In recent years I had criticized David Letterman’s efforts hosting the Late Show. I thought for years it was time for him to throw in the towel. It seemed like he wasn’t just giving it all he had anymore.
Then again, after you have spent 30-plus years doing the same job day after day, you’re bound to fizzle out every now and then — or permanently. Normally that gets you cancelled. For Letterman, he decided to beat CBS to his firing and bow out of the hosting duties.
It almost seemed like Letterman had a renewed energy after he announced his retirement last year, which is a shame since had his momentum kept up maybe he could have used it to propel the ratings and dominate late night since longtime rival Jay Leno has been out of the picture for a couple of years.
But could Letterman stand a chance with the new crop of late-night hosts? Their excitement for the job fuels their creativity. Their social media following appreciates the engagement and online presence. Was Letterman now out of his own league?
So as millions of people watched Letterman’s farewell last Wednesday, it was a walk down memory lane through Dave’s late-night legacy.
Like Johnny Carson was for him, Letterman was an inspiration to current TV hosts. ABC’s funnyman Jimmy Kimmel got emotional thinking back to watching Letterman before getting his own show. Jimmy Fallon showed a yearbook in which his teacher suggested he would be a replacement for Letterman someday.
Though as Letterman goes into retirement it makes me wonder if it will be a permanent life change or if we will see him on TV in some capacity shortly after his exit as we did with Barbara Walters and Regis Philbin. To me, I think Letterman is just tired of it all.