A fitting send-off for Dave! David Letterman will say goodbye to the Late Show after 22 years on Wednesday, May 20, and his CBS network is planning quite the star-studded finale for the host with 6,028 broadcasts under his belt.
The network announced Thursday that Letterman, 68, and his late-night talk show will be celebrated with a three-night event starting Monday, May 18. For the first goodbye, Tom Hanks will make his 60th Late Show appearance and have a chat with Letterman 31 years after first gracing his stage. Eddie Vedder will also perform Monday backed by Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.
On Tuesday, May 19, Letterman's very first guest on Late Night (the NBC program he hosted prior to Jay Leno's debut on The Tonight Show) — Bill Murray — will return for his 44th overall sit-down.
The network is keeping Letterman's final bow under wraps, but promises in a statement to Us Weekly that the hour will be filled with surprises, highlights, and of course one last Top 10 List.
Hanks, Vedder, and Murray won’t be the only ones paying tribute to Letterman next week. Live! With Jimmy Kimmel's host has chosen not to air his program — which airs in competition at 11:35 p.m. — in order to preserve Letterman's audience. "I have too much respect for Dave to do anything that would distract viewers from watching his final show," Kimmel told The New York Times in an email. "Plus, I'll probably be crying all day, which makes it hard to work." (ABC is expected to air a rerun in Kimmel's Wednesday timeslot.)
Kimmel has long admired the veteran broadcaster. "It's very sad for me, personally," Kimmel told CNN of the decision to step down from the Late Show. "When I was growing up I was, like, known in high school as the kid who watched David Letterman. I had a 'L8 Nite' license plate, I watched the show, and we didn't have a VCR, so I had to watch it live. This was way before we had YouTube where we could pick and choose every little thing we wanted to. But I love Dave, and I'm going to miss him."
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