David Letterman made a triumphant comeback to the Ed Sullivan Theater, the iconic venue that serves as the home of The Late Show. The former Late Show was met with an extended, bombastic standing ovation from the studio audience.
The ovation was joined by Letterman’s replacement, Stephen Colbert. “Ladies and gentlemen, my guest tonight certainly needs no introduction,” Colbert announced before Letterman stepped on stage. “Please welcome back to the Ed Sullivan Theater — Mr. David Letterman.”
As Letterman strutted onto the set, a thunderous uproar of cheers and applause engulfed him, as if the crowd had just witnessed the Second Coming of Comedy. Bathed in the adoration of his fans, he reveled in the electric energy that crackled through the air. “Wow! How about that?” Letterman marveled as the studio audience clapped and hollered.
The audience then started changing “David” in unison, leaving Letterman bemused. “What happened? What are they doing now?’ he joked to Colbert.
This only egged on the crowd, which started shouting his name with even more gusto. Letterman, clearly loving the passion, quipped, “Is there going to be trouble?” After his extended welcome, Letterman glanced at his watch. Of course, the comedy legend had to take one last shot. As he settled into his seat, he deadpanned to Colbert to “control your people.”
Rumors of Animosity Between David Letterman and Stephen Colbert were Squashed
This marked Letterman’s return to the CBS late-night show after a 23-year tenure that ended in May 2015. Since his departure, he has been hosting a more intimate interview series on Netflix called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
Letterman’s absence from the show sparked rumors of animosity between the hosts. However, their conversation revealed nothing but camaraderie between these TV giants. With affable banter, they circled around a central theme: hosting a talk show is an enigmatic profession.
They shared anecdotes from their first meeting, where Colbert sought Letterman’s guidance before becoming the host. They also had secret spots in the Ed Sullivan Theater to find solace away from producers when they needed a moment of respite.
During his appearance on the show, Letterman didn’t seem to have a specific agenda. He managed to give a heartfelt birthday shout-out to his wife, Regina Lasko. However, the conversation provided a glimpse into the legacy of this late-night legend and the profound influence he has had on his successor.
Eventually, Colbert asked Letterman what he missed most about his The Late Show hosting duties. “I miss everything,” Letterman replied. “Mostly it’s fun. If you muck one up, 24 hours later you get to try again,” the comedy legend observed.
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