Stephen Colbert kicks off his stint on CBS’ “Late Night” tonight. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Stephen Colbert kicks off his stint on CBS’ “Late Night” tonight. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Stephen Colbert makes long-awaited ‘Late Show’ debut

Here comes the real Stephen Colbert.

The actor, comedian and bloviator on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” begins his dream job tonight, replacing David Letterman as host of CBS’ “Late Show.”

“It gives me everything I want,” he said in an interview published in USA Today. “I like meeting the guests, I like the grind, I like a live audience, I love to hear the laughter. It’s the only job I could imagine that was a promotion. I was very proud of the show we had done, we’d had some success with it. (But) if I was going to do another live show in front of an audience, taking over for Dave was the only thing that had a laurel wreath on it.”

George Clooney, Jeb Bush and Jon Batiste are booked for today’s extended opener; other upcoming guests include Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, CEOs of Uber and Tesla, Scarlett Johansson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Lupita Nyong’o.

Observers predict Colbert may fare well in ratings wars with late-night TV hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.

SMITH SINGS BOND

Is Sam Smith singing the theme for the next James Bond film? The British singer dropped a hint that strongly suggests he’s working on the song for “Spectre,” according to Variety.

The Grammy winner posted a mysterious photo on his Twitter and Instagram on Labor Day, showing a photo of a hand wearing a ring that, as many 007 fans noticed, contains the sea creature logo for criminal organization SPECTRE — Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. The design dates back to the 1962 Bond film “Dr. No.”

The hint is a departure from Smith’s previous comments, where he denied he would be doing the follow-up to Adele’s Oscar-winning 2012 Bond hit “Skyfall.”

QUICK TAKES

“Project Runway” competitors Jake Wall and Blake Patterson gave fans a peek at their designs during a Bloomingdale’s-sponsored fashion show last week at Bespoke at San Francisco’s Westfield Centre; Wall is slated to appear on upcoming Fridays to promote his current line. … Martin Milner, who starred in 1960s series “Route 66” and “Adam-12,” died Sunday at age 83.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Rapper Wiz Khalifa is 28. … Reality star Chumlee is 33. … Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 34. … Singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson is 35. … Singer Pink is 36…. Actor Larenz Tate is 40. … Actor David Arquette is 44. … Singer Neko Case is 45. … Singer Aimee Mann is 55. … U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is 74. … Ventriloquist Willie Tyler (with Lester) is 75.

_ Staff, wire report

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

George ClooneyJeb BushLate ShowSan SmithStephen Colbert

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