David Letterman Tells Ellen DeGeneres About One of his Biggest Career Mistakes

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For over 22 years, the Late Show with David Letterman delighted late-night viewers. But in a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the talk show host says that looking back, he probably stayed too long.

“Here’s the mistake I made,” a gray-bearded Letterman said on the Thursday (March 21) episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I stayed on television way too long.”

DeGeneres quickly piped in, saying that the statement was far from true.

“Yes, it is true and I’ll tell you what happened,” remarked Letterman, whose appearance on Ellen was his first in-studio daytime TV appearance since leaving Late Show four years ago. “Turns out nobody had the guts to fire me. I should have left 10 years ago. “All I cared about was myself, and then the show was gone and I had to realize, ‘Oh, I’ve been looking through the wrong end of the telescope. There’s more to life than, ‘So tell me about your pet beaver.’”

The beaver comment drew a laugh from the studio audience, especially considering that Letterman said that it was Martha Stewart who had originally said it. But in between the laughs and the smirks lied a man willing to speak his truth.

And if that’s not refreshing, we are not sure what it.