To U.S. President Barack Obama, after he had responded to a question on whether he thought racism was fueling criticisms of him with the comment "First of all, I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election.", as quoted in "Obama Takes On Letterman" by Michael D. Shear, in The Washington Post (22 September 2009).
David Letterman: Earlier today, the man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves—he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years—and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said, "Leslie, it's been great, you've been great, the network has been great, but I'm retiring." Paul Shaffer: This is—really? David Letterman: Yep. Paul Shaffer: This is—this is—you actually did this? David Letterman: Yes, I did.
[dead silence in the studio followed by nervous laughter from the audience] Paul Shaffer: Well—do I have a minute to call my accountant, because…I, uh…
[Dave cracks up] David Letterman: I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theatre, all the people on the staff, everybody at home. Thank you very much. And what this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.
[uproarious laughter and applause as wedding chimes play] David Letterman: So we don't have the timing of this precisely down, I think it will be at least a year or so. But sometime in the not too distant future—2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up and taking a hike.
[studio audience goes wild, gives him a standing ovation] David Letterman: Thank you, thanks everybody. All right, thanks very much.