David Letterman was treated like a king on Monday when he returned to The Late Show.
Letterman, 76, stepped onto the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City to a flurry of applause from the audience.
During their chat, the veteran host marveled at just how much the studio had changed since he was sitting behind the desk.
Letterman also put to bed rumors that there was tension between himself and Colbert when he congratulated him and his team right off the bat.
Grand return: David Letterman, 76, dropped by his old talk show The Late Show for a chat with Stephen Colbert on Monday
Good relations: Letterman put to bed rumors that there was tension between himself and Colbert when he congratulated him and his team right off the bat
‘Congratulations on the great success you and your staff have had,’ he told a clearly moved Colbert graciously after taking a seat.
Letterman joked about how the studio had turned into a ‘mall’ while he was gone, and he compared it to Beverly Hills’ swanky Rodeo Drive.
He also joked that the dressing room was now nicer than the fanciest hotel he had ever stayed in, and he was shocked that it even had a menu for him to order snacks ahead of the taping.
After Colbert mentioned that he had only hosted about one-fourth of Letterman’s record, he asked the bushy bearded comic what he ‘missed’ most.
‘I miss everything,’ Letterman said. ‘Mostly it’s fun.’
‘Very few things in life provide one the opportunity,’ he continued. ‘And I can’t speak for you or to you on this topic, but for me, if you muck one up, 24 hours later you get to try again, And that’s a pretty good device.
‘Then when you do something you’re really proud of, you think, “My God, let’s do that again!”‘ he added.
Colbert went on to ask Letterman if he ever had other late night hosts that he could talk to when he needed advice.
What a difference: Letterman joked about how the studio had turned into a ‘mall’ while he was gone, and he compared it to Beverly Hills’ swanky Rodeo Drive; seen back in 2010
Old times: After Colbert mentioned that he had only hosted about one-fourth of Letterman’s record, he asked the bushy bearded comic what he ‘missed’ most
Glory Days: ‘I miss everything,’ Letterman said. ‘Mostly it’s fun’
He cited his for Daily Show colleague Jon Stewart as someone he could lean on.
Letterman made it clear that Johnny Carson didn’t have the same advisory role for him.
‘Johnny is/was the Mount Olympus. You didn’t just call Johnny and say, “Hey Johnny. How’s it going? What do you think, should I do this? What about the color socks? Are they gonna be all right, Johnny?”‘ he explained.
‘So no, I was pretty much alone,’ he added to sad sighs from the audience. ‘I was orphaned in the talk show world.’
Then he jokingly responded to the audience: ‘I don’t appreciate the sarcasm.’
Letterman capped off his good relationship by Colbert by recreting a photo they took nearly a decade earlier.
The Colbert Report host brought out a framed selfie that he had snapped with the former Late Show host in 2014, when he was visiting as a guest while Letterman was still host, a year before he would take over the reins.
‘This is great because I was going to ask you if I could have my picture taken at the desk,’ Letterman responded. ‘Do you mind?’
On his own: Letterman told Colbert that he couldn’t turn to Johnny Carson for advice in the way he does with Jon Stewart. ‘I was orphaned in the talk show world,’ he said
Colbert replied: ‘Let’s do it.’
But once they were ready, they switched places so that Letterman was back behind the desk while Colbert took a seat on the left.
Earlier in the interview, Colbert shared with the audience that his predecessor confessed he had always wanted to try sitting where the desk currently was located, as he had placed it on the other side of the studio during his tenure.
When Colbert first offered him a chance to try out the seat, he joked that he wasn’t interested anymore, but he still got a chance to be behind the desk again for the selfie retake.