For over 31 years - the longest in television history - David Letterman has been a fixture on the late night circuit. The Indiana-born comedian, who began his television career as a news anchor and weatherman, announced during a taping of his Thursday, April 3rd show, that he would be stepping down from his spot with CBS' The Late Show some time next year.

Letterman, who found his way to CBS after spending more than a decade with NBC, explained his intentions to retire at the end of his current contract, which he previously discussed with CBS president Leslie Moonves.

"We agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance," Letterman explained on air. "And I phoned him just before the program, and I said 'Leslie, it's been great, you've been great, and the network has been great, but I'm retiring.'"

Mooves released a statement later, saying, "For 21 years, David Letterman has graced our network's air in late night with wit, gravitas and brilliance unique in the history of our medium." Letterman's previous stint as the host of NBC's The Late Show - which he is credited with creating - lasted from 1982 to 1992.

Letterman was an expected shoe-in to take the reigns of The Tonight Show after Johnny Carson retired, but was famously snubbed for Jay Leno - who coincidentally also retired this year. CBS took advantage of the situation and nabbed him for The Late Show, which debuted in 1993. And although Letterman was often second in the late night ratings to his rival Leno, he earned plenty of critical praise throughout his tenure for his unmatched wit, famous interviews, and love for new and emerging musical artists.

The exact date of his final taping isn't set, as of yet. Letterman said, "We don't have the timetable for 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."