Posted in TV | comedy | music on April 3, 2014

by Bill Pearis

Letterman w/ Future Islands
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It's the end of an era, or soon will be. NYC icon David Letterman will announce his retirement from The Late Show on this evening's show (4/3). His last show will be sometime in 2015. The news broke, of all places, from former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills' Twitter, who is performing tonight with his old bandmate Peter Buck who are both backing Joseph Arthur. (The Late Show tapes in the afternoon.) He told the audience (via Hitfix):

The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said 'Leslie, it's been great, you've been great, and the network has been great, but I'm retiring.'

I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much. What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.

We don't have the timetable for this precisely down - 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.

By next year, Letterman will have hosted The Late Show for 22 years, and he did 11 seasons of Late Night with David Letterman before that.

For those who only know him from The Late Show autumn years, Late Night with David Letterman changed not only the face of late night television but comedy in general. When the show began, the 12:30 AM time-slot was a wasteland and Letterman was a hilarious, often subversive presence, openly mocking NBC (and its parent corporation, G.E.) and occasionally even the guests. Like Monty Python's Flying Circus and The Simpsons, Letterman's impact on comedy cannot be overestimated.

Of course, Letterman's shows were also responsible for a lot of cool bands making their network debut, from R.E.M. (where they played "South Central Rain" a year before Reckoning was released) to Sonic Youth, to more recent bands like Dum Dum Girls and Future Islands, whose appearance from a couple weeks ago turned into an internet meme.

You deserve a break, Dave, but we'll miss your gaptoothed mug when you're gone. Video clips (including Bill Murray on Late Night's first-ever show) below...

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David Letterman - Future Islands: "Seasons (Waiting On You)"

"Let's Dance"

REM - So. Central Rain (1982)

Letterman - "Are those your drums or rentals?"

Letterman - FIRST NBC EPISODE - Bill Murray (1982)

Pee-Wee Herman on NBC David Letterman Show #1

Andy Kaufman vs. Jerry Lawler

"They Took My Show Away"

'With My Own Eyes' - David Letterman's Holiday Film Festival

Late Night with David Letterman 10th Anniversary "Highlights"

TOP 10 & VIEWER MAIL on David Letterman

infamous Crispin Glover appearance

Harvey Pekar on Letterman, 7/31/87

Dog Poetry

NBC bookmobile on Late Night with David Letterman NBC 1980's

CHRIS ELLIOTT as Marv Albert

Drew Barrymore wishes Dave a Happy Birthday

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Comments (30)

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

Posted by Ted | April 3, 2014 5:53 PM

LEGEND. time for louis ck to step in

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 6:21 PM

Way too late.

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 6:29 PM

LOL the last time he was funny Reagan was President

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 7:00 PM

It's = It is, FYI

A lot of cool music making it is network debut does not make sense, bruh

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 7:12 PM

Conan better be successor.

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 7:22 PM

old people remember how awesome and important Dave was in the history of late nite tv

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 7:27 PM

"are those your drums?"

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 7:29 PM

BV! No video of when Drew B danced on his desk and flashed him for his birthday?!

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 7:30 PM

7:30PM,

BV is too jealous that it will never have Drew jump on their desk so please don't bring it up ever again.

Yours in striptease,

_____________________________________________

Posted by Jealousy Moniker(!) | April 3, 2014 7:50 PM

Dvd Leetterman is so funny I used to shit hummus into my trustfund hipster Gf's herppee mouth on north 7th between bedford and Driggs when we would watch him on TV.

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 7:59 PM

The sad thing is that 7:59 honestly thought that was funny

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 8:19 PM

7:59 just gave me a name for my band: DVD LTTRMN. I play samples on my iPad and my freaky looking art school girlfriend screams and occasionally pounds on a floor tom.

Posted by Winky | April 3, 2014 8:35 PM

Paul Schaffer: soon to be back in Thunder Bay living in his parents' basement.

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 9:19 PM

@6:21

More than a hundred comments is a legend, less than that is a footnote.

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 9:42 PM

Those interviews with Bill Murray are fucking boss.

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 10:20 PM

Top ten numbers from 1 to 10, in descending order:

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

There you have it folks!

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2014 11:47 PM

10-15 years too late.

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 2:23 AM

1033pm Don't quit your day job. You are not at all funny.

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 2:35 AM

Mr. FF rules

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 8:20 AM

^He's funnier than you.

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 8:22 AM

2015 MR. FF HOSTS LATE SHOW

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 9:04 AM

love letterman!!

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 9:49 AM

Mr. FF's top ten list hits a lil to close to home for this city boy.

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 10:41 AM

"10) A bullied suburb parent taught their city kid a Big Apple lesson."

I don't understand this one, I wish footfetish would elaborate...

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 12:03 PM

Letterman is kind of a douche, but he is a funny douche.

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 1:06 PM

Letterman is the only late night host who doesn't blindly suck up to every celebrity he interviews. That's a pretty impressive feat itself. Fallon should learn a thing or two.

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 1:40 PM

Letterman is keeping it real

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 2:15 PM

""10) A bullied suburb parent taught their city kid a Big Apple lesson."

I don't understand this one, I wish footfetish would elaborate..."

I can translate that for you:

"I felch for a living on the streets of Driggs Avenue".

I may be off a bit on the spelling of Driggs, though.

Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2014 4:10 PM

Once upon a time he was real talent.

Posted by Check Dare | May 27, 2014 2:26 AM

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