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David Letterman Announces He Is Retiring

Late Show with David Letterman
Chris Coleman / Townsquare Media

David Letterman announced his retirement from late night TV during the taping of the show that airs tonight.

The wife and I were in the Late Show audience about a year ago — here’s a behind the scenes look at the show.

I’ve been a fan of David Letterman’s comedy on and off for many years. About a year ago, the wife and I were in New York City and we walked past the Ed Sullivan Theater at 53rd & Broadway and there was a small sign offering free tickets for an upcoming taping of his show. We walked in, put our names into the lottery, and got a call back the same day saying we scored two tickets.If you have never been to a Late Show taping, you have to get there a few hours before the show gets recorded at 3:30 in the afternoon.  After a series of checking in and waiting and waiting and waiting, they took the entire soon-to-be studio audience to a bar around the corner where we waited and waited and waited some more. We were seated — in the very top row of the balcony next to the spotlights — no more than a couple minutes before the show started.  In that short span of time, the band was introduced by a warm-up comedian, Letterman came out and talked to the crowd for a few seconds, and at exactly 3:30:00, the lights dim, the music starts, and the show is underway whether Letterman is ready or not (which is why you often see him running across the back of the stage as he is being introduced).  The guests were Sally Field, NFL coach John Harbaugh (who had just won the Super Bowl), and an Elvis impersonator (it was Elvis week). Letterman’s set, which looks very vibrant and colorful on TV, is actually much duller and muted in person and lot of the stuff that you never see on TV is very dusty (it doesn’t need to be clean if the camera won’t show it).  Overall, it was a rather fun experience!

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