Letterman Leaves Hospital
January 20, 2000
With his trademark sense of humor intact, CBS late-night talk show host David Letterman left the hospital ahead of schedule Wednesday.
The Late Show host went home just five days after undergoing successful cardiac bypass surgery, his publicist says.
"With his recovery moving ahead of schedule, Dave was discharged from New York-Presbyterian Hospital this afternoon," Letterman's publicist Howard Rubenstein said in a statement.
Letterman, 52, who has a family history of heart disease, went into the hospital on Friday for an angiogram to look for blockages in his veins or arteries and doctors determined that he needed immediate heart surgery for a blocked artery. The TV host had an emergency quintuple bypass that same day.
"With his recovery being so smooth, it was clear that he was ready to be discharged," his physician Dr. Louis Aronne says. "His quick release … is evidence of his excellent health."
"He feels strong and strolled out of the hospital in great spirits. I am confident his recovery will continue along the same path," Aronne says.
The wry talk show host says he plans "to spend the weekend doing some heavy lifting and playing hardball." As he left the hospital, he cracked that there had been a mix-up: "I went in to the hospital to get a facelift."
He adds that the doctors and hospital staff provided excellent care. "Truthfully … they were the best," he says.
CBS will show reruns of Late Show With David Letterman while Dave recovers. Talk of a substitute host from CBS's roster of comics, such as Ray Romano, proved to be just rumors.
Rubenstein says Letterman, who lives in Connecticut, will be staying "at an undisclosed residence" during his convalescence.
Copycat rival Jay Leno issued a statement Saturday saying, "I and everyone at The Tonight Show wish Dave a speedy recovery."