Earlier this week, David Letterman signed off from behind the desk of CBS’ Late Show for the last time. It was an evening full of high profile guests and trips back in time through Letterman’s long career in late night. And fittingly for the last hurrah of generation of late night hosts, Letterman’s final show pulled in record viewership, scoring the program’s largest television audience in 20 years.
But now that’s all in the past, and as of midday Thursday, the Late Show with David Letterman set was already in the dumpster. That’s how things rolls in showbiz – out with the old, in with the new.
As stagehands began dismantling the iconic set, images of the bridges that for years framed Letterman’s interviews and antics began popping up on social media (via Gothamist) as awestruck bystanders witnessed a piece of history get unceremoniously kicked to the curb:
Word is that the set’s replica of the George Washington Bridge is the only piece to survive and is being intentionally saved for posterity.
Still, some may find just how quickly CBS chose to chuck Letterman’s Late Show set a little surprising, given that the Late Show with Stephen Colbert won’t premiere until September. But that only leaves roughly three months for a new set to be designed and installed, including time allowed for Colbert and his staff to begin practicing with how they’ll stage their show on it. In the meantime, anyone looking to score a piece from Letterman’s set will need to act fast.
However, if you can’t make it to the Ed Sullivan’s Theater’s dumpster anytime soon, you could snag a piece from David Letterman’s 1980s set from eBay. The listing is for the skyline that appeared on Letterman’s first late night gig, Late Night with David Letterman that aired from 1982 to 1993 on NBC. Here’s the description from seller and intrepid dumpster scavenger, Igor Vamos:
“These are original props from the set of Late Night with David Letterman. These were part of the NYC skyline. I found these in New York 20 years ago and stored them until now. Amazing thing if you’ve got a room big enough. There are three of them. The biggest is 5′ x 12′ x 8″. You can see the original stickers from the union shop that made them. They are essentially light boxes with some kind of printed vellum of the painted buildings over plexi. Dozens of small light bulbs inside each of them light it up.”
Bids start at $10,000 U.S. dollars so find a friend (or twenty or fifty) and pull your funds and you too could recreate late night magic in your living room à la Seinfeld‘s Kramer bringing The Merv Griffith Show set home.
Did you watch David Letterman’s final Late Show? What did you think? And how do you feel about Letterman’s set finding its way to the dumpster less than 24 hours after the big night? Will you try and score yourself a piece of it? Sound off in the comments below!
Late Show returns with new host Stephen Colbert on CBS in Fall 2015.