The end is near for longtime late-night talk show host, David Letterman, 68; his latest stint being the ‘Late Show’. Moving on from the show is one of the biggest changes in Letterman’s life, a change that comes with “enormous anxiety and trepidation”. During a sit-down with the New York Times, Letterman he opens up about his leave and legacy to follow.

The humorous host, who has been in the game for 33-years describes who he would have liked to follow in his footsteps; a black or a woman host. With all the ideas of a late-night host in mind, Stephen Colbert was a distant thought in Letterman’s mind. “I always thought Jon Stewart would have been a good choice. And then Stephen,” he said. “And then I thought, well, maybe this will be a good opportunity to put a black person on, and it would be a good opportunity to put a woman on.” The reason being is because right now, just about every funny women has a show somewhere (not true – I don’t), why not late-night television.

JaaiR (JR)
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Letterman also opens up about the competition of the late-night game. The ‘Late Show’ leader was up against other comical hosts like Fallon and Kimmel, both of whom expanded to the Internet. However, it never got to him.

Did the ascent of hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel push you out of the job?

No, they didn’t push me out. I’m 68. If I was 38, I’d probably still be wanting to do the show. When Jay was on, I felt like Jay and I are contemporaries. Every time he would get a show at 11:30, he would succeed smartly. And so I thought, This is still viable — an older guy in a suit. And then he left, and I suddenly was surrounded by the Jimmys.

It seems like there’s an increasing emphasis, at least with your network competitors, to create comedy bits that will go viral on the Internet. Did you make a conscious choice to stay out of that arms race?

No, it just came and went without me. It sneaked up on me and went right by. People on the staff said, “You know what would be great is if you would join Twitter.” And I recognized the value of it. It’s just, I didn’t know what to say. You go back to your parents’ house, and they still have the rotary phone. It’s a little like that.

You’ve often talked about Johnny Carson as a mentor and a creative hero. Do you feel you’ve lived up to his standard?

Whenever I see clips from his old show, I’m reminded of what I always knew about him, which is that the highs and lows on that show are just about like that: [moves his hand in a straight line] There are funny moments, but he doesn’t lose control. If things aren’t going well, that’s fine, too. There’s a consistency about his presence that is very satisfying. I never felt that way. I always felt like [panting heavily] “We’ve got to do this, and we’ve got to do that.” Carson, whether he knew it or not, was doing exactly what TV is supposed to be. Just let it go. Because it’s 11:30, and people are just looking for a pleasant experience. And I wish I could do that.

The last airing of the ‘Late Show’ with David Letterman will be May 20.