David Letterman is retiring in 2015 after 33 years as a late night host. The iconic TV presenter announced the news during a recording of Thursday’s episode of ‘Late Show’.
Letterman called CBS president, Leslie Moonves before his program and said, “Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring.”
“The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance.”
“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."
When Letterman retires in 2015, he will have hosted CBS’ ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ for 22 years. Previous to that he hosed NBC’s ‘Late Night’ for 11 years.
In a statement, Moonves expressed his gratitude to Letterman for his “wit, gravitas and brilliance.”
“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. 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.”
Letterman also made mention of Paul Shaffer, his longtime musical director.
“What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married. We don't have the timetable for this precisely down – I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up.”
At the end of his speech, his audience reportedly gave him a standing ovation.