David Letterman to Get Primetime Sendoff, Hosted by Ray Romano

David Letterman Primetime Special

And the No. 1 way to commemorate the conclusion of David Letterman‘s esteemed talk show career: with a primetime special.

CBS has announced that on Monday, May 4, it will present David Letterman: A Life on Television, a 90-minute tribute to the Late Show host and his previous endeavors across a 33-year career.

As previously announced, Letterman is retiring as host of CBS’ Late Show on Wednesday, May 20; Stephen Colbert grabs the reins on Sept. 8.

David Letterman: A Life on Television will be hosted by Emmy-winning TV vet Ray Romano, whose career was propelled by a 1995 stand-up turn on Late Show that led into the development of Everybody Loves Raymond, which was produced for CBS by Letterman’s production company.

Romano will lead viewers through a retrospective of Letterman’s career, starting from his time as a weathercaster in Indiana. The special will highlight the best of Letterman’s interviews as well as denote his trademark show segments, including the Top Ten List and Stupid Pet and Human Tricks.

The special will also look at some of the most important and poignant moments from Letterman’s late-night TV run, including his Late Show broadcast from Sept. 17, 2001, the show’s first outing after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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  1. Mr. Tran K says:

    I’m not ready to say goodbye to Letterman until his farewell episode on May 20th and I can’t wait when Stephen Colbert takes over the reigns on September 8th.

  2. TV Gord says:

    That’s awesome news! Thanks, Matt! I was wondering if they were going to do a prime time special (since Nina Tassler hinted at it at the TCAs). This is going to be wonderful!

    I consider it a 35-year career, since I never missed one of his morning shows in 1980. However, I do tend to quibble… ;-)

  3. Kate says:

    I’m happy they are doing something for him. I don’t know that the show itself will make a big deal for him because he doesn’t seem to like it. I still can’t wrap my mind around him not being on TV. I still have the Christmas episode on my TiVo!

  4. Lerbert says:

    I am glad to see a retrospective is scheduled. These last shows with favorite and long-time guests have been wonderful and the selection of musical acts and songs has been poignant. For better or worse, Letterman was the host that elicited the most interesting stories, comments, and sometimes, arguments from his guests. I will miss all the random flights of fancy–the Velcro suit, dropping things off the roof, messing with the GE executives, working the drive-thru. Still today I will find myself singing, “What’s with old men in giant glaaasses?”

  5. jp says:

    Great – just in time for the kent state anniversary…

  6. herman1959 says:

    I’ll watch; I enjoyed the show in the very early years. I used to love his chubby sidekick with the glasses – he died a few years ago – but can’t remember his name now, does anyone know?

  7. hud says:

    If you believe you have seen the last of Letterman think again. Ego is like a narcotic, and Letterman has plenty of the former. In the 80s he was funny, new, allowed his guests to have their say. Passed over for Leno, mean spirited, sarcastic,tiresome. Top 10 nightly his highlight,sorry time to go. Enjoy your short lived retirement. You’ll be back…

    • 66muds99 says:

      Hud, sorry, but you’re completely delusional. He was a better listener back in the 1980’s??? Do you think there’s no record of this to research your ridiculous fallacy? There are hundreds of videos on Youtube to refute your silly argument. He interrupted and goaded his guests, unlike today. And you forget that his hero was Johnny, who disappeared from the limelight. There’s very little doubt the extremely private Letterman will do the same. Wow, what a post.

  8. JDFTEXAS says:

    Tho I do like Ray I most likely wont watch this- lost faith in Mr Letterman years ago due to his shenanegans– both the Jimmy’s are a class act compared to him- wish ya well but wont miss you

  9. Irene says:

    Sure will miss the sarcasm and the sincerity. I sure noticed the change with the birth of Harry. Enjoy . My regret I didn’t get to NYC to see you. Take care

  10. iHeart says:

    I’m going to miss his top ten lists. There’s a part of me that wants to see him do Will it Float one last time

    • Kate says:

      I would love that! So stupid and yet oddly educational. My roommate and I used to make bets on what would float.

  11. Jay says:

    So NBC will let them use clips of “Late Night”? Any retrospective special minus the Late Night years would be like an episode with a Top Four. In fact, I think they ought to have Robert Wright deliver the tapes in person, on stage–not wearing pants, of course.

    If NBC refuses to clear the clips, I may have to pelt them with rocks and garbage.

  12. An enormous POS. A Liar and a coward. Congrats America…you were fooled again..PATHETIC