David Letterman returns to Ed Sullivan Theater for 'The Late Show'

It was the first time Letterman appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" as a guest. He has spent his post-show years on other hosting duties.
Talk show host David Letterman.
Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 21, 2023

Iconic late night talk show host David Letterman made a return to New York's Ed Sullivan Theater to a standing ovation from the studio audience gathered to watch a taping of "The Late Show." It was Letterman's first time back at the location where he filmed his own late night show for so many years. 

Letterman appeared for the first time as a guest on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

"Stephen, control your people," Letterman joked, responding to the loud cheers of “David, David!" from the audience. 

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Letterman hosted his own show there for 22 years between 1993 and 2015, before departing from the role in 2015. 

He told Colbert, of his time hosting the show, "It's not easy." He said to Colbert, "You make it look very easy ... congratulations to you and the entire staff."

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Letterman said he misses "everything" about the show. "Mostly," he said. 

In one moment during the appearance, the two hosts recreated a selfie they took back in 2014 when it was announced that Colbert would take over hosting duties for the show. 

Letterman said it was a "delight" to be back on the show and said a lot of things had changed with the theater from his years there. 

The well-known American face of late night talk shows hosted over 4,000 episodes of his own version of "The Late Show," and said he wasn't sure if his path would ever take him back to the show, he told CBS. 

"I don't think I'll ever be back in this building again, honestly," he said at the time of his departure. "I think it would be too difficult for me." 

On Monday's airing of the show, fans could see Colbert invite Letterman to sit behind the host's desk. 

Letterman joked, "We do this because my son doesn't believe I had a show."