It’s a little early, but time for late-night TV fans to count their Thanksgiving blessings: Stephen Colbert announced on Thursday that former “Late Show” host David Letterman will return to the show on Monday, Nov. 20 — just in time for the holiday.
Colbert said, “On Monday, I am so happy to say, I will be joined right there, in that chair, by a man who is no stranger to the Ed Sullivan Theater, though I know for a fact he has not been here for eight-and-a-half years.”
This man is no stranger to The Ed Sullivan Theater! The legendary David @Letterman is returning to The Late Show for the first time for a rare conversation with @StephenAtHome!
Don’t miss #Colbert on @CBS this MONDAY, Nov. 20 at 11:35/10:35c. pic.twitter.com/dPxbUFcg18
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) November 17, 2023
“Because my guest,” he continued, “will be Mr. David Letterman.”
“Boom!” Colbert said, over studio audience applause.
Letterman announced plans to retire from “The Late Show” in April 2014. He said that he told CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, “Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring.”
Moonves said, “When Dave decided on a one-year extension for his most recent contract, we knew this day was getting closer, but that doesn’t make the moment any less poignant for us. For 21 years, David Letterman has graced our network’s air in late night with wit, gravitas and brilliance unique in the history of our medium.”
Letterman joined CBS after leaving NBC in 1993.
His final show aired in May 2015. Over 13 million people tuned in to watch a show that kicked off with archival footage of President Gerald Ford and pre-recorded cameos of former Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama joking that “our long national nightmare is over.”
Letterman’s monologue included cracks about Elián González and Scientology. A number of celebrities, including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Steve Martin, Barbara Walters, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, Peyton Manning, and Bill Murray, participated in a Top 10 list of “final things I would like to say to David Letterman,” and the Foo Fighters performed “Everlong.”
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