David Letterman Announces Retirement From Late Show

The world-famous TV host is going to have some rest.

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David Letterman has announced he will retire as host of the Late Show in 2015, according to Variety (via Consequence of Sound).

Following a lengthy stint as host of NBC's Late Night, Letterman launched Late Show on CBS in 1993 after being snubbed of NBC's "The Tonight Show." He has since hosted over 4,000 episodes spanning 21 seasons, and though he rarely achieved the ratings success of his longtime rival, Jay Leno, he was a critical darling.

Letterman has also welcomed music's biggest names to his stage, everyone from Paul McCartney to Jay Z to Radiohead. It was the place where R.E.M. made their TV debut and Adele was first introduced to American audiences. Especially of late, Letterman has become particularly supportive of newer, up-and-coming musical guests: his reactions to Future Islands and the Orwells in particular became viral video sensations.

Letterman also launched a music webcast series dubbed Live on Letterman, where musicians played an hour-long set at the Ed Sullivan Theater. The series has featured Gorillaz, Ryan Adams and Queens of the Stone Age, just to name a few.

It's unclear who will replace Letterman, though candidates could include "The Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart and former "Late Night" host Conan O'Brien, both of whom will have expiring TV contracts in 2015.

Watch Letterman announce his retirement below.

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45 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Ottmeister
    Although I'm not a huge fan of the show and it's format, Letterman really seems to be genuinely interested in music and has loads of great bands play his show. Huge respect for that.
    thrashriff90
    From what I have heard, Craig Ferguson has a clause in his contract that gives him the rights to The Late Show when Dave leaves. Who knows if Craig really wants it. I doubt he does, I think he is pretty content with his current show. Plus Craig would have to water down his act on the Late Show, which would suck.
    eatfresh1736
    Yeah, Craig's show is more loose and cursing is somewhat encouraged (with awesome censoring)
    gypsyblues7373
    I'm inclined to agree he'd have to water down his act, but I think Craig may be funny enough to still make it just as entertaining, if only different from his current show. Funniest guy on late night, hands down.
    Lord_Doku
    If that were true, it would be a great opportunity for Craig, but I think he'd indeed have to water down his act. Besides, Geoffrey would be out of a job
    devgurule
    I love Letterman, but this is one of his creepy moments, which starts at 3:25. Also a great performance by Manchester Orchestra.
    Jazzmandtk
    This man has consistently featured STP, Foos and QOTSA on his show. Always loved the music
    mitchy86
    I love letterman but am I the only one wondering why this is on UG?
    Kueller917
    As said in the article his show was probably the best for hosting popular acts and even new bands. Regardless of your opinion on the rest of his show, he was pretty involved in music so it's sad to see him go from that standpoint.
    TRH
    I never cared much for late night TV, but Dave is the shit. Not a long time fan, but he shone a light on a ton of bands and artists who never would've gotten it otherwise. The man has my thanks for putting someone like Warren Zevon on national television.
    Freddiez79
    Love Dave he will be missed. All though I can't blame him it's well deserved. Best late night host ever imo.
    TheForthcoming1
    Dave is awesome, he and Paul entertained us for years and years, he deserves to have a good retirement.
    Velcro Man
    Conan wouldn't take it because he wouldn't want to pull a Jay Leno on Craig Ferguson, who probably won't want to do it either, it would definitely kill his show, but it's probably going to happen, but maybe. Jon Stewart would never be interested in such a position.
    KnibbHighFB
    I think Conan has move on from the idea of major networks. I don't see him doing it either, for the reason you mentioned and since he kind of rebranded himself as a cable TV guy.
    Bati
    Hey, say what you will - the guy had Captain Beefheart twice on his show. I'm not a fan, but that HAS to count for something.
    Danjo's Guitar
    I'd always kinda thought, "I'll be successful if I ever make it on Letterman". Guess now I'm screwed. Hopefully Craig Ferguson doesn't retire too soon...
    the_white_bunny
    zach galifianakis. Late World with Zach was one of the best talk shows ever. the world just wasnt ready for zach yet. it took 3 garbage movies to make that happen.
    Hungry_Hameds
    As a Brit looking from the outside in, to me he's done a great deal for bands both sides of the water, not afraid to put heavier acts on prime time. Whoever gets the slot I just hope the tradition carries on. I use Letterman as a reference to try and find new bands. Kudos!
    grizzzzly_adams
    I'm more into Fallon but I'm glad Letterman has been real great with non-mainstream music. I thought it was funny that bogdanminut said: "The man who called Mastodon "a nice little rock 'n roll band". I like him." I have previously used late night TV as a way to listen to new artists in a live setting & I hope his replacement continues the love of music.
    MichiganMusicia
    Everybody can "like" and Share this page to make Louis CK the new host of the late show. Facebook.com/latenightlouisck