Despite retiring from his very public (and televised) life in 2015, The Late Show creator and former host David Letterman has kept himself busy. But what about his right-hand man, Paul Shaffer? Letterman’s band leader was there every step of the way during their shared 33-year career in late night television. Well for those unfamiliar with Shaffer’s new album and tour with The World’s Most Dangerous Band (also known as The CBS Orchestra), those questions were answered when Shaffer sat down with Stephen Colbert.
After Colbert’s band leader Jon Batiste re-introduced Shaffer to the Ed Sullivan Theater with the Letterman theme Shaffer wrote, the latter sat down with the new Late Show host to reminisce. “I wrote the theme of the David Letterman show and it was played every night for all of those 33 years,” he began, “and you have taken that income out of the mouths of my children.” All jokes aside, Shaffer noted he and his band mates “had a wonderful run” during their tenure.
He also couldn’t get over the fact that Colbert’s Late Show set had flipped the original host and band configuration completely. “To be here, though. First of all,” he explained, “this was my area all those years. I and my band were over here, and David would be [there] where Jon is and everybody. So it’s been reversed, and it’s like being on acid a little bit. In a good way!” Ever the new Late Show statesman, Colbert quipped, “We flipped the stage because we wanted you on so much, we wanted you to feel welcome in the right spot on stage for the interview.”
Following the interview, Shaffer’s World’s Most Dangerous Band performer “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with Batiste’s band and Valerie Simpson.