NEW YORK, NEW YORK: More than eight years after David Letterman stepped down as host, his grand return to the Ed Sullivan Theater, home of The Late Show, was greeted with a prolonged standing ovation.
The former late-night show host received a standing ovation from the crowd, including his successor Stephen Colbert, when he returned to his old stomping grounds on Monday, November 20.
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The crowd cheers for David Letterman’s return to The Late Show
When Letterman walked onto the set, the audience erupted in cheers and applause, receiving love and support from the audience.
Letterman’s successor, Stephen Colbert, introduced him by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, my guest today definitely needs no introduction. Please welcome back to the Ed Sullivan Theater, Mr. David Letterman.”
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After the warm greeting, Letterman glanced at his watch and asked Colbert to “control his people” as he sat down.
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Colbert addressed Letterman’s claim that night chairs are “a weird job that a lot of people don’t understand” at other points in the conversation.
“I’m lucky to have a friend, Jon Stewart, who I can talk to about this strange job, and my friends in Strike Force 5,” he said.
“Did you have anyone when you were sitting in the chair that you could do this with? Someone you could call and just talk about it. Could you call Johnny? [Carson]? Colbert asked.
In response, Letterman said he was “orphaned in the talk show world” although he had “great respect for these guys.”
The audience unanimously applauded him as he spoke, but Letterman interrupted himself: “Well, I don’t appreciate sarcasm.”
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It was Letterman’s first appearance on a late-night CBS program since his May 2015 departure after a 23-year tenure, according to Deadline.
Since his departure, Letterman has been the host of the Netflix interview series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
Letterman has made guest appearances on several shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night With Seth Meyers and the season finale of The Late Late Show With James Corden earlier in 2023.
However, Monday’s broadcast was the first time he returned to the show he started on CBS back in 1993.
The Internet Goes Crazy Over David Letterman’s Return
Letterman’s return to his former base on The Late Show sent social media users into a frenzy. One took to X (formerly Twitter) to exclaim: “The only one I’d like to bring back is David Letterman’s Late Night/NBC. This show was the best.”
Another user X wrote: “The greatest show David Letterman did was his first show after 9/11. It was a master class in broadcasting, and it just about sums up the man’s genius. He truly was the last giant of late night.”
Someone else chimed in: “I’m going to stay tonight especially to watch David Letterman on the Tonight Show. The last time I did this was Letterman’s last show. It’s funny how quickly the world has changed since then. Now it’s all clips.”
The only movie I would like to bring back is David Letterman’s Late Night/NBC. This show was the best. pic.twitter.com/Imovh0i3p3
— Melanie (@MelanieMarquita) November 16, 2023
David Letterman’s greatest show was his first after 9/11. It was a master class in broadcasting, and it just about sums up the man’s genius. He truly was the last giant of the late night.
— Daniel O Connor (@rhenagullee) November 19, 2023
I’m going to stay tonight especially to watch David Letterman’s late night show. The last time I did this was Letterman’s last show. It’s funny how quickly the world has changed since then. Now these are all clips. pic.twitter.com/IHJJ7G6lsj
— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) November 21, 2023
Other “Late Show” fans took to the comments section on Instagram to praise the former host, with one calling Letterman “the GOAT.”
Another said: “Letterman is the 🐐 of this generation. He could easily cope with any guest and still does! 🐐🐐🐐”
American businessman Jeremy Padawer commented: “Letterman will still have ratings today. We could use his pragmatism right now.”
“When I watched this, I had the longest smile of my life! Welcome back Dave!!” exclaimed the fan.
Echoing the same sentiment, another said: “This is the best thing ever done and it’s not even close. I fell asleep in most English classes in high school because I stayed up late watching him.”
“Dave rules. His departure coincidentally marked the beginning of the end for network television,” someone added.
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