David Letterman surprised everyone when he made an appearance at CBS’ upfront presentation for the first time in 15 years. With late night television in the midst of some big overhauls, Letterman’s support at the presentation was well received by CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves.
Moonves introduced Letterman by prefacing with a short remark about the current late night changes. “What’s going on out there in late-night? All of a sudden, everybody’s got a Jimmy: they have a Jimmy, they have a Jimmy,” said Moonves, referring to NBC’s and ABC’s new late night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. “We thought we don’t have a Jimmy. Jimmy Buffet is too topical, Jimmy Carter too political, Jimmy Hoffa not available. There are a lot of Jimmy’s out there but there is only one Dave, David Letterman.”
Letterman’s appearance was greeted by an enthusiastic applause and a warm hug with Moonves. “I’m honored to be here for your pledge drive,” Letterman said. “Everyone here is very excited to see me, they think I’m Bob Schieffer. When Leslie invited me here, I thought I was being fired.”
Letterman went on to give praise to Moonves and his continual support over the years. “This man has been nothing but supportive of me and my staff, I can’t think of being at a better place,” Letterman said, pointing to Moonves. “Doesn’t he look great after the gastric lap band surgery. This is the man who single-handedly is saving network television.”
Moonves was just as complimentary to Letterman, saying after he left the stage “We love that guy and we’re proud to have the best in the business and a true legend call CBS home.”