David Letterman signs off after 33 year career on the Late Show

Friday, May 22, 2015

David Letterman in 2011.
Image: Joint Chiefs of Staff.

American TV host David Letterman announced his retirement on Wednesday night, after a 33 year career as host of the Late Show on CBS. His farewell included an abundance of clips from his classic skits, a few restrained fillips of sincerity and humility and sarcastic, self-deprecating humor with a tinge of nostalgia.

Letterman chose as his last musical guests the Foo Fighters, as the band in the past had canceled their tour in South America to play on his first show after Letterman's heart surgery operation.

Over the last few weeks, a parade of celebrity guests including Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and George Clooney paid their respects to Mr. Letterman. Jason Alexander from Seinfeld tweeted: "David Letterman, thank you for the laughs, both live and on air. May your family bring you joy and inspiration and may you laugh for all your days."

On Wednesday, he described all the encomiums as "over the top" and said he found it "flattering, embarrassing and gratifying". After more than an hour of tributes and laughs, David Letterman signed off his last show yesterday night with the words: "That's pretty much all I got ... thank you and goodnight."