“Ladies and gentlemen, my guest tonight certainly needs no introduction,” announced Stephen Colbert on Monday
“Ladies and gentlemen, my guest tonight certainly needs no introduction,” his successor Stephen Colbert announced just before the audience began to chant “David.” Letterman beamed as the crowd grew louder, and quipped “Is there going to be trouble?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Colbert commented on Letterman’s remark that the late-night chair is a “strange job that a lot of people don’t understand.” He continued, “I’m lucky enough to have my friend John Stewart to talk about this weird job with and my friends in Strike Force Five… Was there anybody for you, when you were in the chair, that you were you could do that with? Somebody you could call and just talk about it. Could you call Johnny [Carson]?”
Letterman replied that while he had “great respect for these guys,” he was “orphaned in the talk show world.” While his answer elicited a unanimous sound of sympathy from the crowd, the former host interjected: “Well, I don’t appreciate the sarcasm.”
To wrap the night, The National delivered a heartfelt performance of “Space Invader” to welcome back the late-night legend. Prior to the band’s performance, Letterman told Colbert that this was the “second time in my life that this is happening here tonight” — referencing the Foo Fighters‘ historic appearance on his final episode of the Late Show. “So those two groups, I’ll love them forever,” said Letterman.
While Letterman has made previous appearances on late-night television since he departed The Late Show — he’s guested on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night With Seth Meyers, as well as the final episode of The Late Late Show With James Corden earlier this year — Monday’s episode marked the first time he returned to the show he launched on CBS back in 1993.