Stephen Colbert debuts on ‘The Late Show’

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NEW YORK — Stephen Colbert has officially taken over for the retired David Letterman as host of CBS' "The Late Show" by singing the national anthem.

A filmed skit at the opening of Tuesday night's show had him traveling across the country to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" accompanied by various folks — at a bowling alley, in a factory and at a youth baseball game. At the end, an "umpire" at the baseball game took off a mask to reveal himself as a bearded Jon Stewart, saying, "Play ball!"

His former Comedy Central colleague stepped down from "The Daily Show" last month, but Tuesday was about beginnings, and the audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater greeted Colbert with a standing ovation.

George Clooney and Jeb Bush were the guests for Colbert's debut.