The 29-year-old comedian will become the only woman in late-night television when CBS’ replacement for The Late Late Show, After Midnight kicks off in early 2024 — the new show is based on Comedy Central’s @midnight, which followed The Colbert Report.
It’s been two years since a woman hosted her own late-night television show, but that’s about to change as Stephen Colbert brought out the newest voice in late-night, Taylor Tomlinson.
The 29-year-old comedian has been blowing up these past few years, with her standup career really taking off after her debut Netflix comedy special, Quarter-Life Crisis, which came out at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, Tomlinson is bringing her comedy stylings to broadcast television as the host of After Midnight, the new show set to replace The Late Late Show after James Corden stepped away. The format is inspired by Comedy Central’s @midnight, a panel comedy show hosted by Chris Hardwick.
Hardwick’s show aired after The Colbert Report from 2013 to 2017, so in some ways, it’s like a return to a bygone era with this latest iteration again following him. They’ve even nabbed the same showrunner, Jack Martin, from the original run to helm this new take, per Variety.
Colbert announced the series on Wednesday’s Late Show, noting that it is executive produced, in part, by the folks behind Funny or Die and himself. He then noted that it was still in need of a host, asking the audience to throw out any ideas.
It was at this point that Tomlinson spoke up. “Do you know of anyone?” he asked her.
“Yeah, I was just thinking, I could do it,” Tomlinson replied.
He got a big round of applause from his studio audience when he asked for them to serve as a focus group and see if they thought she could do it. Tomlinson was grateful for the response, joking, “Thank you guys for clapping. That would have been so embarrassing if we focus-grouped it and they were like, ‘Eh.'”
She joked about never having had a real job before, since she started doing standup comedy at just 16 years old, “which is not a job.” Colbert then showed the moment he told her the big news.
Tomlinson said she was sure she hadn’t gotten the gig, thinking maybe he was calling to let her down easy. “You know when you think you’re gonna get dumped but they propose instead?” she asked.
Colbert cleared the air, though, telling her, “Taylor, if I was letting you down easy, I wouldn’t have called.”
Tomlinson assured the studio audience that at just 29 years old, it’s okay if they don’t know who she is. “I barely know myself,” she said. She also shared that this Saturday is her 30th birthday.
“Happy birthday,” said Colbert. “I got you a network show.”
Tomlinson appeared as a contestant on NBC’s Last Comic Standing back in 2015 where she landed in the Top 10. She has also been seen on other late-night shows like Conan and The Tonight Show, as well as appearing on Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup. Her second special, Look at You, premiered on Netflix in March 2022.