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David Letterman returns to ‘The Late Show’

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — David Letterman’s return to the Ed Sullivan Theater earned him a standing ovation.

The former late-night talk show host was back at his old stomping grounds for his first time as a guest on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

In the episode which aired Monday night, Letterman came out to a crowd on their feet in raucous cheers and chants of “Da-vid, Da-vid!”

“What happened? What are they doing now? Is there going to be trouble?” Letterman joked before quipping, “Stephen, control your people.”

“I will say this is the most enthusiastic audience I have been near since the night I announced I was quitting,” Letterman teased.

He departed “The Late Show” in 2015 after 22 years hosting.

Letterman remarked on the nice the dressing rooms, the generational differences on the show compared to when he was there, and suggested that he was famed talk show host Ed Sullivan (who died in 1974).

“That got me right in,” Letterman joked.

“By the way, congratulations on the great success you and your staff have had,” Letterman told Colbert, who took over for him when he left. “It must be very, very gratifying and as a handful of people recognized, it’s not easy, but you make it look very easy. So, again, congratulations to you and the entire staff.”

The comedian has hardly been retired since he left the late night.

Letterman has hosted the Netflix series “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” – which is how Colbert introduced him on Monday night – and has made appearances on several other talk shows, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

But it was the return to his former studio which stoked the most excitement.

Letterman wished his wife an happy birthday and touched on some of what he misses about hosting “The Late Show.”

“I miss everything. I mean mostly, it’s fun,” he said. “Very few things in life provide one the opportunity. 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.”

Letterman and Colbert also recreated the selfie they took in 2014 when it was announced that Colbert would be taking over for Letterman.

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