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Late Show With David Letterman

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The Top 10 Things We Wouldn't Have Without David Letterman

The Top 10 Things We Wouldn't Have Without David Letterman

Originally posted 04/05/2014 10:00AM

Over more than 30 years on the air, David Letterman went from the class clown of late night to one of its most respected icons.

In the '80s, Letterman's Midwestern snark and ironic sensibilities were considered groundbreaking in the comparatively staid world of Johnny Carson and Tom Snyder; now they've provided the groundwork for many of today's mainstream comedy trends. (Check out Letterman's 9 Most Unforgettable Late Show Moments.)

As Letterman prepares to step away from the desk for good in 2015, here's a look back at the 10 (could it have been any other number?) best things Letterman gave us:

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Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS
David Letterman's Staff Was in Tears over Retirement News

David Letterman's Staff Was in Tears over Retirement News

Originally posted 04/04/2014 03:40PM

Just before David Letterman took to the stage to make his retirement announcement, his director shared the news with the staff, leaving them stunned and emotional.

"Some people were teary. Many people didn't know it ahead of time," a source tells PEOPLE. "People are really in shock. People can't believe it. We always thought it was gonna happen – just like that."

The show's star guest also got caught up in the moment, the source said of the scene before Thursday's Late Show taping, when Letterman, 66, said he will leave his late-night talk show in 2015.

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Who Should Replace David Letterman? Tell Us Your Picks

Late Show With David Letterman

Who Should Replace David Letterman?

Originally posted 04/04/2014 11:20AM

Sure, he's irreplaceable. But someone will have to step into the 11:35 p.m. time slot on CBS when David Letterman retires next year after a record 33-year run in late night.

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Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS/Getty
WATCH: Johnny Depp Talks About His 'Female Engagement Ring' on Late Show | Johnny Depp

Late Show With David Letterman

Johnny Depp Talks Engagement Ring on Late Show After Letterman's Retirement Announcement

Originally posted 04/04/2014 08:50AM

Thursday was a night for big news at the Late Show with David Letterman. Moments after the host announced his retirement, Johnny Depp dropped in to talk important life changes.

The Transcendence actor joked about declaring his departure from acting but said Letterman's imminent sign-off stole his thunder.

Instead, Depp gushed about his engagement to actress Amber Heard and the unconventional ring he was wearing.

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Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS/Getty
Watch 9 Unforgettable Moments from David Letterman's Late Show | Late Show With David Letterman, David Letterman, Joaquin Phoenix

A David Letterman Highlight Reel: 9 Unforgettable Late Show Moments

Originally posted 04/04/2014 06:30AM

Late Show with David Letterman began its run as a consolation prize; it was no secret that the gig Letterman really wanted was The Tonight Show over at NBC. But over more than two decades on the air, the show transformed its host from a cult hero to a TV institution.

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David Letterman Announces Retirement

Originally posted 04/03/2014 05:30PM

[YOUTUBE "H9eYkpgeeI8"]

And the No. 1 reason late-night will feel a lot more lonely ...

David Letterman, 66, announced Thursday that he is retiring after more than three decades of making people laugh after their bedtimes.

The funnyman, who began in 1982 on Late Night with David Letterman on NBC before moving to the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, told the audience at Thursday's taping that he will leave next year.

He said he broke the news earlier to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. "I said, 'Leslie, it's been great, you've been great, and the network has been great, but I'm retiring.'"

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Watch: Lady Gaga Stops by Late Show for a Selfie with Bill Murray | Bill Murray, David Letterman, Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga Stops by Late Show for a Selfie with Bill Murray

Originally posted 04/03/2014 09:45AM

Mother Monster, meet Mr. Murray.

Lady Gaga guested on the Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday, taking the opportunity to invite the audience to her own show at the nearby Roseland Ballroom.

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Watch David Letterman's Heart-Stopping Prank on Kristin Chenoweth | David Letterman, Kristin Chenoweth

UpdatePosted 04/02/2014 10:10AM

Watch David Letterman's Heart-Stopping April Fools' Prank on Kristin Chenoweth

Originally posted 04/02/2014 09:00AM

If Kristin Chenoweth never wanted to do The Late Show again, we'd understand.

The Broadway star was a guest on David Letterman's show Tuesday, and discussed an accident that occurred in 2012: A piece of lighting equipment fell on her on the set of The Good Wife, requiring an overnight hospital stay.

That's when Letterman pulled an April Fools' prank.

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UpdatePosted 03/31/2014 05:15PM

The Most Censored Interview Ever: Madonna's 1994 Letterman Appearance Turns 20

Originally posted 03/31/2014 12:00PM

[YOUTUBE "wtyxIfwoEns"]

On March 31, 1994, Madonna was a guest on the Late Show With David Letterman. What should have been a seemingly innocuous interview has become a piece of talk-show history.

Madge's language and behavior – including 14 F-bombs and her refusal to leave the stage – caused waves of controversy. Her profanity made the show the most-censored network talk show episode in history, but it was also one of the highest-rated of Letterman's career.

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Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage Admits He Has Never Read the Books: Watch

UpdatePosted 03/27/2014 09:45AM

Watch: Game of Thrones Star Peter Dinklage Admits He Has Never Read the Books

Originally posted 03/27/2014 07:00AM

Someone hasn't done his homework.

Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who plays fan favorite Tyrion Lannister, visited The Late Show Wednesday, and confessed a shameful secret to David Letterman: He hasn't read the books the HBO series is based on.

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