WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Northern Westchester residents speculated on the reason why 32-year “The Late Show” host and North Salem resident David Letterman announced he will retire in 2015.
Jennifer Cohen of Yorktown wondered if his age played a part in the 66-year-old’s decision. Herbert Weiss, of Somers, said he had just read media reports that he is losing the ratings battle with his competitors on NBC and ABC.
Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's “Tonight Show," leads the late night talk show pack with 4.3 million viewers per episode. He is trailed by Letterman at 2.85 million viewers and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel at 2.7 million.
“I fairly regularly watch the show up until and including the Top 10," Weiss said. "But, when the clock strikes midnight, I’m out of it.”
Weiss said one of the reasons he loves the "Late Show" is one of his grandsons was a summer intern on the show some years ago.
"I love him," Cohen said, while walking through the Somers Town Shopping Center Friday afternoon. "Always did."
Joe Decaminata said Letterman brought a different tone to late night television, saying his sartorial sensibility resembled more the east coast, while Jay Leno and Johnny Carson’s styles reflected more the west coast.
Suzanne Faustini, of Somers, said she didn’t watch his show much, but was interested in who might replace Letterman. While names like the recently retired Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and CBS’s own Craig Ferguson have been thrown out there, Faustini liked the idea of someone like Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report.”
However, she said Colbert would have to do it as his staunch right wing, bear-fearing, finger-pointing caricature of himself that he portrays on his current half-hour show.
Asked how Letterman compares to other great late-night comedians, Weiss said he falls just below the standard bearer Johnny Carson.
“Comparing Carson with Letterman, I would say that I had a general preference for Johnny Cason because of the skits he did,” he said, adding the following qualifier. “I’m not a sophisticated TV watcher.”
Letterman plans to retire after his contract expires with CBS in 2015. He hosted nearly 6,000 episodes of "The Late Show."