A late night legend is saying goodnight to late night television.
David Letterman will go off the air after 22 years with his show on CBS.
Letterman also started the ‘Late Night’ franchise on NBC. He also got his start doing many stand-up routines.
In total, Letterman hosted late night television for over 33 years.
This is the longest stretch in the industry’s history.
Artistic Director of Shut The Front Door Improv, Brandon Rudd says Letterman will always have respect in the industry.
“To have that respect and being around for that many years really shows there’s a loyalty to him. He really earned the respect and deserves it.”
Although Letterman kept traditions, many credit him for pioneering the way late night television is done today.
Rudd says he helped to find a way to make ‘stupid’ funny.
“Stupid pet tricks, stupid human tricks. I mean that’s street buskering but now it’s on a bigger scale.”
He says Letterman also change the way we laugh at subjects.
“He made an environment that gave you permission to sort of laugh at something that we weren’t really allowed to laugh at.” Many say Letterman knew how the keep the traditions from late night television alive and still have fresh angles to it. Rudd says this kind of idea really shows how he influenced Jimmy Fallon.
“He’s taking the traditional items but his also putting his own style in it. This includes his sketches and the feature players he has on.”
Rudd feels one thing Letterman did really well, was staying honest about his work.”
“He probably would jumped to another network and he would have said; ‘Sorry, if you don’t like, that’s fine. But, I’ll just take it to another network.’”
He says Letterman also took care of business as well.
“A great example of that was while the Writer Guilds were on strike. He employed his own writers under his own banner. He also reached a deal with his writers before the Writers Guild did. He really did have plan in his mind. So I think that’s why he’s been successful or at least it’s one of the pillars.”
Rudd believes this is not the last time you’ll see Letterman around.
“He either going to say that was his time and then does celebrity appearances. The best probability is you’ll see him in he club circuit doing what he started with.” Letterman’s show will air Wednesday.
While no official guests are planned, CBS says it will be a show that looks back at the time he had.
Stephen Colbert will replace Letterman. His first show is slated to air in the fall on September 8.
Here’s a clip from earlier this year of Stephen Colbert showing Letterman a Top Ten he made for a job opening on his show back in 1997.