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duaneiac

David Letterman announces his retirement in 2015

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David Letterman announced plans to retire next year on Thursday's Late Show.

The host, who has been on CBS since 1993, made the announcement to his studio audience at an afternoon taping, and was met with stunned disbelief, says a witness, followed by a standing ovation.

"The man who (runs) 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," Letterman said. "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.'"

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2014/04/03/david-letterman-cbs-retire/7266411/

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Oh great. Now I have a legitimate reason for feeling old and depressed simultaneously and perpetually.

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As Dave so aptly put it just prior to his announcement:

"You know, people always ask me, "Hey Dave, when you gonna call it quits?"

And my usual reply goes, "When it stops being fun -- I'll keep doing it another ten years."

Thanks Dave, for making us suffer nine 'un-fun' years of your boorish and rude self -- plus one more.

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I must say, the show has been pretty tired for a while. I used to be a big Dave fan, but he seems to be on auto-pilot now - "Top 10", "Stupid Pet Tricks", silly stuff with Alan Calder, etc. I rarely watch anymore.

There's already lots of speculation about who will take over. I would like to see the network come up with something completely different. The talk show format is really tired, and they all rely on the same formula that Johnny perfected many years ago.

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He hasn't been funny in awhile.

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I think he retired many years ago. He just continued doing the show.

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I think he retired many years ago. He just continued doing the show.

Nailed it.

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I didn't know he was still on.

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I won't miss him. Long ago, I got tired of seeing him smirking at the audience.

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Was never a huge fan. I always found his humor somewhat mean-spirited.

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I'm no longer a rabid nightly viewer-fan, but still very much a fan. When I watch a talk show in that time slot, it will always be Dave, as long as he's there.

Also have a very strong sentimental attachment to his shows for personal reasons not worth going into in detail. But those shows have been in my life only a few weeks less than my wife has.

Smirking, mean-spirited, condescending, whatever, I've heard it for decades from some (but not many, overall!) and I'm not particularly sympathetic to the complaints. The guy is funny as hell (was, still can be on a good night), a true innovator, and if he's deeply/darkly cynical at times, too bad. Life frequently be like that, so you might as well get a laugh out of it when it is. If you want to whine or cry, do it in private. If you're in public, laugh for crissakes. And laugh at yourself before all others!

In the beginning, it was magic damn near every night. Now it's just...an occasional visit with an old cranky funny guy, and pretty soon it will be just memories.

I can relate to that.

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I don't argue that David Letterman has been on auto-pilot for a number of years. I haven't watched the show in a long time just because that seemed to be the case.

That said, he has provided a number of great television comedy moments over the decades. I think his NBC Late Night show was much better than the CBS Late Show ever turned out to be. There was something funny about just tuning in to watch a guy throw things off the top of a building, or see him go out on the street and ask passers-by "what's in the bag?", or the ongoing phone conversations he would have with Meg Parsont, the editor who worked in an office across the street from his office. Even things like Stupid Human / Pet Tricks were fresh and unexpected and funny stuff back in the 1980's.

There were some good moments on the CBS show too -- some bizarre bits like "Potatoes or Gavin MacLeod" and one night when they had Lou Rawls just standing by in the green room all night because "It's better to have Lou Rawls and not need him than to need Lou Rawls and not have him" (truer words were never spoken). His first program on air after the Sept. 11 attacks and after his open heart surgery were unforgettably sincere, human moments.

I see nothing wrong with mean-spirited comedy. When you come right down to it, much of comedy is mean-spirited, pointing out time and time again what fools we mortals be. For the most part, Letterman's more pointed barbs were aimed at powerful people who could easily absorb or deflect the arrows, people like Cher, Oprah, Jay Leno, the executives at GE and later CBS. He was not particularly mean to ordinary people who had not chosen to put themselves in the public eye.

I'm glad he was around and I enjoyed many a night of late night viewing with his show. It is time for him to go.

As far as a replacement goes, two people I would consider would be Neil Patrick Harris and Donald Glover. I think both are multi-talented individuals who appear to be quick comedic thinkers and who would probably be welcome guests in many viewers homes night after night.

