Sunday, April 6, 2014

Television Corner (Special Edition): David Letterman Retiring from Late Night Television in 2015

Letterman's 2010 book, Late Show Fun Facts-
from At The Matinee's vast media archive!
If you've heard the news recently- or watched Thursday evening's Late Show With David Letterman on CBS, Letterman made an announcement about his retirement in 2015.  With competition from Jimmy Kimmel* on ABC, and Jimmy Fallon's incarnation of The Tonight Show on NBC, the celebrated late night comedian announced that he was going to step down after three decades of hosting late night television.

Through his two shows, Late Night With David Letterman on NBC from 1982-1993, and the Late Show on CBS, we have seen many personalities, dignitaries, and iconic guests on the series- such as Bill Murray, Regis Philbin, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Martin, Meredith Viera, celebrated newsman Tom Brokaw, Martin Scorsese, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, "Jungle" Jack Hanna, Keith Olbermann, Stephen Colbert, Patrick Stewart, Rachel Maddow, Jay Thomas and his famous "Lone Ranger" story (during the holiday season), Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

His shows have had many iconic segments- such as Stupid Human Tricks, Dave's Record Collection, Small Town News, Know Your Current Events, Stupid Pet Tricks, and most famously- the Top Ten list.

Let's not forget Letterman's Late Night/Late Show crew- bandleader Paul Shaffer, Biff Henderson, Tony Mendez, Pat Farmer, Hello Deli owner Rupert Jee, and Alan Kalter- who took over announcement duties when veteran announcer Bill Wendell (1924-1999) retired in 1995.

Letterman's announcement can be seen on the official CBS Late Show YouTube channel.  CBS News also reported on his announcement hours before Thursday night's broadcast of the program.

Late Night television will never be the same again once Letterman steps down as host in 2015.

*Denotes this writer's preferred comedic picks in addition to Letterman and Kimmel, along with Craig Ferguson, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien.  Of course, there will always be the "original king of late night", Johnny Carson (1925-2005). 

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