Wow. David Letterman announcing his upcoming retirement shocked me. It shouldn’t have. We all knew it was coming. No one was under the impression Letterman would be hosting The Late Show until he dies. He’d host it until Jay Leno was out of the collective consciousness or dropped dead. Once Leno said goodbye to The Tonight Show stage one last time, Letterman’s days were numbered. All he did today was confirm everyone’s assumption.
When all is said and done, Letterman will have hosted a late night talk show for 33 years: 11 as host of NBC’s Late Night, the last 22 will be with The Late Show and CBS. It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago few people expected Letterman to surpass his idol Johnny Carson’s reign in late night, which was an impressive 30 years. Now, we’re wondering how CBS will fill the hole in their lineup when Letterman leaves next year.
Every Friday, I post a clip from a country other than the United States.
This week we visit Germany. Die Harald Schmidt Show is a talk show strongly influenced by David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. Harald Schmidt is often called the “German David Letterman” to the point that Letterman once referred to him as “the guy in Germany who does my show.” Schmidt’s original set was almost an exact replica of the set that Letterman had during his Late Night days.
While the following clip only has a few subtitles, it is pretty easy to understand what is going on. Enjoy this look at German television.
I know for some people it is hard to believe that Johnny Carson has not hosted The Tonight Show in 20 years. While I am too young to remember Johnny, I am aware of his legacy. As a David Letterman fan, I constantly hear Dave talk about how Johnny is the only true King of Late Night. To remember Johnny and his legacy, here is his appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. Johnny even brings his own desk.
Part 2 of the video is after the link.