Everyone was tuning in to see what David Letterman would do for his last show. He has been in the late night talk show business for more than 3 decades. All of this makes it difficult for people to say goodbye, but somehow he managed to stick with the laughter instead of going with the tears. That is the true character of David Letterman that continues to shine through.
Letterman has been able to span across 2 networks and keep his fan base for all of these years. He is one of the greats that has lasted longer than any of the others that have been out there for the last couple of decades. Arsenio Hall had a late night talk show that lasted for several years, but he has been cancelled twice during the time that Letterman has been on television. Jay Leno had a long run, but the would not stand in for as long as Letterman was able to run the talk show circuit.
The team at Boraie Development LLC noted in a Wall Street Journal article that there really are no others that have had the same long run that Letterman has had. He has been a staple that has continued to entertain the masses over the years. He started on NBC but he switched over to CBS. His paycheck was huge over all these years. Letterman makes about $17 million a year, but he is willing to give all this up and retire.