David Letterman announces retirement from “Late Show” in 2015
The end of an era for late night television will arrive in 2015.
Legendary talk show host David Letterman announced his surprise retirement on Thursday night’s edition of the Late Show.
“I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all of the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much,” Letterman said.
Of course, it would not be typical Letterman without the host poking a little fun at himself.
“What this means now is that Paul (Shaffer) and I can be married.”
Upon the news breaking, many of television’s brightest talk show hosts paid tribute to the man who may be the most influential of them all.
Jimmy Fallon, Ellen De-Generes, Jimmy Kimmel and many more took to twitter to send a quick tweet, and later mentioned Letterman’s retirement on their individual shows.
Arsenio Hall discussed Letterman’s retirement on his show Thursday, and gave a rather poignant speech praising the host for both his comedy and class.
“David Letterman is a legend,” said Hall. ”I have had the unique pleasure of watching him as a fan and competing against him as a fellow host. He has set a standard for comedy in late night that I strive to achieve every single day. To me, Dave showed that the only thing that matches his comic genius is his class. Late Night might fill his time slot but it can never fill the void he will leave behind. He is simply the best.”
New Late Night host Seth Myers also spoke on Letterman’s influence to comedy, talk shows and himself.
“Late Night, this was David Letterman’s show,” Myers said. “If it wasn’t for David Letterman, this show wouldn’t exist. If it wasn’t for David Letterman, I wouldn’t be here.”
Last year, Letterman signed a two-year contract with CBS. He has filmed 6,000 episodes of the Late Show. When Letterman’s contract expires, it will mark spent 22 years as host of the Late Show. He hosted Late Night for 11 years. Those two figures combine to 33 years Letterman has reigned as television’s longest late night talk show host.
No exact date is set for his final show. An official announcement from CBS has not yet been released as of print time.