“The way I feel now, I would like to go beyond 2010, not much beyond, but you know, enough to go beyond,” David Letterman tells Rolling Stone. “You always like to be able to excuse yourself on your own terms. If the network is happy with that, great. If they wanna make a change in 2010, you know, I’m fine with that, too.”
The late night landscape is about to get a bit of a shakeup in the coming year - Jay Leno steps down from the Tonight Show on May 29, 2009, when he’ll be replaced by Conan O’Brien. Jimmy Fallon will take over the seat Conan O’Brien leaves behind.
David Letterman has something to say about Jay Leno leaving his post too, saying, “Unless I’m misunderstanding something, I don’t know why, after the job Jay has done for them, why they would relinquish that. I guess they thought it was a less messy way to handle what happened to me at NBC. I don’t know.”
And what about Letterman’s new competition, Conan O’Brien? “It will be weird to see Conan at 11:30, don’t you think? Which is not to say he can’t succeed, but, no, I don’t know what the competition will be like. I hope we’re able to do okay.”
The Rolling Stone article also has David Letterman reminiscing about some of the memorable guests he’s had on the show, like Madonna, Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern. His memory of musician Warren Zevon, who appeared on the Late Show shortly before his 2003 death from cancer, was particularly moving.
David Letterman says of meeting Warren Zevon in a dressing room after the show:
“Here’s a guy who had months to live and we’re making small talk. And as we’re talking, he’s taking his guitar strap and hooking it, wrapping it around, then he puts the guitar into the case and he flips the snaps on the case and says, ‘Here, I want you to have this, take good care of it.’ And I just started sobbing. He was giving me the guitar that he always used on the show. I felt like, ‘I can’t be in this movie, I didn’t get my lines.’ That was very tough.”
Reported by TV Crunch