David Letterman to Retire: Hollywood Reacts
Jimmy Kimmel, Matt Lauer, Ellen DeGeneres and the late-night host's peers in the industry pay tribute to the departing CBS personality.
As revealed by the host during the taping of Thursday's show, David Letterman is set to retire from Late Show when his contract expires in 2015.
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"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, [bandleader Paul Shaffer] and I will be wrapping things up," Letterman told his audience.
CBS president Leslie Moonves praised the "wit, gravitas and brilliance" of the late-night host in a statement: "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."
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After the news broke on Thursday, Letterman's peers and other entertainment industry notables paid tribute to the host:
“David Letterman is a legend. I have had the unique pleasure of watching him as a fan and competing against him as a fellow host. He has set a standard for comedy in late night that I strive to achieve every single day," late-night host Arsenio Hall said in a statement.
David @Letterman is the best there is and ever was.— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 3, 2014
Rank everybody on television during the length of his career - all fields, all styles. David Letterman ranks First. #DontRetire— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) April 3, 2014
David @Letterman announced he's retiring in 2015. It's been 31 incredible years. Television won't be the same without you, Dave.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 3, 2014
Say it isn't so Dave! #Lettermanisleaving— Matt Lauer (@MLauer) April 3, 2014
Letterman broke the mold for not just Late Night, but TV itself. He's a vanguard- his influence is seen all over the dial today. What a run!— Andy Cohen (@Andy) April 3, 2014
Mr. Letterman, you have always been the best. I've had more fun on your show and you've been a class guy all the way. Enjoy ur final days.— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) April 3, 2014
David Letterman announces that he will retire next year. CBS frantically looking for someone named Jimmy.— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) April 3, 2014
For me as a guest, to make Dave laugh was the modern day equivalent of making Carson laugh. #Lettermanisleaving— Jeff Daniels (@Jeff_Daniels) April 3, 2014
Wow, @Letterman retiring. He's been a significant force in my "later" career. Thanks, Dave!— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) April 3, 2014
Just had great time [email protected] On Friday. No one like him.— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) April 3, 2014
Thank you Dave Letterman for everything you've done for me and Craig. I hope you and Regis have a grand time running that B&B. @Letterman— Carter Bays (@CarterBays) April 4, 2014