David Letterman to Get Special Primetime Tribute - Rolling Stone
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David Letterman to Get Special Primetime Tribute

Ray Romano to host the career retrospective, which will double as a ‘Late Show’ highlight reel

David LettermanDavid Letterman

David Letterman speaks onstage at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on March 2nd, 2015.

Neilson Barnard/Getty

Before David Letterman steps down from the Late Show desk, he will be honored with a special 90-minute career retrospective and clip show, David Letterman: A Life on Television, set to air May 4th at 9:30 p.m. on CBS, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ray Romano will host the special, which will chronicle Letterman’s sprawling career, from his time as an Indiana weatherman to a budding stand-up comedian to late-night legend. The program will also feature highlights from Letterman’s Late Show tenure, including famous interviews and segments, like the Top 10 List and Stupid Human Tricks.

Letterman’s final episode of the Late Show will air on May 20th and the host has corralled a slew of big name guests for his final shows including Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell and Oprah Winfrey. Bill Murray — Letterman’s first guest and a longtime fixture on the show — will also stop by, as will musical guests such as Tom Waits, Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris.

More special guests for Letterman’s final shows will be announced in the coming weeks, leaving room on the couch for potential appearances from the host’s longtime rival Jay Leno and his successor, Stephen Colbert (who will begin hosting the show on September 8th).

While May 20th is still about a month off, Rolling Stone has been tracking Letterman’s long goodbye episode-by-episode. So far highlights include Billy Crystal’s hilarious musical homage to Letterman’s career set to the tune of Fiddler on the Roofs “Sunrise Sunset;” Amy Sedaris’ loving but nonsensical medley; and Paul Rudd surprising the host with a 30-year-old David Letterman sponge the actor received years ago as a member of an unauthorized Letterman Fan Club.


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