The news came via Twitter today with a musician who appeared on the Thursday taping of The Late Show tweeting, “Dave just announced his retirement #2015 #muchlovedave.”
Last October, Letterman extended his contract with CBS through 2015. By then, Letterman will hold the record for longest working late-night host in TV history — 32 years in total. For 11 years, he hosted NBC’s Late Night with Letterman and the public assumed he would be a shoo-in to take over from his hero Johnny Carson when he retired from the Tonight Show in 1992. However the job went to Jay Leno. Letterman jumped ship to CBS to host The Late Show with Letterman, and tripled his salary into the bargain.
Letterman’s representative released a statement, stating that Letterman informed President and CEO of CBS corporation, Leslie Moonves, of his intensions.
“I phoned him just before the program, and I said Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring,’” said Letterman. He added, “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. What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.” (Letterman is of course referring to Paul Shaffer his band leader and sidekick.)
This announcement was met with a standing ovation.
Twitter has been awash with people speculating on who may take over his show, with many suggesting that the new host be a woman. Names include Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Whoever it may be, they have some mighty shoes to fill.
Photo credit: Twitter