NY Times

David Letterman, on Leaving ‘Late Show’: ‘I’ll Miss It, Desperately’

Apr 29, 2015  •  Post A Comment

David Letterman, who is retiring from his “Late Show” chair May 20, admits in a new interview with The New York Times‘ Dave Itzkoff that he has some trepidation about parting ways with late-night TV.

“I’m awash in melancholia,” Letterman says in the interview, adding: “I’ll miss it, desperately. One of two things: There will be reasonable, adult acceptance of transition. Or I will turn to a life of crime.”

The 68-year-old Letterman has been in late-night television for close to half of his life, 33 years.

Writes Itzkoff: “Late-night television will feel the loss of Mr. Letterman, one of its most innovative and unpredictable broadcasters, who in 1982 took a sleepy NBC time slot following Carson’s ‘Tonight’ show and transformed it into a ceaseless engine for Top 10 Lists, Stupid Pet Tricks and a decade’s worth of pioneering comedy bits.”

Trepidation aside, Letterman hints that he’s comfortable with his decision. “I got nothing to worry about,” he tells Itzkoff. “I know I can’t do what Jimmy Fallon’s doing. I know I can’t do what Jimmy Kimmel is doing. There’s nothing left to be worried about. It’s all over, Dad, you’re going to be just fine. You’re going to a new place. They’ll be very nice to you, Dad. You’ll make a lot of friends.”

Asked about CBS’s choice of Stephen Colbert as his successor, Letterman notes that the network wasted little time making a decision after hearing that Letterman would retire.

“They didn’t have to put much thought to it, did they?” Letterman says. “I think it was the very next day. [laughs] But if you’re running the show with Jimmy Fallon, that’s a certain dynamic. Jimmy Kimmel, a completely different dynamic. And now Stephen Colbert will add a third, different dynamic to it. I think it will be very interesting to see what he will do.”

To read the full interview, please click on the link near the top of this story.

late show with david letterman-title


  1. You forgot to mention Letterman’s brief, but excellent morning show on NBC.

    • If you mean short-lived and low-rated then yes, it was excellent

  2. Dave,
    You may miss Late Nite, but some of us WON’T MISS YOU!!! I can’t wait for you to go. You have been mailing it in for years. You are not funny!!! And have not been since you left NBC. (Which includes your morning show) Go away Dave. Go far, far away. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Also take that other has been Charlie Rose with you!!!

  3. Overnite Joe…I picture you in your mid 30’s living in your parents basement. Stay there.

    • Tim,

      The only 30 about me is that is the number of years I have worked behind the scenes in this business. I remember Dave’s daytime show and I loved it. Then he went to NBC and I loved that show too. Something happened when he went to CBS. The show was not as good. For many years it has not been funny. Experience behind the scenes people like me can tell he has been just showing up to collect a paycheck. He should have followed his hero Johnny Carson and retired years ago. Get out sooner than later. When you are on top and always leave them wanting more.

      His huge ego would not let him. And all you Letterman lovers just feel sorry for him. Since you seem to know something about living alone in a basement apartment go back and look at old Late Night shows. You will see that I am right and you are wrong. You just defend him because he is your hero. You feel sorry for him. He is a father, or grandfather, figure to you. You wish you were him and dreamed about being him when you got into the business.

      Letterman, Charlie Rose, and Larry King were great once. They have enough $$$ and should have got out a long time ago. Instead of sticking around an embarrassing themselves. The should learn to go play golf instead of wasting there golden years in a studio waiting for the red light to come on. Just because their huge egos need to be stroked….Tim, I’m guessing you have one of those HUGE EGOS TOO!

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