David Letterman Announces His Retirement 

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April 3 2014 5:32 PM

David Letterman Announces His Retirement

David Letterman hosts The Late Show
David Letterman has announced that he will retire as host of The Late Show after 22 years.

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

David Letterman’s iconic Top Ten lists, Stupid Pet Tricks, and other notable late-night staples will formally come to an end in 2015. During the taping of tonight’s show, Letterman announced that he will officially retire as host of The Late Show, effective next year, formally ending a 32-year run in late-night television—more than 20 of which were spent behind the Late Show desk.

Read his official statement below:

David Letterman, during a taping of tonight’s Late Show, said that he informed Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, that he will step down as the host of the show in 2015, which is when his current contract expires.
“The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance.  And I phoned him just before the program, and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring,’” said Letterman. 
“I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much.  What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.”
“We don’t have the timetable for this precisely down – I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up,” he added, to a standing ovation from the audience in the Ed Sullivan Theater.
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Update, April 3, 5:40 p.m.: You can now watch a video of Letterman making his announcement.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

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