David Letterman Once Feared Going to Prison For Playing a Game of Baseball


"We've been waiting 16 seasons to have our first guest here, he's a legendary talk show host and comedian. Please welcome the one, and only, David Letterman," an ecstatic Ellen DeGeneres announced as the veteran talk show host received roaring applause from studio audience on the popular The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Letterman, 71, found himself on the other side of the couch after he stopped by at Ellen's show to promote his Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction and said he was grateful to his employers for being "very generous to let an old man anywhere near their building."

The talk show host, who reigned late night television between 1993-2015, admitted that he overstayed his welcome at the ‘Late Show' and should've given it up 10 years before he actually did, saying “Here’s the mistake I made, I stayed on television way too long...” DeGeneres immediately interrupted him, saying, "That’s not true.”

“Yes it is true, and I'll tell you what happened. It turns out nobody had the guts to fire me. And I should have left like ten years ago," replied the late night legend.

Explaining why he said what he said, Letterman followed it up by adding, "You want to make sure you have some energy to direct toward other things. Now, you, nothing but energy, are doing other things while you're on television, so that's great. I did not. All I cared about was myself. And then the show was gone, and so I had to realize, 'Oh, I've been lookin' through the wrong end of the telescope.' There is more to life than, 'So, tell me about your pet beaver.'"

Letterman, who made his first appearance on a talk show after calling it quits four years ago, also revealed his "worst day of life" as a television host when he thought he would end up behind the bars for accidentally throwing a baseball out of a 14th storey CBS office in New York.

“Honest to God, it was the worst day of my television life and maybe the worst day of my life,” said Letterman who was playing the sport with Mary (now an executive producer at Ellen's show) when he missed one that went out of his office window.

“It went up and over and through the window. Of the 14th floor. Of the 30 Rock building. And down below was Sixth Avenue and the sidewalk. Well, you know... How many are dead?” he panicked.

“People were looking up because shards of glass had rained down on the Avenue of the Americas,” he said, adding, “And I see a guy down there, and I can hear him say, ‘Hey, look, there’s Dave Letterman!’”

And at that moment, Letterman recalled he feared ending up behind the bars.

Of course, there was much more that took place in the studio when the celebrities met and DeGeneres even managed to get Letterman to answer her "Burning Questions."

You can watch the entire interview here: