07:39 PM EDT 12/18/2014
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:
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.
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.
Originally posted 04/04/2014 08:50AM
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.
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.
Originally posted 04/03/2014 05:30PM
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.'"
Originally posted 04/03/2014 09:45AM
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.
Originally posted 03/31/2014 12:00PM
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.
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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