Stephen M. Silverman
August 30, 2004 09:55 AM

Craig Kilborn said so long to viewers of CBS’s Late Late Show on Friday, wrapping up five seasons as host after having announced two weeks ago that he was ready to leave.

“It’s one of the happiest days of my life, and I’ll tell you why,” Kilborn, 42, said on the air. “I got to do a dream job. … My job is done here. It’s time for me to move on. I dreamed of early retirement, and that’s probably what I got.”

The original host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Kilborn took over the timeslot that follows the Late Show with David Letterman from late-night veteran Tom Snyder in 1999. Since then, the audience for the hour had increased 34 percent to this season’s average of 1.7 million viewers, reports the Associated Press.

On the final installment, such Kilborn favorites as Vince Vaughn, Marlee Matlin, Martin Mull, Adam West and Will Ferrell showed up, while Wayne Newton sent his regards via satellite from Las Vegas.

“I’m going to miss you,” Kilborn said. “Maybe I’ll see you down the road.”

No replacement host has been named.

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