The 69-year-old comedian sat down with NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw over Memorial Day weekend for a special interview airing Sunday, and he got candid about his retirement and the current late-night landscape.
Echoing statements he made in December, Letterman tells Brokaw in the clip that he does’t miss his former career, which kept him on late-night TV for 33 years.
“I thought for sure I would,” says Letterman. “And then, the first day of Stephen [Colbert]’s show when he went on the air – an energy left me and I felt like, ‘You know, that’s not my problem anymore.’ ”
“I’ve kind of felt that way ever since,” Letterman continues. “I devoted so much time to the damage of other aspects of my life. The concentrated, fixated focusing on that – it’s good now to not have that. I couldn’t care less about late-night television.”
Letterman clarifies that he’s happy for the success of the current hosts making up the late-night landscape, including his successor Stephen Colbert. “They’re doing things I couldn’t do,” he acknowledges.
But, he points out, “There should be more women. I don’t know why they didn’t give my show to a woman. That would have been fine.”
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As for whether he was consulted about his replacement, Letterman says with a laugh: “No. They didn’t ask me about anything. They were just – they were just happy I was going.”
Letterman’s interview with Tom Brokaw airs on Dateline NBC’s On Assignment this Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m. ET.