NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — David Letterman will host his final “Late Show” on May 20.
CBS and Letterman’s production company announced the exit date Wednesday. Letterman said earlier this year he was retiring after more than 30 years as a late-night host, and the network later named Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central as his replacement.
CBS didn’t announce Colbert’s starting date on Wednesday.
“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 CBS. “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.”
Letterman was born in Indianapolis in 1947, and began his career as a local radio talk show host and TV weatherman there.
He got his television start on the national scale in 1978, on the CBS variety series “Mary,” starring Mary Tyler Moore. Months later, he paid his first visit to “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” — marking the first of 22 appearances. He also guest-hosted “Tonight” numerous times.
In 1980, Letterman started hosting the Emmy Award-winning morning comedy-variety program, “The David Letterman Show,” which ran for three months on NBC. He followed that up with “Late Night with David Letterman,” which premiered in February 1982 and ran for 11 years.
Letterman jumped to CBS in 1993 after NBC went with Jay Leno as the new host of “The Tonight Show.” To accommodate the new late night program, CBS purchased and renovated the Ed Sullivan Theater at 1697 Broadway, where “The Ed Sullivan Show” was taped from 1948 until 1971 and which Letterman has used for his show for his entire CBS run.
In 2011, Letterman received the 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. He was honored as “Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host” at the 31st annual People’s Choice Awards in 2005.
In total, Letterman’s shows have received 108 Emmy nominations and eight wins. He also won a Peabody Award in 1992.
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