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David Letterman May Oust Johnny Carson as the Longest-Running Host in Late Night

Last February, we reported that David Letterman had let it slip to Howard Stern that he had “maybe two years” left in him as the host of CBS's Late Show. Today, The New York Times reports that Letterman has kept to his word, as he is very close to extending his contract with CBS through 2014.

That would bring his total number of years in late night to a staggering 32 (11 on NBC, 21 more on CBS), a run two years longer than Johnny Carson’s legendary Tonight Show stewardship. And the date brings a nice synergy to their late-night legacies: Dave will be 67 in 2014, the exact age Carson was when Bette Midler sang him off the air with that classic rendition of “One For My Baby.”

Of course, there’s the question of whether or not we want another two years of Letterman, whose slow march into his twilight years has at times been hard to stomach (especially with fan-favorite Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson poised to inherit Letterman's spot). Letterman's attitude toward guests he deems beneath him has devolved to outright disdain, and watching him fawn and drool over hot female guests can be downright icky. But the guy’s a comedy legend, and his mind’s still as sharp as his temperament prickly. There’s always fatherhood—son Harry will be nine this year—to soften the edges. Let’s just hope he finally works out his Leno issues sometime in the near future.


Do you want to see Letterman's Late Show reign continue?

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Obviously, Letterman can't remain with "The Show" forever. However I have no problem with him staying another two years. I believe that he wants to pass Carson's record before he goes which is not such a bad thing. After all he has made it this far. Yes, things have changed since he moved to CBS, but come on. As much as I loved those crazy stunts he did on "Late Night" I just could not see him doing such things on his current show given his age and the heart problems he has had. However, I still think Letterman delivers each night and is worth watching.
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I agree with you. We'll miss him when he's gone.
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Letterman was host of Late NIGHT on NBC, not Late SHOW, which was created for CBS after the Leno/Letterman replacing Johnny debacle. Still, it will be a 32-year run on late night, even if it's not the same show.



Craig Ferguson is the best, hands-down, of all the talk shows, and I really hope they don't try to shoehorn him into being an 11:30p timeslot show where there's lots more money and thus executive interference involved. Fergs doesn't play the lame late night talk show "tell me all about your new movie" game, he gives it the finger (sometimes literally), and to see him moved up to the bigger venue would only dilute his brilliance. Hell, they'd probably make him read the prompter!
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I'm french , so the only way for me to watch american late night tv is with internet , I have seen a lot for the past 2 years , Letterman , Craig Ferguson , Conan , Leno , Kimmel , Jimmy Fallon , a little Oprah ( for her last week ) , piers morgan when he have a good guest ...



But my favorite is David Letterman , by far.I love this guy , I love his show and I want to see his last 2 years and I hope he will continue more.

In France , Tv is so boring , you have no idea how lucky you are ... My personal favorite guest is Regis Philbin , Him and Dave are just so good together.

I like Craig Ferguson too , he's not like the others , he have a very weird show , and I don't see him replacing Dave , actually I don't see who can replace Dave Letterman in the future.
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There was nothing like the NBC days of Letterman. All of that quirky stuff along with Larry Bud Melman and so much more. Over the years or even decades the genius of that Late Night Letterman from NBC has really tanked while on CBS. Seems like when people leave NBC that happens, haha. Conan is terrible now compared to his old Late Night show. And zero comprehension on this Craig Ferguson fascination.
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Please tell me I'm not reading actual insults of David Letterman.
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David Letterman's biggest fan right now is David Letterman. And how many years was it after Carson retired that he died?



Leno and Letterman have already made up. Remember the ad with Oprah?
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I'd rather have Ferguson stay in his current slot, where he has the free reign to create the magic he does.
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On the other hand, if Ferguson moved up an hour, maybe they could afford to add Kristen Bell as a permanent sidekick, and THAT would be awesome.
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