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David Letterman: Why Is He Leaving Now? My Theory...
April 4, 2014  | By David Bianculli  | 4 comments


On Thursday’s Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, its veteran host announced plans to retire in 2015. He gave his reasons, but I suspect one or two others…

I was asked to write a blog on this very subject for CNN.com – and did.

It was posted Friday morning, and you can read it on CNN’s website by clicking on Is Internet Driving Letterman Away?

And while we're linking to things, you can, if you like, go to NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross website, where, last August, Terry and I discussed Letterman, and late-night TV, during a week of shows devoted to the late-night television landscape, and listened to a Letterman interview from 1981, just as he was preparing to host his first late-night series, NBC's Late Night with David Letterman.

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I have lived with David Letterman since he became a TV host and now that he is off the air, I am lost with respect to late night TV. No one can make me laugh or keep my interest since his last show. There's no more late night for me which is a same for the many American's like myself who can't go to sleep with out him and his gang. I miss you Dave where ever you are. Your shows were brilliant, funny , unique, and always entertaining. You are a classy man and will be sorely missed in this arena of copycat late night.
Jun 15, 2015   |  Reply
Ben Shell
David Letterman plans to retire at age 68. Johnny Carson retired at 67 because... he wanted to retire. Perhaps there's no more to the Letterman story than a man who decides it's time to move out of the public eye.
Apr 4, 2014   |  Reply
I couldn't agree with you more. Add to the mix the fact his son is only 10, and I think he really does want to spend more time with him. Dave didn't become a father until he was in his late 50s, and that's more than a little intimidating. From his monologues, he seems to really enjoy fatherhood and time spent with Harry. Let's all stop second guessing here, wish him well, and let him enjoy the fruits of all these years of labor. That said, I will truly miss his sense of humor.
Apr 6, 2014
Ha, I grew up watching David Letterman on NBC when I was in 4th through 7th grade. I would try to relate the jokes I heard on Letterman to my fellow elementary students... -they never got them & the teacher told me to stop.

(It would be interesting to read your stories on CNN or NPR but I do not support/follow such biased so-called 'news sources'; especially "NPR"...)
Apr 4, 2014   |  Reply
dave stratton
so, ryan - cnn and especially npr are "biased"? i applaud your stand - but only if you also include the blaze, fox news and the big three - abc, cbs and nbc. if not, you are a hypocrite.
Apr 8, 2014
Here's what doesn't get said: the sheer magnitude of the commercial load on these programs is killing them. These are 62 minute shows, but I doubt there's more than 40 minutes of actual content. The spot clusters run 4, 5, maybe 6 minutes at a time, depending on where in the program they are. Why would any sane viewer stick with these programs for the full length of the show and subject themselves to 40-odd commercial spots? Carson's show used to have 2 minute breaks, the first minute for network spots and the second for local stations. I'm willing to wait out a two minute interruption, but five? Six? And this doesn't even get into the quality of some of the late night sponsors and their ads.
Apr 4, 2014   |  Reply
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