David Letterman to retire
Well it was only 2 months ago that Jay Leno showed some class, shed a tear and shuffled off the late night sofa for the last time. Now, his chief rival for over 20 years has decided that his time is up as well. Shortly before recording Thursday night's show, Letterman called the head of CBS and said "Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring". Then Letterman told his audience:
Now this all comes about with Jimmy Fallon's start on the Tonight Show going very, very well and Letterman's audience not picking up any disgruntled ex-Leno followers. In fact, Letterman's show has fallen to third place in the time slot behind Jimmy Kimmel. Many celebs have tweeted, twittered, booked their faces and generally shown him some love since the announcement but Kimmel's was especially classy:
"David @Letterman is the best there is and ever was"
Attention is turning to who'll replace him with a lot of predictions pointing to Chelsea Handler and many pointing out that Craig Ferguson, host of the show that follows Letterman's, has a clause in his contract to have first option. Given the way Fallon has changed the landscape of late night chat, it's hard not to see a younger and more musical show being the objective of CBS. We'll learn more in coming days.
For now though, we should pay homage to a man whose style is a huge influence on the likes of Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross and the new hosts beating him in the ratings now. At his best, Letterman has taken the format of a talk show and turned it into acerbic, surprising and unpredictable fare, the exact opposite of his former rival Leno. Here's some clips from his 10th anniversary show...
Even if his show doesn't reach the heights of his career these days, he will be missed