David Letterman, a pillar of American late-night TV talk shows, announced Thursday that he’ll be stepping down as host of “Late Night” on CBS next year after a 22-year run.
“We don’t have the timetable for this precisely down,” said Letterman, 66, during a live taping of his highly-rated show at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.
“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 – Paul and I will be wrapping things up,” he said, referring to the show’s musical director Paul Shaffer.
His plan to call it a day at “Late Night” comes on the heels of longtime rival Jay Leno’s departure from NBC’s “Tonight Show” on February 6.
Famous for his wry Midwestern humor, Letterman premiered “Late Night” on NBC in 1982, but took the show to CBS in 1993 after NBC picked Leno over him to succeed the legendary Johnny Carson as host of “The Tonight Show.”
During his long career, Letterman logged more than 6,000 episodes, the show business trade journal Variety reported.
“Late Night” was famous for Letterman’s witty repartee with A-list celebrity guests, his satirical top-10 lists and a raft of regular features including a segment dedicated to clever animals called Stupid Pet Tricks.