Guess Who Just Showed Up on the Late Show

David Letterman visits Stephen Colbert at Ed Sullivan Theater, his first time since leaving in 2015
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2023 6:39 AM CST

For the first time in more than eight years, David Letterman took to the stage at New York City's Ed Sullivan Theater, but this time, he was on the other side of the desk. The former Late Show host popped in for a visit on Monday with current Late Show host Stephen Colbert, who seemed pleased to have his predecessor in the house. So did the audience, who gave the hirsute Letterman a rousing standing ovation, reports Deadline.

"Wow! How about that?" said a grinning Letterman reacting to the applause. That ruckus was soon followed by audience members chanting Letterman's name, to which he joked, "What happened? What are they doing now?" After a quick glance at his watch to mark the long round of clapping, Letterman finally took a seat, telling Colbert to "control your people." Per the New York Times, Letterman's appearance with Colbert, his first since he left the show in May 2015, "brought some resolution to one of the odder mysteries in show business: Why wouldn't [Letterman] visit with his successor?"

The paper notes that Letterman has been pretty busy since leaving the Late Show—not only hosting Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, but also appearing as a guest with many other big names, including Jimmy Kimmel, Howard Stern, Seth Meyers, Marc Maron, and Conan O'Brien. Whatever the reason for Letterman's long absence from his former workplace, the two talked about anything but that, delving instead into Letterman's son heading off to college, pharmacy visits, and what Letterman missed most about his late-night hosting gig. "I miss everything," Letterman admitted. "Mostly, it's fun." Letterman even asked if he could sit behind Colbert's desk, which Colbert cheerfully allowed. More here, here, here, and here. (More David Letterman stories.)

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