David Letterman, whose wacky stunts and snarky interviews epitomized the late night format for decades, will step down from The Late Show next year.
The news came via CBS news anchor Jeff Glor on Twitter Thursday. Letterman’s audience will see the veteran comic announce his decision during tonight’s Late Show episode at 11:35 p.m. EST. The retirement comes on the heels of Jay Leno’s departure from The Tonight Show earlier this year. The two battled for ratings supremacy for years, with Leno generally coming out ahead of his CBS rival.
The late night landscape is undergoing major changes, what with Leno’s exit from NBC, the arrival of the youthful Jimmy Fallon as the new Tonight Show host and the emergence of Jimmy Kimmel on ABC.
For years, Letterman’s jaunts outside his New York City studio epitomized how hip late night humor could be. Today, viral videos by his younger competition are all the rage.
The veteran host has seemed surlier in recent years, becoming a more partisan personality who let his personal views flavor his monologues. Of all the late night hosts, Letterman was the least likely to mock President Barack Obama and the most eager to resuscitate tired gags involving President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.