Edited by duaneiac

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I remember what he said when he flopped hosting the Oscars. "I had no idea this thing was being televised."

And when he got the Kennedy Center honors. "Now I can show my family. They think I work at a Jiffy Lube in Mexico."

He did a good segment on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/david-letterman-i-like-kettlecorn

Edited by Neal Pomea

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I see nothing wrong with mean-spirited comedy. When you come right down to it, much of comedy is mean-spirited, pointing out time and time again what fools we mortals be. For the most part, Letterman's more pointed barbs were aimed at powerful people who could easily absorb or deflect the arrows, people like Cher, Oprah, Jay Leno, the executives at GE and later CBS. He was not particularly mean to ordinary people who had not chosen to put themselves in the public eye.

I agree. I was on board with Letterman from the time he did that daytime (morning?) show. His cynical, mocking, "mean-spirited", condescending humor was one of the things I really enjoyed about him. There was nothing better than when he would take self-important celebrities who believed in their own hype and take them down a few pegs. I loved watching the celebrity guests squirm because Letterman wasn't playing by the fawning, softball Hollywood rules. He lost that edge a long time ago and I haven't watched his show in years other that when my wife would flip to it on occasion. It's time for retirement and probably should have happened years ago.

Edited by mikelz777

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I'm thinking he was waiting for Leno to depart so that he could be the 'last one out the door'. He already has a MUCH longer tenure on late night TV than Jay.

He also probably saw that his age is now much more obvious compared to all the other hosts currently on the air.

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He did a good segment on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/david-letterman-i-like-kettlecorn

That whole series is a favorite of mine. Most of the episodes range from pretty damn good to absolutely killing. A few, not so much, but how much did you pay to see it, right? Mostly, yes, very good stuff. The Don Rickles one in particualr, I watch that one over and over, and I'm not really a "fan" of Rickles per se.

...one night when they had Lou Rawls just standing by in the green room all night because "It's better to have Lou Rawls and not need him than to need Lou Rawls and not have him"

Hey. Yes. This right here. Not getting that anywhere else, and dammit, I need that on my TV, if not everywhere. But TV will do for now, at least until it's not there anymore.

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He did a good segment on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/david-letterman-i-like-kettlecorn

That whole series is a favorite of mine. Most of the episodes range from pretty damn good to absolutely killing. A few, not so much, but how much did you pay to see it, right? Mostly, yes, very good stuff. The Don Rickles one in particualr, I watch that one over and over, and I'm not really a "fan" of Rickles per se.

The Rickles segment was great! Did you see the one with Brian Regan? My favorite one so far. "You'll need to jiggle the handle, your Excellency!" And the Convincer bit was gone gone gone!

Edited by Neal Pomea

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Yeah, I've seen them all, on Crackle, through Roku. I hear the web versions have additional material, though, so I need to get to those.

And I'm in no way a "car guy" either, not like that, but this show makes me feel like I should be. Such glorious rides, each in their own way, all of them!

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I don't think I saw the Letterman episode. Will have to track that one down.

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When Letterman started out, I could see that he used a number of things that Steve Allen used on his early 60's late night show - and not as well, to my mind.

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Surprised by all the negativity. Many years of pleasure here.

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A longtime fan here who hasn't seen him much in recent years simply because I've watched little television now for a long time--and when I have checked in with late-evening shows, it's generally been Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert (rumored possible replacement today, without the "Colbert" character), or Craig Ferguson. But watching Letterman every night was practically de rigeur when I was a student at IU living in the dorms my freshman and sophomore year in the mid-1980s. I also remember watching the brief daytime show a few times when I was home sick from school at the start of the 1980s. He was fresh, offbeat, and sarcastic--cool in a goofy kind of way, one of the first nerds to be hip, long before that became a trend.

Oh, and hey, he's from Indiana (don't hold it against him). Used to be a weatherman around these parts.

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Self-absorbed. Hasn't been a great show for a long time. Larry Bud, where are you now?

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I watched his show a couple of times. I was never that impressed. The only thing that remains in my memory (and why did I have to see this one?) is "they pelted us with rocks and garbage."

Personally, I think it's time for television to admit that Johnny Carson isn't coming back, and give the whole genre the heave ho.

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