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Watch David Letterman announce his retirement on The Late Show

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During Thursday night's Late Show with David Letterman, the host announced that after 5,914 shows alongside bandleader and sidekick Paul Shaffer, he will retire sometime in 2015.

Not knowing whether or not it was a joke, the audience remained silent until Letterman quipped, "What this means now is that Paul and I can be married."

Letterman said that he discussed his decision earlier in the day with CBS head Leslie Moonves; he then thanked everyone, from the staff at The Late Show to the audience at home, for being part of the ride. Watch the entire announcement below. --Catherine Garcia