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The Globe and Mail

Tina Fey should have replaced David Letterman on the Late Show, social-media poll says

Actress Tina Fey from the TV series "30 Rock" arrives at the 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 29, 2012


CBS may have named Stephen Colbert as the successor to David Letterman, but Late Show viewers would have rather seen Tina Fey in the host chair.

According to the social-media marketing site The Keyhole Blog, the ex-Saturday Night Live fixture and 30 Rock doyenne was the top choice to host the late-night talk show – and Ms. Bossypants finished first by a wide margin.

In the wake of Letterman's recent announcement that he would retire from his late-night post next year, Keyhole staffers employed hashtag trackers and word clouds to conduct an unofficial poll of regular Late Show viewers.

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For the record, none of the celebrities named in the poll actually expressed any interest in taking over the Late Show, but such buzzkill realities rarely factor into social-media endeavours.

In the final Keyhole tally, Fey finished first by a country mile with 32.7 per cent of social media votes. Coming in distant second was Colbert with 10.9 per cent, which tied him with Fey's former SNL castmate and Golden Globe co-host Amy Poehler.

As for the rest of the candidates: Ellen DeGeneres finished third with 9.5 per cent of the social media vote, followed by Chelsea Handler (8.5 per cent), Conan O'Brien (8.5 per cent), Jon Stewart (6.1 per cent) and Neil Patrick Harris (4.1 per cent).

Bringing up the rear was Jerry Seinfeld and Craig Ferguson, both with 3.4 per cent of the social media vote.

The Scottish-born Ferguson currently helms The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson – which is produced for CBS by Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company – and will reportedly receive a hefty bonus of eight to $12-million (U.S.) for being passed over for the Letterman gig.

Although Colbert's Late Show deal is fait accompli, it's still worth noting that his new contract with CBS runs for five years – after which anything could happen.

Still, hope still springs eternal for those viewers who want to see a woman host among the current macho late-night fraternity of Colbert, Stewart, Conan and the two Jimmys.

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More specifically, Ms. Handler has already announced her departure from her popular E! series Chelsea Lately and appears poised to take over The Late Late Show when Ferguson's contract expires later this year.

And when we say "poised to take over," we mean "pounce."

On Tuesday morning, Handler posted an Instagram photo of her at home holding a stack of papers with the famous CBS eye logo right on top. In the caption, she claims to be conducting a "business meeting."

As Piers Morgan can attest, nobody will ever accuse Chelsea Handler of shyness.

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