David Letterman Announces Retirement On-Air

David Letterman has surprised his audience by announcing his retirement. While on-air, the host of Late Show with David Letterman announced that he and Paul Schaffer intend to call it quits in 2015, ending a 21-year run on CBS.

“I phoned him [Leslie Roy Moonves, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation] and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, the network has been great, but i’m retiring,” said Letterman, to an obviously stunned audience. He went on, “We don’t have the timing of this precisely down; it will be at least a year or so. But at some time in the not too distant future — 2015, for the love of God — in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up and taking a hike.”

Watch the announcement here:

No exact date for Letterman’s final show has been announced.

Fans of Letterman’s work will surely be disappointed and there’ll be a noticeable difference on late-night television after he retires. Letterman’s name has become synonymous with late-night television over the years. Prior to Late Show, Letterman hosted Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. His stint with NBC went from 1982 to 1993. In 2013, Letterman surpassed friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late-night talk show host in TV history, at 31 years.