Jake Tapper Helps Say Goodbye to Letterman with CNN Special

"I think I’ll miss most his sense of detachment from the absurdity of fame and celebrity, his joy in properly selected words, and the way he made broadcasting his show look effortless." -Jake Tapper

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With 33 years of David Letterman on the tube coming to an end, CNN’s Jake Tapper is paying homage to the late-night legend with a one-hour CNN special report titled, “David Letterman Says Goodnight.”

The special, airing on Tuesday before his farewell episode, will feature sit-downs with several of Letterman’s peers and colleagues in the world of late-night TV to discuss his prolific career, including Jimmy Kimmel, Seth MeyersConan O’Brien and his band leader, Paul Shaffer. From Kimmel claiming he is the ultimate “Letterman Fanboy” to Meyers saying Letterman “influenced the next generation,” there will be no shortage of ring kissing going on in Tuesday’s special.

Despite the dramatic increase in viewer options since he began his career, Tapper explains how Letterman has remained a staple among late night talk shows.

“While my late night diet is more varied and diverse than it once was,” Tapper told FishbowlDC, “I remain as appreciative now as I was in the 1980s and 90s of David Letterman’s broadcasting excellence and the tectonic shift he introduced to American comedy and pop culture. He was a tremendous influence on me when I was in junior high and high school, staggering bleary eyed into school the next day with his ironic wit as a guide, and 12:30 a.m. in college was a standing appointment in front of the TV.”

We also asked the CNN anchor what he will miss most about Letterman, to which he replied, “I think I’ll miss most his sense of detachment from the absurdity of fame and celebrity, his joy in properly selected words, and the way he made broadcasting his show look effortless.”

The special, which will certainly be a bittersweet end to a storied career, will air May 19th at 9 PM ET and will also be available via CNNgo: www.cnn.com/go.