Last night's on-air announcement by David Letterman that he'd be retiring sometime in 2015 was as great as I expected it to be, but it also was strange to watch: Some of that was because I was hoping he'd never retire, and some of that was because I watched it on YouTube, before it even aired on the west coast—which sums up how much things have changed since I was a little kid, and, very occasionally, my dad would let me stay up waaaay past my bedtime so I could watch Letterman with him.
And here's something else great: an episode of Fresh Air that focuses on late night TV and includes Terry Gross' 1981 interview with Letterman—which took place a year before Letterman started Late Night on NBC, and back when Fresh Air was a local show in Philadelphia. The whole thing's worth a listen, with the Letterman-focused bits starting at around 21 minutes in.
GROSS: What if you forget the joke?
LETTERMAN: Doesn't make any difference. It's just television. (Via.)
And another thing:
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!