David Letterman to Retire: Hollywood Reacts
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 with@letterman. 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