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David Letterman visited Manhattan’s Ed Sullivan Theater last night for the first time since retiring from CBS. The late show eight years ago, chatting comfortably with his successor Stephen Colbert as if he had never left.
Fittingly, the two late-night heavyweights discussed, among other things, other late-night heavyweights. When Colbert mentioned becoming friends with Dick Cavett and occasionally asking him for advice, he asked if Letterman had ever contacted his own champion, Johnny Carson, in a similar role.
After a brief pause, Letterman shook his head and said no. “Johnny is, was, Mount Olympus,” he said, “so you didn’t just call Johnny and say, ‘Hey, Johnny, what do you think?’ Should I do this? And the color of the socks, will they match, Johnny? So no, I was pretty much alone. I was an orphan in the talk show world.
When the audience responded to the “orphan” comment with a sympathetic “awww,” Letterman, clearly back in his element, deadpanned, “I don’t appreciate sarcasm.” »
Asked by Colbert if he missed anything about his late night years, Letterman got serious. “I miss everything,” he said. “Most importantly, it’s fun. Very few things in life offer the opportunity for this – and I can’t speak for you on this subject – but for me, if you miss one, 24 hours later you can try again. And it’s a very good device.
Letterman hosted The late show on CBS from 1993 until his retirement in 2015.
Watch the interview segment above.
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