David Letterman will host his final broadcast of the Late Show on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, on the CBS Television Network, it was announced today by CBS and Worldwide Pants Inc., Letterman’s production company.
“David Letterman has given to all of us a remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance that will never be forgotten,” said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of the CBS Corporation. “It’s going to be tough to say goodbye, but I know we will all cherish the shows leading up to Dave’s final broadcast in May.”
The longest-tenured late night talk show host at more than 32 years, Letterman, who has hosted CBS’s Late Show for 22 years, announced his retirement on the April 3 broadcast. Since its CBS premiere on Aug. 30, 1993, Letterman’s Late Show has won nine Emmy Awards and a staggering 73 Emmy nominations.
The Indiana native got his start in the Hoosier state. After graduating from Ball State University in Muncie he became a news anchor and weatherman for WLWI (now called WTHR). His on-air antics (he once congratulated a tropical storm for being upgraded to a hurricane) foreshadowed his career as a comedy icon and late night legend. In 1975, he turned his focus to comedy and moved to California.
Letterman debuted on the late night scene Feb. 1, 1982 with the premiere of his groundbreaking “Late Night with David Letterman,” which ran for 11.5 years and was honored with five Emmy Awards. As of May 20, 2015, Letterman will have hosted 6,028 total episodes of both “Late Night” and the Late Show.
Widely credited with redefining the talk show genre, Letterman is one of the most influential, acclaimed and honored personalities in television history. In December 2012, Letterman was an honoree at the prestigious “35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors,” which recognizes recipients for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures and television. In 1992, he received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for taking “one of TV’s most conventional and least inventive forms – the talk show – and infusing it with freshness and imagination.”
In March 2011, Letterman was awarded the prestigious Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at Comedy Central’s first annual “The Comedy Awards.” Letterman has also won two American Comedy Awards as Funniest Male Performer in a Television Series, and in 2012, he received the Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association.
The Late Show with David Letterman is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope and Rob Burnett are the executive producers. Jerry Foley is the director.