of the great musical guests he's had on The Colbert Report, he'll probably make an excellent choice. Here are five musicians who would be interesting bandleaders on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

1. Jack White

He seems like the busiest man in the music business, but if Jack White were to find some time to be the leader of Coblert's house band, I don't think anyone would be disappointed. As he proved in his occasional movie roles and in his appearances on The Colbert Report, he could be a valuable comedic partner in addition to playing some awesome punk-blues in between bits.

2. Brian Eno

Colbert's a cappella performance of "Lean On Me" with Brian Eno and Michael Stipe was one of my favorite moments in the history of television, and I think he and Colbert would work together excellently. He's one of the most innovative musicians of the last fifty years, but he doesn't seem like he'd be above joining a late night house band. He did compose the start-up music for Windows 95, so he's used to selling his talents for wide exposure.

3. James Murphy

Since the break-up of LCD Soundsystem, I can't imagine that James Murphy is terribly busy. He lives in New York already, so why doesn't he stop by the Ed Sullivan Theater a few nights a week and play some dance-punk for the crowd? He would definitely be one of the hippest choices Colbert could make.

4. Robert Schneider

Not Rob Schneider, Robert Schneider, the singer/guitarist/songwriter for the Apples in Stereo. The Apples are such big fans of Stephen Colbert that they even wrote a song about him called "Stephen, Stephen", so they'd be more than happy to join him at The Late Show. Their music would be the poppiest and most fun out of anyone on this list. 

5. David Byrne

David Byrne of Talking Heads is very similar to (his occasional collaborator) Brian Eno, in the way he approaches avant-garde art with a sense of playfulness. He wouldn't look at a job as The Late Show's bandleader as a step down in his career; he would view it as performance art, or another opportunity to expand his musical horizons. He might play some pretty strange music, but if Talking Heads is any indication, it'll still be accessible and fun.

Who do you think should be Stephen Colbert's bandleader? Let us know in the comments section!

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