BREAKING NEWS! David Letterman announced during the taping of his show for later tonight that he’ll be retiring in 2015.
Letterman, who turns 67 next week, has hosted Late Show with David Letterman on CBS since 1993.
Jay Leno left The Tonight Show on NBC two months ago, handing over its reins to Jimmy Fallon.
Obviously, a clip from the show will be available soon enough.
Here is the PR statement. Letterman told the audience he called up CBS President Les Moonves to deliver the news today. “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 the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much,” he said, before quipping: “What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.”
Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corporation, responded with this statement: “When Dave decided on a one-year extension for his most recent contract, we knew this day was getting closer, but that doesn’t make the moment any less poignant for us. For 21 years, David Letterman has graced our Network’s air in late night with wit, gravitas and brilliance unique in the history of our medium. During that time, Dave has given television audiences thousands of hours of comedic entertainment, the sharpest interviews in late night, and brilliant moments of candor and perspective around national events. He’s also managed to keep many celebrities, politicians and executives on their toes — including me. There is only one David Letterman. His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business. On a personal note, it’s been a privilege to get to know Dave and to enjoy a terrific relationship. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye. Fortunately, we won’t have to do that for another year or so. Until then, we look forward to celebrating Dave’s remarkable show and incredible talents.”
More to come…
Here is his full segment behind the desk, in which he talks about turning 67, going fishing with his 10-year-old son, wanting to spend time with his family, filming some 6,000 episodes of Late Night at NBC and Late Show at CBS, and finding the right time to say goodbye.
And just the official announcement, by video:
Here is a recent photo of Letterman addressing the live studio audience from March 14, 2014:
Jimmy Kimmel, who regarded Letterman as his idol long before he earned his own late-night show on ABC as his rival with Jimmy Kimmel Live, wrote simply on his Twitter feed: “David @Letterman is the best there is and ever was.”