Is David Letterman retiring? 'There's [been] no discussion about his leaving,' says producer Rob Burnett

Howard-Stern-LettermanOh, CBS, how tricky you are: Though a clip of David Letterman’s Late Show interview with Howard Stern — in which the shock jock dissed Leno — has been running rampant throughout the Web today, it was cut short before Letterman told Stern that he would only be hosting the show for a couple more years. Before long, fans who watched the show live last night took the the Internets, wondering if that meant retirement was in Letterman’s future.

As Rob Burnett — CEO of Worldwide Pants and executive producer of Late Show — tells EW, don’t count on it. “I think the first time Dave said he was going to leave in two years was back in 1987,” Burnett says. “He was asked a question [last night]: ‘How much longer do you see yourself doing this?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, a couple of years.’ It was kind of a tossed-off response. I think it’s a response he’s given multiple times…. In no way was last night’s show any kind of actual announcement of any kind. I think when a guy ends a 30-plus career on television, it’s not going to be guessing about whether he’s leaving or not. It won’t be ambiguous.”

Though Burnett downplays rumors that Letterman will retire in 2013 after his contract expires in 2012, he himself says he has no idea when the talk show host plans to hang up his hat. (Or should we say pants?) “He says this periodically, [but] I don’t want to rule it out,” says Burnett. “I have no particular insight into when David Letterman is going to want to stop doing the show. I’m not being coy. I honestly don’t know. I don’t know that he knows. Maybe he does, but there’s [been] no discussion about his leaving.”

Of course, if you’re heading to Vegas, it wouldn’t be a bad bet to put your money on 2013, especially when you consider that Letterman’s idol, Johnny Carson, retired from The Tonight Show when he was 66 — the same age Letterman will be in 2013. Burnett, however, still insists that there are plenty more Late Shows ahead. “Dave’s as funny as he’s ever been,” he says. “For athletes, there comes a time when you can’t get around on the fastball anymore. [But] Dave is still knocking it out of the park.”

Read more:
Howard Stern calls Jay Leno ‘horrible’ on Letterman

Comments (57 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    Jay should have retired ages ago. He just goes through the motions. At least Letterman can fake like he cares.

    • han

      Craig Ferguson would be the ideal replacement though

      • SaraJ

        Hell no. He’s so random and all over the place (i.e. not funny). Letterman for 10 more please.

      • Stevex

        I dearly love Craig and his show, but I think that if he moved to 11:30, CBS would force him to be too mainstream. Part of his show’s charm is the “made in the basement for a buck-fifty” vibe. Leave Craig where he is.

      • Chip

        Craig is great! I so agree with you

    • Erma

      Mr. Leno is a good American, and I am proud to watch him. He wears a denim shirt, not some fancy shmancy hip Guess clothes. David Letter Man does things that are not funny, they just are for somekind of elite folks that look down on us people in what they call the fly over states. That is so demeening to write us off like that. Mr. Leno would never do such a thing. Letter Man has insulted Sarah Palin and her beiutifal daughter. Mr. Leno would not be so heartless, he undertands us little folk and our ways. Mr. Leno must be a Chrstian. I dowt that Letter Man even believes in God. Unless he is a secret muslim…like our president.

      • aoyst

        Letterman is from Indiana and lives in Montana. He has a son and is invested in auto racing. Leno was raised in Massacheussetts and lives in California, and his signature bit mocks people for being stupid. But sure, Letterman is the elitist…

      • jades1

        Very funny Erma, you almost got me or a second…

      • Erma

        Letter Man has a son, but he cheated on his wife with young girls that worked for him. Mr. Leno would not do that to his wife Mavis, he loves and respects Mavis. Letter Man only cares about pleasurs of the flesh and making his elite friends laugh about hard working Americans. I have news for Letter Man, the reasen you could never beat Mr. Leno in the ratings is because real Americans see you for what you are. Us people in what you would call the fly over states are not fooled by you living in Montana and pretending to like Nascar. We see you for what you are, and that means you will always loose to Mr. Leno in the ratings.

      • aoyst

        Letterman never cheated on his wife, he cheated on his then-girlfriend. He was not yet married at the time of his affairs.

      • Erma

        Letter Man cheated on the woman he was shacking up with. Does that sound better for the blue state swingles crowd? Letter Man had sexual relations with underlings, which is sexual harasment. No wonder Letter Man loves Bill Clinton so much. They are two peas in a pod those two. I bet he is still cheating on her, once a filanderer always a filanderer. But he is probibly having sexual relations with other men now, or animals. Mr. Leno loves and respects his wife Mavis, he married her and didn’t live in sin until he got her pregnant. Mr. Leno is a good family man and that is why we the people that Letter Man would say live in the flyover states, love him and consider him one of our own.

      • Scroobles

        I might take you seriously if you could spell simple words.

      • james

        Yeah scroobles, can you not see that Erma is posting with intentional spelling errors? Erma thinks that he/she is clever (not clever at all in reality) but anyone who cannot see that they are trying to mock others is pretty unobservant

      • Lu

        Wow, Erma, are you for real? [cue the banjo music]

      • Ryan

        I sincereibly hope Erma is someone going over-the-top on purpose to skewer people who actually beliefs along those lines. Otherwise it’s just frighteningly bizarre. Letterman (or, apparently “Letter Man”) is sleeping with me or animals. Wow! Frightening how you seem to know so many personal, intimate details of both these men’s lives, beliefs and feelings. Maybe we need to contact the FBI about Erma. I think she must be wire-tapping, hacking into e-mail accounts, or full on stalking.

      • postsalot

        Stop demeaning Erma because she lives in a flyover state you elitists!

        And if y’all aren’t getting the trolly-comedy of Erma then y’all need to try harder.

  • MissClarity

    Letterman is as much trash as the sometimes 6″ wonder admitted himself, Howard Stern.

    We always have to keep in mind the ‘source’ of commentary.

    What Letterman and Stern don’t understand is the decency of a man called Leno. Letterman and Stern are filthy New Yorkers, one does it and one talks about doing it, if you get my saggy drift.

    So watch it Stern when commenting on a good man like Leno. Some of us haven’t bought into the fractured souls of the east coast two.

    • Donnie Leher

      Filthy New Yorkers? Great comments here, well though out.

      • Ben Richards

        what does “well though out” mean? Your comment, Donnie, doesn’t seem very well thought out to me.

    • pete

      You must have never lived in the “Greatest City in the World” What a jerk with no culture!

    • Pete

      MissedClarity, You have certainly missed the point of the article. But the good news is you have pissed off 19.5 million people. Keep watching Jay and enjoy your Prozac buzz.

    • topoopon

      Isn’t Letterman from Indiana?

      • aoyst

        Yep, and Leno was born in New York and raised in Massacheussets. Yet somehow Letterman is the filthy east coast liberal, only because he occasionally expresses a sincere point of view (whereas Leno has no point of view, which is why comedians loathe him), and that he fathered a child out of wedlock really grinds their gears

      • Erma

        Grinds my gears? I like that, yes, I would say that’s accurate. Mr. Leno is a solid American that loves his country. Letter Man barely tolerates the middle part of the country, I bet he calls it the fly over states like other elites. If those filthy mouthed liberal comedians like Jann Gorofollow or Bill Marr don’t like Mr. Leno, then he must be doing something right! It is such a shame that good manners and family values have gone out of style. I am happy to call my self a fan of Mr. Leno whether I am considered hip or groovy or whatver doesnt matter to me. This country was built by us people and good hard working people like Mr. Leno while people like Letter Man sat on there duffs and smoked cigars.

    • Shania

      Love that concept, “saggy drift.” Get an excellent visual of the writer. Kudos to erma and missed clarity, funniest posts I’ve read all day. I can picture the two of them in their trailer park, the one with the “saggy drift” picking up another brewski for her good friend, the Le No fan.

      • Erma

        I don;t live in a trailer park. I live in a nice home. Its small, but we worked hard for it unlike all the beatniks and hobos that just want a handout from the govrment. You have a sick mind no wonder you are a fan of Letter Man. I will stick with a good family man like Mr. Leno. It might not make me trendy or hip but I am genuene and not plastic like Holly Wood fonies.

      • jay

        You’re slipping Erma, you didn’t mention “fly over states” at all in your last post.

      • postsalot

        shhhhh! jay, you’ll ruin the masterful illusion…no wait, everyone’s to busy biting the hook

    • erin

      What about Leno’s actions in the past year or so would you call “decent”?

    • Slovo

      Letterman is from Indiana.

  • TheLip

    “Dave’s as funny as he’s ever been,”

    More like “as funny as he ever will be”, he’s a cheap liberal comic. His monologue/jokes are just make fun of some conservative thing or person and all the liberals in the audience clap like the bobbing head dogs.

    His is not a has been but a never was.

    • LOL

      Ah, another bitter Teabagger.

    • Flackman

      Because Conservatives aren’t funny.

      • erin

        this

    • AK

      God forbid someone have liberal viewpoints… It’s the end of the world!!!

    • Terry

      Go back to Faux News.com and get your laughs from the jokers over there

  • Donnie Leher

    thought*

  • Donnie Leher

    Letterman is as funny as ever- the only things funnier are the ridiculous comments here – Dave has a little Carson in him- he’s a TV legend you meant to say.

  • kevin

    he does carry grudges like with Palin who foughtback with lyes about him he will carry a grudge against her till the day he retires rightly so but dont think its about her being a republican

    • LOL

      “Lyes?” Ever heard of a period?

  • kevin

    F**K **f. Theres a period lol.

  • namor

    he quit back in the 80′s. since then he has just been cashing a check.

  • pam

    Man, I had no idea the readers who would comment would be so…mean! About New Yorkers. About Letterman. “Jerk with no culture.” “Prozac buzz.” Yep. Civiility has taken hold…

  • SASSY

    First & foremost Erma needs a dictionary, MissC needs to take a rest as well as others. They BOTH are great preformers…two different styles. When I want mellow…go Leno! Edgy..team LMan. Why the discourse? Enjoy them both! Have you checked YOUR perfection lately???? Thought NOT!

    • SASSY

      Insidently, Howard Stern…..now there’s quite the speciman. Nice voice though…..! Craig F @ 11:30? They would have to clip his….wings way too much. Better keep him @ 12:30 after the “witching hour”. ENJOY!!!!!!

  • Seiji

    10 more years! 10 more years!!!
    Regis is like 80 and he’s not retiring from show biz thoroughly.
    Please don’t even mention retirement for at least 10 years.
    American TV without you is unthinkable. Scary.

  • Shania

    I hope all these spelling errors are intentional, by posters posing as illiterate mountain folk. If they are genuinely that inarticulate, I will be horribly disappointed.

    • postsalot

      you know Shania (and kudos for not having an spelling errors in your post – I looked, hard) some of the mistakes are obviously intentional and the others, well, it’s just this side of possible that people posting in a comments thread couldn’t give two rat farts about whether or not the shift key or go back and fix that there that should have been a their – damn that’s some kind of run on sentence ain’t it?

  • Guil

    Erma, using terms like “shack up with” are far from classy, and do nothing to further your argument. Make your point with far more sophistication, and I’ll pay attention. But, obviously it’s the attention you crave, while being far from verbose.

  • Nick

    Erma is terrific. Keep it coming. You would think people posting on a Hollywood Entertainment rag message board might have a sense of humor. Guess not.

  • johna

    I hope Letterman retires soon so Ferguson can take over for him. I like Dave but I love Craig. He’s a genius.

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