Funnyman David Letterman announced on his show Thursday night that he will retire in 2015.
Before announcing the news, Letterman told a story about how he spent the majority of his work day trying to find out what type of bird his son had taken a picture of. "If you spend most of your day trying to ID birds, should you really be running a network television program?" Letterman asked himself.
The comedian said he called his boss, CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves right before he started taping Thursday night's program. "Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring."
Letterman, who has been a fixture of the late-night TV scene since the early 1980s, has hosted "Late Show With David Letterman" since August 1993.
The news was first broken by former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills. He performed on last night's show.
Letterman's news was greeted with well wishes on Twitter from fellow comedians and celebrities.