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Colbert, Fallon and others bring a new flavor to late-night comedy

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With five new hosts being introduced across popular network and cable shows over the past two years, there's arguably never been a better time to watch late-night TV.

The departure of names once synonymous with the after-10 p.m. lineup — especially Jay Leno and David Letterman — has brought in new hosts with a new sensibility that is transforming late-night.

In hosts like Jimmy Fallon, James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel, late night has enjoyed an injection of lighthearted fun for both TV viewers and a generation that turns to YouTube for entertainment. Twitter jokes and car karaoke have replaced the cynical comedy and toothless celebrity interviews that have defined late-night shows for decades.

Perhaps no one better illustrates the wholesale change in late night than Stephen Colbert, who shuttered his wildly popular Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report," to take David Letterman's seat on CBS's "The Late Show" this fall. Fans of the "Report" know Colbert for the absurdly conservative pundit he portrayed weekly on the program — a persona Colbert says he plans to leave behind for his new show.

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