So out of nowhere yesterday, David Letterman announced yesterday that, after over 3 decades as a late night host, he’ll be retiring next year.
Honestly, I wasn’t really too shaken by this announcement. Letterman is nearly 67 after all, and this has probably been on his mind for a while now. Furthermore, he has a young son, and he probably wants to spend more time with him.
And of course, I should mention that I’ve never been a Letterman fan. I just haven’t. I mean, the Top 10 lists tend to be mildly funny, but I think the reason he’s held in such high esteem is that, when he was doing his original crazy stuff on NBC in the ’80s–stuff that no one had ever done, like jump into a giant glass of water containing a suit covered in Alka-Seltzer–people were watching and that’s kept him afloat ever since.
So while I recognize Letterman’s legacy and contributions to TV history, I’m not that sorry to see him go. Naturally, attention has already turned to his replacement and, while the general talk seems to be that Stephen Colbert, no doubt eager to escape his fictional persona after the stupid “#cancelColbert” fiasco from last week, is the top contender. That’d be nice, but personally, I want to see Craig Ferguson keep doing the weird stuff he does on The Late Late Show and bring it to a wider audience, robot skeleton sidekick and all.
So, if you want to know more about Letterman’s legacy, this New York Times write-up by expert late-night reporter Bill Carter is a great piece to do that. Me? Well, I wish Mr. Letterman godspeed and I look forward to 2015!